On April 21st, it was time to leave Svalbard and the Arctic and head to Tromsø, where I would have one evening to explore the city, before sailing to Lofoten Islands. My flight was at 2 PM, so I slept in and got ready and then headed for the small airport, which is 2 km. away from Longyearbyen. Originally, Piotrek had said that he would drive me, but something happened to his car, so I had to take the bus instead. But while waiting for the bus, a friendly local man named Helge picked me up and drove me to the airport, so I saved 75 NOK – that was really nice of him!
At the airport, I sat with the nice couple that I’d met on my dog sledding trip and we shared our experiences. They told me that the Crown Prince and Crown Princess of Norway were coming to Svalbard in the same plane that we were about to board, so everyone went to the windows to get a glimpse of them, as they came out of the plane. I was even lucky enough to snap a few pictures, hehe – it was very exciting!
Then it was time to board the plane and here, I sat between two men and got talking to one of them, Alex from England, who is working in the travel industry and had been sent on a job on Svalbard and in Tromsø. Lucky for me, he was staying in Tromsø for the night, so I could drop off my bags at his hotel, while we explored the city together. Flying into Tromsø, I couldn’t help but be just a wee bit disappointed that there was still snow on the ground. After 6 days in the cold Arctic, I was really looking forward to experiencing a bit of Spring weather, but that obviously wasn’t going to happen in the near future!
Despite being known as the ‘Capital of the Arctic’, Tromsø is really not very big with just 69.000 inhabitants. It seemed as small as it is and there wasn’t much to see and do on a Tuesday evening. We went for a walk around the center of the city and down to the harbour, which is an absolutely beautiful area with the most stunning view of another part of Tromsø across the fjord. After taking millions of pictures of the beautiful harbour area, we went to a restaurant near the hotel and sharing a big pepperoni pizza! Alex was kind enough to pay for it all (well, his company, haha!), including the taxi that we took earlier from the airport to the center, so it was a cheap night for me and I felt very lucky to have met him!
At 01.30 AM that night, I had to leave Tromsø and Alex and head to Lofoten, where I planned to stay for a few days. I went with Hurtigruten on MS Kong Harald, which took me through many Norwegian fjords all the way to Svolvær in Lofoten.
While on the ferry, I really didn’t do much. It was a nice ship and there was probably plenty to do, but I was really exhausted since I didn’t get much sleep, so I just sat by myself, listened to music and enjoyed the fantastic view of the Norwegian fjords and towns, as we went by them. Also, all the other passengers – and I’m serious, ALL of them – were German pensionists, so I really couldn’t communicate with anyone anyways, haha!
After 17 hours of sailing in and out of the beautiful Norwegian fjords, we finally arrived in Svolvær – the “capital” of Lofoten Islands – at 18.30 on April 22nd, where my next – BIG – adventure began! Stay tuned 😉
- The Midnight Sun on Svalbard
- Lofoten: A Nature Lover’s Paradise