August 23rd - Tromso

We had breakfast with Jo and Richard Archer who were leaving shortly to fly home. There was a pretty good breakfast buffet. We ordered a rental car from Sixt and decided to have a walk round the centre of town before collecting it at midday.

During our walk, Wendy noticed that the manhole covers have reindeer on them. Quite a change from the norm!

We walked towards Polaria, another polar museum, passing the Mack Brewery on the way. It is the northernmost brewery in the world and, amazingly, the British Consulate is situated there!

The British Consul plaque on the wall of the brewery.

Near the brewery was this statue by the side of the main road. It reminded me of a character from a cartoon.

There was not enough time to go into Polaria, but we looked at the Polar Star, which is a whaling ship from the 1930s housed in a small building next door to the museum.

The Polaria Museum and the Polar Star whaling ship.

We walked back down the main street, Storgata, going past the library.

Next to it is the very modern City Hall and across a small square is the old City Hall.

The old and the new City Halls.

The Catholic cathedral was closed, as was the Tromso Church (Lutheran), which was disappointing as we were unable to visit either of them. The Catholic cathedral is on the very left of this photo looking across the square in front of the City hall.

We caught the No.28 bus to the Sixt car rental on the other side of the bridge, where we rented a Ford Fiesta for one day. We drove off in the direction of Grotfjord, northwest of Tromso, using the very impressive system of tunnels. These tunnels are very useful in winter when there is a lot of ice and snow on the roads above.

We passed the airport and crossed over another long bridge to the mainland. We were surprised how few settlements there were outside the main Tromso area. We were expecting villages, but saw only a handful of buildings, including a fish farm, and a few fishing boats. We went along the side of Kaldfjord then across to Grotfjord. The small hamlet of Grotfjord had little to offer, so we continued on round the fjord and found a sandy beach to sit on and have the remains of our pizza from yesterday.

We walked along the water's edge and saw many jellyfish, most with purple rings on their upper sides, others with brown sunflower-like markings.

There were also sea urchins, so you certainly would not want to swim or paddle here. It was a very pretty place and we were the only people there, until we noticed one young man leaning against a rock listening to music. The mountains here were quite high with impressive rocky outcrops, some with snow on top. Down at sea level, it was very pleasant and sunny!

Our rental car parked by the side of the road above the beach.

We left the beach to continue our drive along an almost deserted road. As we came round a bend, we met a small reindeer standing in the middle of the road. We immediately stopped so that he wasn't worried by the car, but he walked right up to us, obviously unconcerned by people and vehicles.

We drove on to Tromvik at the end of the road. We thought it might be quite a large place, but it turned out not to be so. There was nowhere to stop for coffee or tea, so we just drove to the end of this small fishing village. with its harbour sheltering many brightly-coloured boats.

As we went through Tromvik, we began to see a lot of reindeer, some quite large with enormous antlers covered with "velvet". They were mostly in gardens eating the grass, but appeared to leave the flowers alone.

 We turned round and headed back towards Tromso. It was a very pretty drive. We turned off the route and crossed over a narrow bridge to Hakoy, close to where the German battleship, the Tirpitz, was sunk by the Allied Forces in 1944.

Tim wanted to see whether there was a memorial there, and we found it, overlooking the sea where the Tirpitz went down. There is a simple monument made of steel plate about 3" thick, which actually came from the ship.

Back in Tromso, we walked along the waterfront for coffee and carrot cake, which we had outside a cafe in the sunshine. Later, we went to the Aunegarden restaurant next door to our hotel. We had a good, but expensive, dinner. The waitresses were pleasant and we shared 2 dishes, one of veal, mashed potato and vegetables, the other a barley risotto. Dessert was a home-made vanilla ice cream with berries. For us, Norway is a very expensive country, and we are shocked whenever we get the bill for lunch or dinner!

1 comment:

  1. With RentalCars you can find the cheapest car hire at over 49,000 locations globally.