The First Night – Bad Weather… Bad Luck!

Sandneshamn Travel Blog

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Tromso by day :-D

@ Troms Fylke [somewhere by night] - Although I’m writing on the next day (more precisely 4:30am of Monday which is already the 10th December), this is the story of our misadventures in the first night of the quest for the Northern Lights ;-(


After leaving the airport to the hotel, in a bus that didn’t want to close one of the doors :-D we arrive at the Hotel Polar, on the same time as everyone else! So another cue line and, guess what, again on the outside!!! This must be some kind of arctic tradition ;-) or to make us get used to the temperature… anyway they sure want us to believe that this around zero temperature is real warm temperature! So, while we were in line waiting to get a place inside we saw someone smoking on the outside, but wearing a t-shirt!!! Yes, just like if we were in Algarve or something like that!!! That guy probably would melt at +20 or 30ºC :-D

Ah! Just to remind me that by 4:00pm it felt just like it was 10pm… weird feeling!!!

Because the room wasn’t ready yet, we got some time to walk around the city centre and take some photos on a Saturday afternoon… although they all look like Saturday night photos :-D

Also tried to buy, in place, some music from a local band of traditional folk music… even manage to find a opened music store… but just to find out it was sold out and would stay like that till Wednesday! Yep… I’m out on Tuesday…

Back to the hotel, room on the 9th floor! The very last floor, so last the elevator didn’t go there!!! It only gets us to the 8th and then we had to use the stairs… but, the view was nice ;-)

All went as scheduled, met Anja at the lobby, to pay for our dogsled activity (booked for the next day)… funny we get to meet before in the plane as she was also on the “Tromsø team” that went to London!.

Tromso - 3:15pm (yes! PM not AM and local time)
.. I also did have time to write something about that flight’s experience, before our quest for the Aurora started at 6:00pm

Also as scheduled, at 6:00pm, we met our guide KS (a local photographer) and get onboard his 8 seats van, to go in search of what-we-came-here-for…

Weather seems to be on a bad mood :-(

As I understand for the few words he shared about weather conditions, it seems we’ll have quite a hard time getting clear sky tonight!!! Still liked it worst when he tells me we’re heading to the sea side… everything I read before told me that in bad weather in Tromsø we need to go inland and maybe get lucky somewhere, this wasn’t a good sign… As he told me later things were quite heavy inland with snow or rain and bad chances of getting some open sky… So we were heading to Sommarøy!

We start our trip throughout a series of tunnels under the sea (they even got a roundabout down there ;-), which I believe was the first time I was on a tunnel under the sea (not that it makes a lot of difference, just for the record ;-)

On the rear seats of the van, with our journey companions, a young British couple from Gibraltar and an Italian from London, we leave Tromsø island on to another island - Kvaløya - heading west we reach the north part of the island having the sea on our right side… all the way we got another companion, due to the circumstances an annoying one - the rain!!!

Close to Sommarøy, but distant enough to avoid the city lights, we stop by the beach, as our guide decided to try our luck!

This was the time to get to know the other fellows the Italian more communicative the couple more reserved! Seems this was a good day for KS, as he brings two other tourist on a smaller car driven by one of his friends (a big Norwegian as our guide didn’t differ much from us on physical stature, his friend make a lot of difference among all of the people there)… also apart from two Norwegians, two Portuguese and one Italian, the rest didn’t spend much time outside the vehicles, so, we only get to talk with those ones outside… we talk, but not even a sign that the sky could clear up… still had faith that we could get lucky… so we talk about us and them and about our relation with stockfish/klippfisk and the 1001 ways we got to cook it, although they didn’t believe we could do it, so we refer to some of the most common ways we cook it and didn’t insist much on that idea ;-) but we really can cook it 1001 ways, or more :-D

The weather didn’t get better… I passed some time walking on the beach, a frozen beach!!! I took the spotlight with me, so could walk on the beach and get closer to the water… this was the time for another of those many sights that I never seen/felt before… to walk on a sandy beach cover with a thin sheet of ice!!! If you ever want ice on the beach this is the place to be :-)

All the time I had my camera set and ready to shoot, but nothing happened… wrong, something happened, it started raining with more intensity, so after a while they decided we should move… as they were already getting in the cars I had to unmount it all in a hurry… guess this was when I loose my glasses, cause it was raining and I removed them and then I had to unmount it alone and quickly get into the car, so I completely forget about the glasses… and this was the last time I remember wearing them!!!

On the way the guide keep talking on mobile with someone that were giving him some info about the chances in got in other places (or even with people around the area, didn’t get this cleared).

our guide! also the best picture i got this night ;-)
Finally we’re heading inland!!!

Got to go back, through Tromsø, on the way we stopped at a gas station (Statoil) to “refuel” the tourists. I only drank a hot chocolate, but for others it was an essential “pit stop”… specially the guy from the British couple ;-) he was a little, let say big (the word fat is a rude one), she was a little, the opposite! I wasn’t paying much attention but by his comments and others, I guess he ate several hotdogs/hamburgers!!! So it did wonders on their side because he stopped the complaining with her (all the way he was on the negative side, with that: “…we are not going to see anything, why bother… lets go back to the hotel…” kind of talk on her), and went back on the car with a much positive speech, even if we didn’t see anything at the end ;-)

As we were heading inland, I still had some hopes by that time, although that acrobatic fall on the gas station concrete :-(   auuutch!!! It hurts just to think about it… I already had walk on ice in the village and was walking with confidence just like one should do, but on one of those do-not-think-and-try-to-stop steps on the icy ground, I just slept… both feet up in the air and my back on the ground… like an half-semi-mortal jump… very funny on those home-made videos you see on youtube!!! Could have been worst, but fortunately it only hurt when I hit the ground… so I just get on my feet, for the attention of several of our trip companions, trying to check if I was ok! With special attention from the couple on the other car (he promptly get some paper towels so I could clean and dry out myself)!

Back on the road (uuuh! this makes me remember my back!), we pass Tromsø on the way to the mainland… No luck today two more stops, one up the hill, but only to get some snow, the other one on a crossroad, to say goodbye to the couple on the other car (and get to know them too), two friendly Japanese (living in New York for the last 6 years) that were in Finland (Kirkenes - for the Ice Hotel) and did a 6 hours drive to Tromsø expecting to see the Aurora Borealis on a better location! Tough luck for them too!!!

Don’t know at what time we arrive at the hotel (maybe around 1 or 2am), finally I realise I didn’t have my glasses, after searching twice in the car… this was an expensive lost!.

our Hotel Polar room
.. and after a disappointing Aurora search!... What a lousy luck :-(

Fortunately, I did a nice job preparing myself for this (if I may say so myself ;-), so I still kept my spirit high when I got to bed… Already thinking on the plans for the next day ;-)

Ferreira says:
someone already listed 560 (in Portuguese ;-)

on another they have 100 receipts (not just a list) unfortunately only got it in Portuguese but see this pics:
Posted on: Apr 12, 2008
IceTea says:
If u ever have the time please write down the 1001 ways to prepare stockfish/klippfisk. LOL
Posted on: Apr 08, 2008
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Tromso by day :-D
Tromso by day :-D
Tromso - 3:15pm (yes! PM not AM an…
Tromso - 3:15pm (yes! PM not AM a…
our guide! also the best picture i…
our guide! also the best picture …
our Hotel Polar room
our Hotel Polar room
photo by: Ferreira