Day 2 in Tromso!! The Northern Lights Capital of the World!!
Tromso despite its latitude, is a pretty warm city with daytime temperatures in March going as high as 2° due to the nearby gulf stream. In places even 4-5kms away from the city, the daytime temperatures drop to -10°.
We had our Fjord Cruise activity scheduled for the day. We had to reach this place called Kystens Hus by the port where we met the guide. The boat was called Strønstad- a very small boat with cabins and complimentary drinks inside. But I was in no mood for staying inside. I went to every corner of the boat... except the 'crew only' sections 😜
Also went to the watch deck, and the view from there left me spellbound. I had my fair share of Titanic poses too at the front. Since we were traveling out of Tromso, it was very difficult to stay outside despite the 4layers I was wearing.
We went to 2 noteworthy places and I must say the journeys were way more beautiful than the destinations. The first one was a submarine bay from WW-II. The Norwegians have presently rented it out to the Russians but our guide seemed pretty suspicious that some military activities were going on inside. Movies like Die Another Day and Austin Powers were also shot there.
Our next destination was a sunken German Naval Ship from WW-II. Legend has it that the ship had escaped from enemy territory and was hiding there at night. The Airforce flew in next morning and dropped shells on its starboard side making it topple and killing all the soldiers on it. The bottom of the ship is visible in times of low tide. We were amongst the lucky ones who were able to see it.
Our guide was a crazy hippie. Once our boat entered the frozen waters, he put on a floating suit and jumped into the water. I have a 2minute long 4K quality video of the entire incident, but the size of the video is unfortunately 1.5GB. He swam with the boat, climbed the ice, broke a piece of it, did some showboating, climbed back into the boat and headed straight for the jacuzzi 😆🤣
It was a really amazing experience. I'd suggest everyone to explore the outskirts of the city since Tromso is pretty much similar to every other major Arctic city with it's crowd, malls, shops and architecture.
After finishing the tour, we headed for a fish restaurant where we were explained the concept of dry fish. We were told that different varieties of cod are dried on fish racks for 4 months in winter before they are exported. We even had to taste cod liver oil and caviar. Honestly, I hated both of them!! 😝 Even after diluting with vodka, the cod liver oil seemed like the worst thing I could ever taste.
Then we went for the Polar museum. The museum looks like a small hut from inside. But it is enormous, I tell you with 3tiers and a massive collection of exhibits. It has a very elaborate display on Roald Amundsen and Nansen- two legendary explorers. The ticket price per adult is 70NOK.
The exhibits on cruelty on polar animals are so lively that I couldn't help but feel pity on them. There were miniatures of actual ships used for polar expeditions. The museum is almost completely made of wood with the upper tiers having cabin kinda look which definitely adds to the ambience.
Having done all of this we decided to call it a day. Although we returned to our hotel, the day wasn't over for us yet. We had this grief in our heart that it was our 5th day of the trip and we hadn't seen the Northern Lights even once. In the meantime as the sun set, the sky suddenly started turning red. We were literally stunned by the colours. All we could think was that there must have been aurora activity behind those clouds, but till date we haven't understood the reason for the sky turning red at 8 o'clock in the evening.
Do check out the photos...