February 23, 2015. After our long night chasing the Northern Lights, we slept until around 10 a.m., then dragged ourselves downstairs for a quick breakfast in our Smart Hotel lobby. I totally love Smart Hotels, by the way. Not only are they affordable, but they’ve streamlined their rooms down to sleek yet spare models of efficiency and comfort. Spaces are tight, for sure — everything you need at a fingertip’s distance from the bed or toilet — but cleanly designed with a Danish modern feel that doesn’t feel cheap, despite the low price. Definitely a recommendation for my fellow travelers. Continue reading Last Day in Tromsø
February 22, 2015. After a quick, two-hour nap, we met up with Marcus Åhlund, the owner of Arctic Fishing Adventures, for an all-night expedition chasing the Northern Lights. And I do mean chase. Unfortunately, the heavy snowfall that had hung around all day continued to plague us in the evening. Snow is pretty — until it keeps you from seeing something you’ve traveled almost 4,000 miles to witness. Continue reading Tromsø’s Northern Lights
February 22, 2015. Our 7:00 a.m. wakeup call for dogsledding day came like a kick to the head, considering our extended flight of beers from the night before. After consuming enough coffee to feel human again, we caught the van to the dogsledding facility. On the way, we passed through more Arctic watercolor landscapes awash in haloed sunlight. Wisconsin-style barns and little red cabins perched on the edges of steaming fjords. Looking a bit like beached whale skeletons, fish-drying racks sat empty, waiting for cod-fishing season to start. I think I took about 50 photos just on the way to the dog yard (see the gallery at the bottom). Continue reading Tromsø: Dogsledding Day!
February 21, 2015. Wondering what could possibly top our reindeer sleigh ride, Matthew and I headed off to explore Tromsø a bit more before grabbing supper. We’d spied a funicular across the water when we’d first arrived, and so we got instructions at the Tourist Information office on how to catch the public bus to the Fjellheisen (“the mountain lift”). Continue reading Tromsø by Night
February 21, 2015. When we asked our colleagues about Norway’s most “can’t miss” moment, they all advised: “Take a trip to Tromsø for reindeer sleighing, dogsledding, and Northern Lights.” (Oh my!) So we packed our bags for a long weekend and headed off to the Arctic Circle. Called the capital of the Arctic, Tromsø is a Norwegian island that sits only about 1,400 miles from the North Pole. Surprisingly cosmopolitan, the city claims to have the world’s northernmost zoo, botanical garden, hospital, cathedral, commercial brewery, and Burger King, just to name a few. Continue reading Tromsø & Santa’s Reindeer