Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Northern Lights in Tromso, Norway - Day 2

Date of Travel: 28-31 Jan 2014
Tromso, Norway
Day 2
Apart from the Northern Lights, Tromso is also famous for the Fjords, which are narrow waterways through steep cliffs. There are many tours offering cruises to see the fjords, some lasting a week long even. I get seasick easily, so I am not one who would willingly sleep on a cruise. And being in such an expensive country, we found the cheapest possible solution to see the fjords. Take the 7:10am Fjordprinsessen from Tromso - Vikran - Tennskjer – Lysnes. Don't get off the ferry, and ride it all the way back to Tromso to arrive back by 9:05am. Cost was 177Kr (RM88) per person for a return journey. The ferry DOES NOT run on Tuesdays & Thursdays, so do check the schedule to plan your itinerary.

After a very late night with the Northern Lights, we got up at 6am, and finally got to the pier area around 6:45am. However, there were no clear signage on where the ferry departed from. On top of it all, there was a construction site going on. We were running around like headless chickens in the dark. We decided to just park somewhere near the construction site, and searched on foot. We asked if we needed to pay for parking, and apparently we did! Even at 6+am, parking is required. We paid 36Kr (RM18) for 2 hours 20 minutes parking. Eventually, the correct jetty was located behind the shopping mall.

Was it worth it? Totally!! It was magnificent! Have a look at the scenery from the Fjordprinsessen ferry.

Our first stop at Vikran, many people got on

We arrived back to the jetty at 9:20am, 15 minutes later than scheduled. When we got to the car, the parking metre lady was already there about to give us a ticket! We stopped her just on time, PHEW! They are super efficient when it comes to parking. We then drove back to our hotel and had a great breakfast there.

Tromso city at 9am. An ice sculpture is in the making

That's the shopping mall on the left. And the jetty is just behind it on the far left.
This is the view we see from the back of the hotel, where the breakfast area is. Spectacular!

The same beach behind our hotel, where we took photos of the Northern Lights the night before

That's our hotel on the left

Sunrise from the hotel
Our Triple Room at the Sydspissen Hotel, Tromso, Norway for 990Kr/night (RM495)

After breakfast, we had a lazy morning and had a nap before our afternoon activities. Nearby our hotel is a great supermarket called Co-Op where we bought sandwiches to bring along for a "picnic". Daylight hours during our stay was 10am - 3pm only! So we took a drive to Sommaroy, a round trip distance of 130km. Very beautiful scenery along the way, but it was tough driving under snowy conditions. The roads are slippery even with snow tires. Some bridges are so narrow, then only one car can go through at a time. You have to be so alert at all times when driving, very tiring indeed.

That's our white rental car from Avis, 1501Kr (RM750) for 3 days

Many many bridges linking the small islands of Tromso

You gotta avoid the side curb, as its ice and very slippery

Many red huts like this along the way

That's the final bridge before getting onto Sommaroy Island

The bridge was actually one way traffic only! Have to look out for the traffic lights
Sommaroy ... just like a postcard

The sun is setting at 4+pm

After a short rest, we headed out for dinner. Our intended restaurant was Pasta Fabrikken. We circled the streets round and round, but could not find it based on their address! We even had internet and google maps to search, but we just couldn't see it. We gave up, and just decided to eat at any restaurant nearby. So when searching for a carpark, we chanced upon the Clarion Hotel Bryggen. Just outside the hotel, was an open-space carpark. There was a signage in Norwegian which seemed to indicate that it was for hotel guests only, so we just parked there. WK said, how can they know whether we are guests or not. Since he was the driver, HH did not want to seem naggy, so we just let it be.
Scenery taken outside Clarion Hotel Bryggen

Very quiet at night

Hunting for a restaurant

We finally walked in to Pepe's Pizza, and this is what we ordered.
Interior of Pepe's Pizza

Chicken Wings for 140Kr (RM70) for 10 miserable drummets!

A large pizza, beef & wine flavour, for 350Kr (RM175) !!!
Total restaurant bill came to 528Kr (RM264) including a hot chocolate for 38 Kr (RM19). WOW that has gotta be the most expensive meal I have ever had in any country. But that's not the worst yet. When we got back to our car, we saw a piece of paper stuck on the window shield.
760Kr (RM380) for a parking fine!!! OMG!!
Totally no more mood. Went back to the hotel and thankfully saw the Northern Lights again for the second night. Also tried to do a star trail from our room. Not bad :)

Using the flashlight function from our phone

Northern Lights and stars from our room window

Continue reading on Europe2014:
How I Ended Up In Norway In Jan 2014
6 Days Itinerary In Italy - Day 1 & 2
6 Days Itinerary In Italy - Day 3 Visiting The Pope!
6 Days Itinerary In Italy - Day 4 Napoli & Pompeii
6 Days Itinerary In Italy - Day 5 & 6 Florence 
4 Days in Barcelona - Intended Itinerary
4 Days In Barcelona - Day 1
4 Days in Barcelona - Day 2
4 Days In Barcelona - Day 3 & 4
4 Days In Berlin - Intended Itinerary
4 Days In Berlin - Day 1
4 Days In Berlin - Day 2, 3 & 4
Northern Lights in Tromso, Norway - Day 1
Northern Lights in Tromso, Norway - Day 2
Northern Lights in Tromso Norway - Day 3 & 4  

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