Tromso on a Budget

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  • 21st September 2015
  • One of our guest bloggers here at Nordophile is back. Vanessa Brune made the move from Germany to Tromso in the Arctic of Norway. Whilst running her own site blogging about life in Tromso, Van also knows the true meaning of being a Nordophile and what Nordophiles want to see and do, so she has […]




    One of our guest bloggers here at Nordophile is back. Vanessa Brune made the move from Germany to Tromso in the Arctic of Norway. Whilst running her own site blogging about life in Tromso, Van also knows the true meaning of being a Nordophile and what Nordophiles want to see and do, so she has started guest writing for us with this in mind. Maybe one day you will make the move as well…….

     

     

    Tromso on a Budget – 10 Free Things to do on your visit

    Hello fellow Nordophiles! I’m so glad to be back again! In case you missed my last post about Tromso, my name is Vanessa and I’m a German expat living in Tromso in Arctic Norway. I blog about my life and travels in Scandinavia and the Arctic over at Snow in Tromso and am here today to spread a bit of my love for Arctic Norway!

    I’m currently a student and living in Norway isn’t exactly the cheapest thing to do. Neither is visiting so I completely understand your worries that visiting Tromso might be too expensive. Therefore, I’m here today to tell you: it is possible to visit the Arctic on a budget! Aside from looking out for cheap flights and booking a private room instead of a room at a hotel, there are a couple of things you can do and see in Tromso completely for free. Today I’m showing you the 10 best!

     

     

    Hunt the Northern Lights

    This is probably the best about Tromso: the Northern Lights. And yes, you can see them for free! Of course, there are Northern Lights tours for tourists which is great when the sky is cloudy and they drive you to less cloudy areas. However if the sky is clear, you’ll most likely see them in the middle of Tromso too! I can see them from my bedroom and I live in the city center! Although, if you want to take really nice pictures of the lights, you’d need to get away from the lights of the city. No problem though as Tromso Island is big and you can get outside of the city within a half hour walk.

     

     

    Experience the Midnight Sun

    Interested in more natural phenomena of the Arctic? If you visit Tromso during summertime, you’ll experience the Midnight Sun (aka 24 hours of daylight) included in your stay. It’s so nice to take a walk around the city centre in the middle of the night while it’s still bright outside.

     

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    Go on a Hike

    Speaking of going on a walk, the Arctic nature can best be experienced outside of the city on a hike through the forests or in the mountains. There are so many hiking routes for you to choose from and all of them are clearly marked. My favourites: walking around Lake Prestvannet, hiking from the Northern tip of Tromso Island to the Southern tip or going up Mountain Storstein or Mountain Tromsdalstind on the mainland.

     

    The Southern Tip of Tromso Island

     

    Visit Perspektivet

    Tromso also has some culture for you to offer and some of it is even for free. Perspektivet, for example, is a photography museum with changing exhibitions – all of them for free!

     

    Perspektivet

     

    Visit the Northern Norway Art Museum & the Gallery of Contemporary Art

    If you’re interested in art, the Northern Norway Art Museum and the Gallery of Contemporary Art should be on your must-see list of places for your Tromso visit. Both are free of charge and both host wonderful Norwegian art you might not be able to see anywhere else.

     

    Gallery of Contemporary Art

     

    Get on board of the Hurtigruten

    Want to see what it’s like to cruise around on Norway’s coastal steamer? The Hurtigruten can be found at Tromso harbour every day from 2.30 to 6.30 pm and can be visited free of charge. You can have a look around the ship, drink coffee in the cafeteria and even use the whirlpool on deck while having a fabulous view on the Arctic Cathedral.

     

    Hurtigruten

     

    Have some Beach Time

    Yes, Tromso has a beach and even though it might not be warm enough to go for a swim during your visit, you should definitely head out to Telegrafbukta anyway. It’s such a beautiful place in the South of Tromso Island and the perfect place for an evening walk at the ocean!

     

    Telegrafbukta - the beach of Tromso

     

    Visit the Botanic Garden

    The Arctic-Alpine Botanical Garden in Tromso is showcasing plants from the world’s Arctic and Alpine regions, like the Himalaya and the Rocky Mountains, and is situated right below the University. To walk through the Gardens is free and should be on your list of things to do if you visit the city between May and October!

     

     

    See Reindeers and Polar Bears

    Tromso is in the Arctic so of course you’ll see reindeers and polar bears! Okay, the polar bear might only be a stuffed one at Mack Brewery but you can also see real reindeers near the University (in captivity) and over on Tromso’s neighbouring island Kvaloya (wild), besides seeing them all over the city centre for decorative purposes.

     

    Reindeer

     

    Take in the view of Tromso from above

    Tromso is such a beautiful place – and even more so if seen from above! The sight of Tromso Island, in the middle of the fjord between the mainland and the island Kvaloya is just so amazing! You can have this view after hiking up Mountain Storstein and as this might be a tough hike not exactly suitable for less well-trained people, you can always go for a much easier hike from the University to the ski jumping tower and look at the mainland and great parts of Tromso from that one. The views will be equally nice, promised!

     

    Tromso from above

     

    You see, Tromso might be in the Arctic and one of the most expensive countries of Europe, but it’s definitely possible to visit the city and see a lot while being on a budget!

    If you want to read more about Tromso and my life in Arctic Norway, head on over to Snow in Tromso and leave a comment below telling me what you’d like to do if you’d visit Tromso one day!

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    Guest Blog – Autumnal Tromso

  • Guest
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  • 25th August 2015
  • Here at Nordophile we are excited to be bringing you some guest bloggers and new writers to our site over the next few weeks. We start with a guest blog from a Nordophile who was lucky enough to make the move to one of the Nordic countries. She blogs about her experiences and has kindly offered […]




    Here at Nordophile we are excited to be bringing you some guest bloggers and new writers to our site over the next few weeks.

    We start with a guest blog from a Nordophile who was lucky enough to make the move to one of the Nordic countries. She blogs about her experiences and has kindly offered to give you an insight into the Arctic city she now calls home and why the season which is upon us, is the best time to visit!

     

     

    Autumnal Tromso – A Magical Time

    Hello, fellow Nordophiles! My name is Vanessa and I’m a German expat living in Tromso in Arctic Norway. I blog  about my life and travels in Scandinavia and the Arctic over at Snow in Tromso and am here today to spread a bit of my love for Arctic Norway!

    Two years ago, I first made the journey to Tromso. It was October and therefore, cold, rainy and grey. I only stayed in the city for one night and one day before embarking on a cruise to the North Cape, but that one night and one day were enough to fall in love with Tromso. Now two years later, I’m living in the biggest city of the European Arctic and am looking forward to the beginning of autumn again. It’s a magical time for so many reasons!

     

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    The first thing I saw of Tromso was it’s snow-covered mountains, slowly appearing beneath the clouds while looking out of the plane window. Once I got out of the plane, fresh, crisp mountain air welcomed me and even though it was colder than I had expected and I was absolutely freezing, there was something about that moment that I’ll never forget.

    Later that day, I went on my first stroll through the city centre and found a cute, little, Norwegian seaside town that even looked colourful on a rainy day. I mean, red, yellow and even turquoise houses? On a dark day in autumn, these colours pop even more and look so pretty with the golden leaves of all the trees. It took only one hour wandering through the streets of Tromso until I knew that I could live in that city.

    Fast forward a year. I moved to Tromso in August and after about two weeks of summer, autumn arrived. I spent my first weeks in the city going hiking, waiting for the first Northern Lights of the season and experiencing the first snow of the season – in late September that is! These first weeks were absolutely amazing and it is therefore that I can’t wait for autumn in Tromso as I’m already looking forward to experiencing all these things all over again!

     

    Arctic Cathedral during Polar Night

     

    And if you consider visiting the city one day, here are a few reasons why autumn is the perfect time:

    1. First of all, the cruise ship season is over so the city is way less crowded and it’ll be easier to find accommodation and space in the museums.

    2. The snow hasn’t arrived yet which means you can go hiking on trails that are inaccessible during winter time. Plus, I don’t need to tell you how beautiful a forest is in autumn, right? That combined with snow-covered mountains in the distance makes for some beautiful pictures!

    3. If you’re arriving in early autumn, you might still have a chance to see some reindeer before they embark on their journey to their winter pastures. There aren’t any reindeers on Tromso island but on the neighbouring whale island, Kvaloya, you can almost always spot a reindeer or two from spring to late summer.

     

    Tromso Island in Autumn

     

    4. With the midnight sun disappearing and nights finally becoming dark, you can see the Northern Lights again! And in autumn that means, you can wait for them outside without almost freezing to death. Plus, Tromso looks really pretty at night and especially the Arctic Cathedral makes for a nice picture in the dark.

    5. If you’re lucky and at the right place at the right time, you can experience the first snow of the season. Usually, people complain that it’s too early but personally, I prefer snow over rainy and slippery streets. And that feeling of seeing the first snow of the winter is just undescribable, mainly because you never know when it’s finally time. Two years ago, the first snow only arrived in mid-October whereas last year it happened already in late September. I’m so curious to see when it’ll happen this year!

    Can you see why autumn is a magical time in Tromso now? It’s the time of many firsts and lasts and I’m looking forward to the first snow and Northern Lights as much as to the last hikes in the woods and the last reindeer sightings of the season.

     

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    If you want to read more about Tromso and my life in Arctic Norway, head on over to Snow in Tromso and leave a comment below telling me what the best season is in your favourite Northern town!

    Vanessa

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    Poet’s justice to Nordophile

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 30th July 2015
  • Donna-Sørensen

    A poet’s justice to Nordophile will be undertaken by Donna Sørensen who is taking over Nordophile’s Twitter this Friday 31st July – Monday 3rd Aug. Donna Sørensen is an English travel writer and poet, who has spent the last decade living in places as diverse as Canada, Ireland, France and Denmark. She’s lived in Copenhagen for 7 years and […]




    A poet’s justice to Nordophile will be undertaken by Donna Sørensen who is taking over Nordophile’s Twitter this Friday 31st July – Monday 3rd Aug.

    Donna Sørensen is an English travel writer and poet, who has spent the last decade living in places as diverse as Canada, Ireland, France and Denmark. She’s lived in Copenhagen for 7 years and writes about Denmark for a living, as Digital Content Manager at VisitDenmark. Her debut poetry collection, Dream Country, was published by New Island Books in 2013. Donna is the co-host of the weekly writing podcast Write for Your Life hosted on the 5by5 Network in the USA. Follow her on Twitter @theflyingpoet.

     

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    “I’ve moved around a lot this last decade and that’s inspired my début poetry collection, Dream Country (New Island Books 2013). I was born and raised in the UK, but I now live in Copenhagen with my Danish husband and my half-Viking, half-British children”.

     

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    Check out Donna’s tweets over the next few days where she’s going to introduce you to some new Nordic interests to watch out for! @Nordophile

     

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    Sarah Ward – Author

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 29th July 2015
  • Iceland1

    We’ve been speaking with fellow Nordophile Sarah Ward – author, Scandinavian crime literature judge and crime fiction blogger. Sarah Ward is very much at the heart of Nordic Noir in the UK through her blog, which has reviewed some of the most well-known and successful Nordic Noir literary offerings, as one of the judges alongside […]




    We’ve been speaking with fellow Nordophile Sarah Ward – author, Scandinavian crime literature judge and crime fiction blogger.

    Sarah Ward is very much at the heart of Nordic Noir in the UK through her blog, which has reviewed some of the most well-known and successful Nordic Noir literary offerings, as one of the judges alongside Barry Forshaw and Kat Hall for The Petrona Award for ‘Best Scandinavian Crime Novel‘ and she has recently found the time to sit down and pen her own novel, which although set in the UK most certainly has a noir aspect to it.

     

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    Do you consider yourself a Nordophile and completely embrace the whole culture or are you more specific to Nordic literature? 

    I’ve visited all the Nordic countries with the exception of Norway so I do consider myself a Nordophile. I’ve been to Iceland twice and am going later this year and again in 2016 so that’s the country I know the best. However, my main interest is reading in general and crime and thrillers, in particular, Therefore I’m particularly fascinated by the crime fiction that these countries produce.

     

    Out of all the Nordic countries where do you prefer to visit and learn about?

    The first country that I visited was Sweden, then Denmark and Finland and most recently Iceland. I’m always fascinated by the unknown and therefore I’d say that I want to go to Norway the most at the moment. In particular I’d like to visit the arctic circle. There’s something fascinating about the frozen landscape. I’d also like to visit the Sami region of Scandinavia.

     

    How did you first become interested in Scandinavian crime fiction?

    Henning Mankell was the first Scandinavian writer that I read and loved. It was in the late nineties and I devoured all his books. After that, I tried to find as many Scandinavian crime novels as I could. Early favourites were Arnaldur Indridason and Hakan Nesser.

     

    Your successful blog crimepieces.com reviews crime fiction books, particularly Scandinavian crime, how have you seen this genre grow over the last few years?

    In the 2000s, the genre exploded in the UK. I’ve never paid that much attention to the ‘hype’ in Scandinavian crime fiction. I enjoyed the Steig Larsson trilogy but I that think there are better books out there too. Reading for me, first and foremost, is a pleasurable activity. If a book grips me and I can’t put it down, I can forgive the writer most things. I read for entertainment, pleasure and for escapism. Of course, I also read with a critical eye. But I am first and foremost a reader not a critic. 

     

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    Another role which you have taken on is as one of the judges at the ‘The Petrona Award for Best Scandinavian Crime Novel’. How did Petrona come about and what part do you think the award plays within the Nordic Noir genre?

    The Petrona Award was set up in memory of one of the early bloggers, Maxine Clarke. She was a great reader of Scandinavian crime fiction and supported many of us bloggers when we first started. The award was the brainchild of Karen Meek from Eurocrime and she approached me along with Barry Forshaw and Kat Hall to judge the award. in the three years that it’s been running, we’ve seen the award go from strength to strength and it’s mentioned on the covers of a lot of the shortlisted books. We hope it celebrates the excellence of Scandinavian crime fiction, I think last year there were over forty eligible books. The shortlist was particularly strong and any of those novels could have won.

     

    This has been an extremely busy time for you this past month as you have just published your first crime novel ‘In Bitter Chill’ although it is not set in the Nordics, the ambiance seems to be quite Nordic, was this your intention?

    It wasn’t particularly my intention although the cold landscape has a strong role in my book. I certainly didn’t set out to copy Scandinavian crime fiction. But I think I’m influenced by everything I’ve ever read from Agatha Christie to Jo Nesbo.

     

    In Bitter Chill Royal HB 2Ec 2 small copy

     

    ‘In Bitter Chill’ has been well received, does this mean you have a second novel coming?

    I’ve just finished my second book which is also set in the Derbyshire landscape but this time in spring. It has the same police characters but a new central protagonist. I’m hoping to write a quartet set in the region. So, fingers crossed!

    www.petronaaward.co.uk

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