To lighten the posts, I will share my experience of our journey above the arctic circle. Travelling above the arctic circle or even reaching the Northern cape of Europe has always been unimaginable and so adventurous when I was younger and lived back home. But now, living in central Sweden, it has become much closer and more realistic.
The most common trip most of my friends from DU have made was to Kiruna, Sweden. That is a city in Northern Sweden which equals to visiting Lapland. However, after looking deeper into the destination and not wanting to spend hundreds of euros on dog sledding and similar activities, we decided to travel somewhere else. The chosen destination was Tromsø, Norway.
Located even higher than Iceland, Tromso was an exciting choice. Seeing the fjords, the northern lights and being so high and above the arctic circle were all the attractions what made us decide. It is a city located on an island in the fjords which has direct air connection with many cities such as Oslo and Stockholm. We chose to fly from Oslo as the tickets were cheaper (90€ return) than from Stockholm. We rented a car directly at the Tromsø airport as we booked a cottage in a camping site on the outskirts of Tromsø. We were shocked by the high price (3x higher than our car rental on Arlanda) but had no choice. Another challenge later was the gas price as in Norway, the prices fluctuate throughout the day and week. Luckily, we managed to tank for a quite low price (the range was 13-17 NOK, we tanked for 14).
The first two days were beautiful with some clouds but the sun was shining. Therefore we went to explore the surrounding landscapes which was extraordinary. Sharp mountains surrounding us everywhere with snow on top and cute houses which enhanced the scenery. On the first day we also decided to go northern light hunting as the sky was completely clear and kp was enough to see it. We decided on a spot recommended on a map we had. After 4 hours of hunting at 2am we decided to return home. It was freezing cold but we managed to see light green stripes on the sky several times. It was not strong as from the photos but we saw it! 🙂
The last 2 days it was raining so we decided to explore the city and the museums. We bought a combination ticket for the Tromsø museum, Polar museum and M/S Polstjerna which was a seal hunting ship which was unfortunately closed during winter. We also visited the Tromsø Art gallery and Polaria, where we saw bearded seals and exhibitions about life on Svalbard and in the Polar area. The museums were really interesting, we got to learn alot about the Sami people and their history with Norwegian government, about the the expeditions to the North Pole and about seal and reindeer hunting in Svalbard.
The trip was great and I am glad to have seen the Norwegian fascinating scenery. A big bonus was being so North and above the arctic circle (Kiruna is above as well) and the feeling of being 500 km from the North Cape. We even considered going there but it was a 10h drive (small roads + a ton of snow) so it was not really doable. I hope this post will inspire you to explore new places even when everyone goes to one place or as you can say – swim against the tide 🙂