After initially thinking we would take 2 days to get from Lofoten Islands to Tromso we managed it in one big day as the road was better than expected. Tromso is mainly built on an island between the mainland and another larger island. It bills itself as the “coolest” city in the world, to be taken literally! It is also at the highest latitude of any city – way higher than Anchorage in Alaska for example.
It also boasts the most northern golf course in the world so of course we had a crack at that. Very enjoyable and much easier than the Lofoten one. We played the last few holes with a couple of local men who were telling us that you can play golf 24 hours a day in June and July. Crazy!
Another day was spent on the nearby island of Senja which like Lofoten is known for its majestic scenery but, unlike Lofoten, it has very few tourists- so few that we struggled to find somewhere for lunch in the 2 hour drive across the island. Ended up at this nice looking hotel with a magical setting on the water’s edge but a buffet that wasn’t a buffet by any stretch of the imagination and expensive to boot. The tunnels were pretty amazing for an island that doesn’t get many visitors but we were very glad we hadn’t gone in the van- in some there wasn’t room for 2 cars to pass let alone something bigger. Again we were blessed with magic weather and, yes, sorry to be repetitive, but more stunning scenery.
The last day after visiting the Polar Museum (actually very interesting – history of settlement in Svalbard, seal hunting etc) we decided to hike up to where the gondola goes to a viewpoint as we needed more exercise. We have now confirmed that Norwegians do not do zig zag tracks to get up steep slopes, the tracks just go straight up. Also if it is described as easy, read difficult. We took what we thought would be the longer less steep route and at times I don’t think I would have kept my forward momentum going if I hadn’t had my hiking poles. But it was worth it for the views over Tromso. We decided to take the gondola down as it was so steep it would have been hard to keep your footing.
We finished off the day with a pleasant meal out which Richard washed down with yet another alcohol free beer. More interesting than the normal fare. But we did get to try reindeer stew earlier in the week which was very good and the reindeer sausages aren’t bad too.
Next blog – Nordkapp here we come!