Europe / Norway / The Voyage

Tromsø: Paris Of The North

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Day 8, our trip is drawing closer to an end. I am missing home but I also know I will miss Norway once I am on my plane back to Singapore. Today, we fly from Trondheim to Tromsø — no train, no bus, no boats. However, the turbulence we had on board was the most frightening I have ever encountered.

Thank goodness we landed safely.

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I fell in love with Tromsø the very moment I stepped out of the airport. For some reason, air seems fresher and oh my, the snow I miss seeing since leaving Oslo is back.

Tromsø is the 9th largest urban area in Norway by population and the 7th largest city in Norway by size. Most of Tromsø, including the city centre is located on the small island of Tromsøya, 350km north of the Arctic Circle. The city centre contains the highest number of old wooden houses in Northern Norway, the oldest house dating from 1789.

The Artic Cathedral, a modern church from 1965 is definitely the most famous landmark in Tromsø.

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RICA ISHAVSHOTEL

This hotel was under renovation during our visit — not pleasing I must say. There were noise, dust and we had to have our breakfast in a makeshift ballroom/hall. If only the breakfast is as good as the one in Trondheim but no, no way near. If it wasn’t the renovation, I will surely like it more because its location is so beautiful, overlooking the bridge and mountains.

Tips: please check if the hotel is under any form of renovation before booking.

Rica Ishavshotel
Fredrik Langes Gate 2, 9008 Tromsø, Norway

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Right outside the lobby of our hotel. Beautiful weather once again with breathtaking backdrop.

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After checking into our hotel, it’s time for lunch and we opted for some pizza — huge pizza in fact. So delicious on a cold, cold day.

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This area has been inhabited since the end of ice age. Archeological excavations in Tønsvika, just outside the city limits have turned up artifacts and remains of buildings estimated to be 9,000 – 10,000 years old.

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Tromsø experiences a subarctic climate because winter temperatures are just cold enough to qualify and the summer season is short. However, the weather and precipitation amount and pattern, with maximum precipitation in autumn and early winter, as well as lack of permafrost, are atypical for subarctic areas.

Tromsø has a reputation in Norway for getting a lot of snow in the winter although there is a lot of variation from year to year. The all-time record for snow depth was set on 29 April 1997, when the meteorological station on top of Tromsøya recorded 240 centimetres (94.5 in) of snow on the ground.

The lowest temperature ever recorded is −18.4 °C (−1.1 °F), in February 1966. However, at the airport, also in the city, the lowest ever recording is −20.1 °C (−4.2 °F) in February 1985. The January average daily maximum is −2.2 °C (28.0 °F). Summers are rather cool, with average high and low temperature in July of 15.3 °C (59.5 °F) and 8.7 °C (47.7 °F). 

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The Midnight Sun occurs from about 18 May to 26 July, but the mountains in the north block the view of the midnight sun for a few days, meaning that one can see the sun from about 21 May to 21 July. Owing to Tromsø’s high latitude, twilight is long, meaning there is no real darkness between late April and mid-August.

The sun remains below the horizon during the Polar Night from about 26 November to 15 January, but owing to the mountains the sun is not visible from 21 November to 21 January. The return of the sun is an occasion for celebration. However, because of the twilight, there is some daylight for a couple of hours even around midwinter, often with bluish light. The nights shorten quickly, and by 21 February the sun is above the horizon from 7:45 am to 4:10 pm, and 1 April from 5:50 am to 7:50 pm (daylight saving time).

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All information above extracted from Wikipedia.

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Tromsø is a very gracious and romantic city. It’s quite and slow-moving (could be due to the season we visited). We spent 2 nights here and wished we stayed longer so we can do more — like snowshoeing, ice fishing etc.

Next post will be all about chasing the dancing light.

Thank you for looking.

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