Following my first travel report on Tromsø, in Northern Norway, today I will talk a bit more about all the activities we did and experiences we had.
On the first day of our stay we booked a tour with snow mobiles. My husband and I shared one and Luca went with the instructor. After a few instructions on how to handle these big machines, off we went.
Now you may think that they are pretty stable, but it is actually very important then you lean in the opposite direction whenever you take a turn, otherwise you may topple over. I was leaning like mad I tell you, because I don’t fancy getting one of these heavy things on top of me!
They also take quite a bit of work driving them so I left most of that to my husband. Encouraging him to take it easy mind you, because if you are a bit too eager with the gas they can go as fast as 150 km / hour. Scary!
They are not so powerful though that it is easy to go up a steep hill. Below you can see how the instructor is making a ‘road’. Each time he gets a little bit higher to extend this road, after which he can finally reach the top.
One of the most fun things we did during this trip is jump from a cliff into the snow. It’s not so easy to see on this picture but the cliff was actually pretty high and you could just jump off it and land in a sea of snow. You can see how thick the snow was there with the snow coming well over your knees. It was tough for the jumpers to climb up the cliff again.
We very much enjoyed our rides on the snow mobiles , but unfortunately my little boy was getting so cold after his many rides up the hill (and getting snow into his clothes from all the jumping) that we had to return to our lunch spot. This turned out to be a big tent which was absolutely freezing cold before the 2 fires in the centre of the tent were lit. We spent a good amount of time there to get warm again before enjoying a lovely Norwegian hot lunch.
On one of the other days we also visited Polaria, which is one of the main museums in the town. We had hoped to find out a bit more about the northern lighs, but unfortunately the documentation and film on that topic was very limited. They did have a little sea lions show we enjoyed.
Although we had planned to go sledding with the dogs, Luca was ill that day so we had no choice but to cancel that. The dog sledding was fully booked for the only day we had left so instead we opted for reindeer sledding. Luckily Luca had recovered by then and off we went.
Our guide (whose name I forgot) was a Sami, who are the indigenous people of Scandinavia. You can read more about this on the Sami wiki page. He shared some stories about his life and how he still looks after a large amount of reindeers. He moves them every year to higher (and colder) parts of the mountains and stil catches them with lassos. He is keen to keep this old Sami tradition alive and often his children will go with him to learn all the skills of looking after reindeer and surviving in the cold.
Here we are practising our lasso skills. I was the only one to catch the ‘raindeer” 🙂
This is one of little tents that they take on their journey. It gets heated with a little fire in the middle.
The reindeer are enjoying a nice rest before taking us all along for a ride.
Eager to go!
After the stories about his life we went for a ride by sled. It was fun but also very slow. I think I would have enjoyed the excitement of the dog sledding more. On the upside though, this was a more cultural experience. It was very interesting to learn more about the Samis and how some of them still keep their old traditions alive.
On the last day of our stay we went on a trip that combined cross country skiing and ice fishing. We did not leave anything to chance this time and were dressed in super warm ice suits. It almost swallowed Luca.
I look pretty fly in it too….
Off we went on our skis.
We are skiing here on a lake that is completely covered in thick snow. The ice is more than 1 meter thick so chances of any of us breaking it are very slim indeed…
And this is today’s fashion pose! I think the combination of black, cobalt and bright yellow is actually very hip and modern!
After some cross country skiing we went on to do some ice fishing. Our guide created a hole with a big drill and then the waiting game begins.
Luca was the first to catch a fish which he is proudly displaying here. I did feel a bit sorry for the fish…
Although there were 4 of us fishing, only 2 of us were able to catch a fish, so we ended up with 2 fish to grill. Luckily we had some sausages too as we were pretty hungry by then.
Proof that these suits were pretty effective in keeping us warm. Luca even fell asleep in it…
If you like to know more about Tromsø, you can watch this little video. Some interesting facts you will discover include that Tromso is also called the Paris of the north, has the most pubs per inhabitants and is famous for its old lady lunches!
We had a very enjoyable time in Tromsø and I would definitely recommend it for a beautiful arctic experience. If the Northern lights are important to you though, you may want to go slightly earlier than we did. End of February to Mid March is probably the best time. Not too cold, but still plenty of opportunity to see the lights in all its full glory.
Still, Tromsø is worth going to even without seeing the lights. It’s incredibly beautiful and the activities are fun and memorable. And let me tell you. That fish we caught tasted spectacular!
Tour organiser details:
Ice fishing / cross country skiing (or any kind of 1-3 day tour!!). Roy Saatre (firstname.lastname@example.org) – Roy and his partner Reetta are in the midst of setting up their tour company with several multiple day trips. They are lovely people and I highly recommend them!
Dog sledding, raindeer sledding, snow mobile etc: www.lyngsfjord.com – you will find Roy and Reetta hanging around there too…
What has been your most memorable holiday experience?