Northern Norway in November

I was ready to tackle Tromso.

I had about four layers on, wool gloves lined with fleece, an alpaca wool scarf from Bolivia and an excessive number of socks tucked into my snow boots. The wind couldn’t even bug me at this point! Then I pulled up my phone and saw this:

That can’t be right. Four hours of sunlight?! You’re kidding me. What have we gotten ourselves into? And the worst part was that we had unknowingly napped through the sunshine on our first day. We were just too tired after our early morning flight to do anything but sleep through the brief but glorious sun.

Not letting our disappointment get the best of us, we put all our layers on made our way to dinner. We did catch a little glimpse of the super moon as we walked home. It almost made it worth the darkness.

Day two, we wasted not a single minute of our precious sunlight. We walked along the water then across the bridge to the arctic cathedral. The bridge links the island of Tromso to the area surrounding it.

We loved the beauty of the cathedral despite not being religious.  

From there we took a cable car up the mountain that overlooks Tromso. The views were incredible!

The only good thing about the lack of sun light is that the pictures turn out phenomenal. You get more of that time right before sunset that makes the photos turn out perfectly. Because even when the suns out it looks like sunset.

That night, we boarded a bus to chase the northern lights. We drove several hours outside of Tromso to find the clearest sky.  We ended up on the Finland border.

On our first stop, we caught a glimpse of green hovering over a snowy mountain.  Several more stops were made, each one more disheartening than the last. Luckily the tour guides were more than willing to tell us about life in Tromso.

Photo credit: Thomas Hunger of Chasing Lights

At our final stop, we sat around the fire drinking hot chocolate. They gave us reindeer skin to sit on to get us up off the snow. The clouds occasionally rolled through. The other three groups that worked with the company were having less luck than we were so we sat on the edge of the road awaiting the northern lights.

The thermometer on the bus read 2•C. It was cold. Despite the fire and the warm drinks, I couldn’t get warm. I retreated to the bus. As the conditions got worse and it eventually snowed, the rest of the group followed us in and we turned around and headed back to Tromso.  We were incredibly disappointed that the only Northern lights we were able to see were those faintly glowing over the mountain

We knew from the beginning that it would be hit or miss. The guides never once promised that we would see something. The screen on the camera we were using was broken, preventing us from being able to adjust the settings. Despite having issues with our own camera, the guide shared all of his incredible photos with us.


Tromso is absolutely beautiful despite the cold.

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