for fellow travellers

Thursday, March 24, 2016

In Tromsø, floored by the northern lights

This was more of an expedition, than a pleasure trip. Things became further exciting when Shaleen insisted on renting a car in Tromsø, that too, right from the airport, and good sense would just not prevail with him. Anupam supported him in this madness, though to his credit he did suggest that we should hire a driver as well.
 We were a group, which had hardly ever experienced snow and now we were traveling to the arctic circle that too in winters, though it was the fag end, but still too much folr us. We were warm blooded creatures used to 42 to 46 degrees centigrade going to a land where temperature became minus.
Anyhow we booked an apartment in Tromsø which costed us the earth, and later did decide to switch to hotel rooms, but alas we couldn't make up our minds in time and were stuck with the apartment. Had I known that I would slip and fall 3 times, going to and fro to the apartment, which was on a slope (these were stand alone apartments where the snow was not cleared from the road and pavement), I would have taken care to make the switch to hotel rooms.
When we reached Tromsø, we had got used to seeing snow in Helsinki and then in Oslo, mainly through the windows from planes and trains. We were awestruck when we reached Tromsø, (pronounced तृम्सो)
And the thought that we were on our own, driving out from the airport, in a rented car in snow.
And the car was a huge, nine seater car....!! Opel Vivaro
After picking up the car from the rental, we started on our way towards the city. The car supposedly did not have GPS, we had to pay extra for that, which we did not and decided to rely on Google बाबा on our phones or our old GPS which had miraculously started working, a day before leaving India, on its own, after years of playing dead. 
Things were ok till we entered a tunnel, which seemed unending and the GPS, phones etc all stopped working. To top it all, there were roundabouts in the tunnel, we followed the sign boards somewhat and luckily when we came out we seemed to be on the correct path.
The tunnel which seemed to be a network, also had the parking at the other end closer to our apartment, a 7 -10 minutes walk.
We reached the Viking hotell and apartments where they had, on their own converted our booking of a 4 bedroom apartment to a 3 bedroom one, along with either a 2 bedroom apartment or a refund.
      The reception area of the Viking hotell. 

The DIY waffles were a great hit, with three types of preserves and complimentary tea and coffee.
We visited the grocery store, Eurospar and were specially enamoured with the basil and other herbs being sold in small pots.

We bought provisions for the next 2-3 days. Back in the apartment we made the most amazing pizzas yet, had a hearty meal.
After settling in the apartment we were unsure about venturing out again in our rented car to see the northern lights, but a glimpse of them from the apartment window was enough to motivate everyone.
As thought of before we took the road to Tromvik, of course that was 46km away but we never meant to go all the way there. We saw a wonderful display of northern lights on the way.
The route which we took towards Tromvik from Tromsø on the map.


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