Wow, I kinda disappeared from the blog! So many things happening….so, let’s try to catch up!
Coming from Brazil, one of the things I like the most in living in Sweden is the fact that, well, I’m in Europe (duh)! This puts me close to so many different places, some that I haven’t ever imagined I would visit! The best example is Tromsø, Norway. I’ve been there for the second time during this Chrismas, and I’ll keep on coming back for sure.
First of all, let’s see where Tromsø is…
And you thought Kiruna was the northest you could get, huh? ;)
How did I end up there? Easy, it’s my boyfriend’s hometown! He currently studies in Trondheim though, and that means that we’re always travelling around to meet up. The pains of long-distance relationships…:(
Anyway! Tromsø is an island, around 350km north ofthe artic circle. From what I understood, the city grew from the island and now there’s a part of it on the mainland (the area called Tromsdalen), and a part in another island that they call Kvalløya,Whale Island. All these parts are connected by bridges.
I took this picture from the top of a mountain in Tromsdalen; there you can see the main island and the bridge connecting it to the mainland, as well as the Whale Island on the other side.
There, during the winter, the sun never goes up; at noon it gets a bit brighter, but it’s not direct light. Result: my biological clock went crazy! I’d “wake up” at 9, give a sleepy look out the window, think it was 4am, and sleep again…until 3pm! This looks ridiculous, but it was really difficult to cope with. In Göteborg during winter the mornings are also dark, but that was just a bit too much to get used to!
In the rare days we managed to get out of bed before 12pm, we did some sightseeing. And oh, there’s a lot of amazing stuff to see there! First, is going up the mountain I just talked about. There’s a cable car that goes there, and the views are incredible. However, it’s good to pack a LOT of warm clothes, because up there I felt the most extreme cold I have ever felt…
Me trying to ignore the fact my bones were frozen. Notice the “sun”- this was around 13am.
Going down the montain you’ll see the icon of the city: The Artic Cathedral! It’s beautiful.
I messed a bit on Photoshop to make the picture clearer and the cathedral more visible. :p
Then, crossing the brigde back into the island…
I’m so proud of this picture! Beautiful, isn’t it? The bridge is on the left.
In the island there is Polaria, a sort of aquarium (like Universeum in Göteborg). I love the “ice domino” and the way the architecture relates to the Artic Cathedral’s.
I was having a lot of trouble with my camera on this day, so I’m glad I managed to take at least ONE crappy picture. Bought a new camera later.
Another interesting building is the library. The thin shell structure is fantastic! My boyfriend said that they rebuilt the library, but the roof stood there, with nothing under it – it can support itself, as you can see in the picture.
Inside the library there’s a gingerbread cookie house exposition during Christmas, where people create edible models of the city’s buildings, most of them donated for charity in order to be sold. Cute.
Tromsø also has the northernmost brewery of the world, Mack!
The beer is great, I tried them all.
The thing I love the most about Tromsø is the cozy “aura” of the end of the year celebrations – and of course, all the snow!
My first snowman ever, made with my boyfriend’s little cousins.
Me and my boyfriend also made nerdy pepparkakor…maybe next year we’ll do something to donate to the library.
A prize if you recognize all of them! (Except the 2 guys at the right, that’s me and him :D)
A Super Mario plate, our masterpiece!
In the New Years eve, they lighted up a big “2011” in the mountain, that turned into “2012”. All the citizens donate money, and there’s a huge fireworks show there.
But the most amazing was still to come…on the day before I came back to Göteborg, I was greeted by Nordlys, the Aurora Borealis.
It wasn’t a very strong one, but it was big and beautiful! On the year before I managed to see a really strong one, but then I had the problematic camera I talked about. It seems the strongest ones appear during January, but sadly this is when the classes start.
There’s a lot more you can do in Tromsø: Skiing, dog sledding, taking the Hurtigruten (google it!), climbing, going to the museums, enjoying some beer and rock at BlåRock…however, all I really want right now is to go there during summer, when instead of a full day of night, they have a full day of light – the Midnight Sun! Tromsø is wonderful while white, but I bet it’s also incredible without snow.
I hope I managed to give you a quick tour! If you have an opportunity to go there, don’t even think twice!