Tromsø, a set on Flickr.
Tromsø is about as far north/close to the north pole as one can reasonably get, short of chartering planes and other such expensive activities. The aim of the game was to see the Northern LIghts, which was pretty much the only thing on my bucket list. As it turns out, seeing the northern lights is quite the gamble. You can see from the photos that the weather changed very quickly in the two days I was there. My friend Ryan who accompanied me explained something all scientifical about wind currents and weather phenomena that make Tromsø so liveable despite being so far north but I forgot the details…
Tromsø actually reminded me a great deal of Queenstown in New Zealand – beautiful views, a picturesque wee town, that whole ski-bum feel (although there were only a few cross-country ski routes around, not actual mountains) and absolutely exorbitant prices – the Tromsø economy is probably also designed to rip tourists off. As if Norway wasn’t expensive enough already! A great money saving tip though is to stay in the cabins at the campground. So much cheaper, and accomodation is per cabin, so the more friends you have, the better. It was essentially the same as a hostel, apart from a short walk through the snow to the bathrooms.
Two days really was a long time in Tromsø. We managed to tick off every reasonably priced tourist attraction, and then got to the silly stage, which involved tree climbing and pretending I was Rose on the bow of the Titanic. There were some very cool looking “tours” that included things like staying in a Sami tent and going dog sledding, ice fishing or eski riding in the snow, but just getting to Tromsø was stretching my budget enough. If you have the money, there are some very cool experiences you can have there. Otherwise, it was a great little town to check out.