Tromso on a Budget

  • Guest
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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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    Iceland Writers Retreat

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 21st August 2015
  • writers-retreat-2

    Nordophile has dedicated this week to Nordic literature. We have interviewed Sara Blaedel, featured The Nordic Literature Prize awards, asked questions to some of your favourite Nordic authors on our Twitter page and showcased some Nordic book fairs and festivals coming up later this year in some of the Nordic cities. To round of this […]




    Nordophile has dedicated this week to Nordic literature. We have interviewed Sara Blaedel, featured The Nordic Literature Prize awards, asked questions to some of your favourite Nordic authors on our Twitter page and showcased some Nordic book fairs and festivals coming up later this year in some of the Nordic cities.

    To round of this special week, we are bringing you Iceland Writers Retreat. For many writers a retreat is where it all begins, nurturing an idea, engaging with other writers and building the confidence to put pen to paper.

    Could you be funded to attend?

    The Iceland Writers Retreat Alumni Award has been funded to support one writer with outstanding potential to attend the Iceland Writers Retreat in Reykjavik, Iceland in April, 2016.

     

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    The Event

    The third annual Iceland Writers Retreat will feature small workshops and panels by renowned authors, focusing on the art and craft of writing. Through exclusive trips and talks by local writers, it will also introduce participants to Iceland’s rich literary tradition. Between sessions, we’ll offer you time to find inspiration and write in an unforgettable setting as well as show you some of Iceland’s natural and cultural sites.

     

    Workshops and Panels; Over the course of the retreat, each participant will be enrolled in a total of five small-group writing workshops (max.15 participants) led by internationally acclaimed authors, a Q&A panel with all faculty, and numerous readings and social functions.

     

    Where and When?

    The third annual Iceland Writers Retreat will take place in Reykjavik April 13 – 17, 2016.

     

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    The Founders

    ELIZA REID owns and operates a company specializing in event management and marketing communications. She is also a writer and editor and has been published in numerous magazines and newspapers in the UK, U.S., Iceland, and her native Canada. Eliza holds an honours BA in international relations from Trinity College at the University of Toronto and an MSt in modern history from St. Antony’s College, Oxford University.

    Eliza’s current and past projects include working as the editor for Icelandair’s inflight magazine, Icelandair Info; copy editor, writer, and marketing consultant for many of Iceland’s largest organizations; and project manager for successful international conferences in Reykjavik.

    Eliza has lived in Reykjavik, Iceland since 2003. She has travelled extensively and published about experiences as varied as almost being stranded in Timbuktu and dining with strangers in Uzbekistan. She lives with her husband and their four energetic young children.
    Visit her at www.elizareid.com.

     

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    ERICA JACOBS GREEN has worked in book publishing for nearly twenty years. A graduate of UC Berkeley with a BA in English, past highlights of Erica’s publishing career include positions as a children’s book editor at Chronicle Books, founder of Ever After Studios (a book production company), and Director of Publishing at Discovery Channel (Discovery Communications). As a freelance writer and editor, her articles and short stories have appeared in anthologies, newspapers, and online. Erica has worked with award-winning authors and illustrators as well as an array of famed brands for children and adults: from Jane Goodall to Star Wars and Dr. Oz to Williams Sonoma.

    Today, Erica is a Senior Editor at National Geographic in the children’s book group. She also is the Co-Founder of the Iceland Writers Retreat and is at work on a novel. Originally from California, Erica spent eight years abroad as an American expat, including two years in Iceland. She recently moved back to Washington, DC where she now lives with her husband and two small children in a house full of traveler’s artifacts. http://ericajgreen.wordpress.com/

     

    Iceland Writers Retreat_at Cityhall_0. Image by Roman Gerasymenko

     

    So what actually happens at the retreat?

    TIME TO WRITE: We’ve dedicated blocks of time for writers to focus on writing. Participants can choose to stay in the quiet hotel or wander over to a café in town. We’ll provide a list of the best coffee shops and libraries for writing.

    EXCLUSIVE RECEPTIONS: Iceland wants to welcome you. We hope that, as in previous years, participants will be invited to cocktail receptions hosted by local embassies and Icelandic leaders, and will confirm details closer to the event.

    MUSIC, FOOD, & MORE: Late night offerings include a chance to hit the streets of Reykjavik to see live music, listen to readings by local writers, and dine at some of Reykjavik’s best eateries. And you’ll be well fed: IWR enrollment includes breakfast, three lunches and one dinner, plus coffee during breaks and cocktail receptions.

    [The Retreat] included many interesting activities outside of the workshops.” Heidi, Australia, 2015 participant

    “RELAX & WRITE” OPTIONAL EXTENSION: Once you’ve been inspired by Iceland and by the writing workshops, why not spend some additional, quieter time in Reykjavík to work on your writing and enjoy the continued company of some of your fellow writers? The optional “Relax & Write” two-day extension includes two additional nights’ accommodation. You have free time during the days to take additional tours, walk through town, shop for souvenirs, or write in a local café. The group will then gather in the evenings for dinner together. At the second dinner, we’ll have an open mike night where you’ll have an opportunity (if you wish) to share some of your own work with your fellow IWR participants.

     

    IWR_2015_062_©_Roman_Gerasymenko

    photo; RomanGerasymenko

     

    Why Iceland?

    Iceland has a rich literary tradition dating as far back as the nation’s settlement 1100 years ago. The country’s 12th and 13th century sagas — heroic tales of family feuds, adventures and heroism — are revered as both historical and literary works of art and have inspired modern tales from the Lord of the Rings to Wagner’s four operas, The Ring of the Nibelung.

    Iceland’s only Nobel Prize winner, Halldór Laxness, was recognized in the field of literature in 1955. The country publishes more books per capita than any other nation on Earth. And its capital, Reykjavik, is the world’s first non-native English speaking UNESCO City of Literature.

    While it has a strong literary tradition, Iceland’s natural attractions are justifiably world famous. Within just a short drive of the picturesque capital, you’ll find moss-covered lava fields, snow capped peaks, steaming geothermal fields, powerful glacial rivers, and photogenic waterfalls.

    A modern, safe, and friendly country, Iceland is an easy-to-reach destination. It is just a three-hour flight from the UK, and five hours from the East Coast of North America — and stopovers in the country are free for up to a week if you are travelling from one continent to the other with Icelandair.

     

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    To find out more information and watch videos from last year’s retreat visit IcelandWritersRetreat.com

    Information about funding IcelandwritersRetreat.tumblr.com

    Special thanks to Eliza Reid for allowing Nordophile to use their text and information.

     

     

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    Routes North

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 11th June 2015
  • routes north

    Nordophile is always looking out for blogs which delve deep into one of the Nordic countries, to encourage Nordophiles to visit. We discovered Routes North, which was founded by Steve Vickers. Steve and his writers go to the places with a fresh perspective and then they bring them to you . Routes North was started […]




    Nordophile is always looking out for blogs which delve deep into one of the Nordic countries, to encourage Nordophiles to visit.

    We discovered Routes North, which was founded by Steve Vickers. Steve and his writers go to the places with a fresh perspective and then they bring them to you .

    Routes North was started to help people discover all of the amazing stuff that Sweden has to offer, regardless of their budget. The site covers the entire country, from cool cities like Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö, all the way north to the frozen reaches of Swedish Lapland.

     

    stockholm

    Our destination guides are all researched on the ground by writers who know the country inside-out and speak the local lingo. Apart from money-saving tips and advice on planning a trip to Sweden, you’ll find independent accommodation reviews, detailed guides to museums and other attractions, plus tips on where to eat and drink. Our Sweden forum is the place to get your travel questions answered.

    Routes North is the only Sweden travel guide that pays its own way. We don’t take freebies and we don’t run sponsored posts, so you can always trust what you read on the site.

     

    central-sweden

    Routes North is an independent travel guide to Sweden. Founded in 2014, its aim is simple: to help travellers get the most out of a trip to the country, regardless of their budget. No messing about – just helpful, honest travel advice.

    Unlike the vast majority of publications writing about Sweden, we do not take free stuff or discounts on travel services. Why? Because it means we’re free to say what we really think. All of the hotels, restaurants and attractions featured on this website have been visited in person, anonymously.

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    Routes North was started by the British journalist Steve Vickers, who has worked on more than 15 guidebooks across Europe and Asia and has spent the past six years exploring Scandinavia with his Swedish girlfriend Karin. Want to say hi? Contact us via Twitter or send us an email at:  routesnorth.com

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    Don’t leave Iceland out in the cold.

  • Sarah Surgey
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  • 29th May 2015
  • stuckiniceland

    Out of all the Nordics, Denmark and Sweden seem to get a lot of the attention. Whether it’s the ease in which people from around Europe, can get to them or the fact that we have a lot of dramas and films from there coming our way right now. But the fact is, you mustn’t […]




    Out of all the Nordics, Denmark and Sweden seem to get a lot of the attention. Whether it’s the ease in which people from around Europe, can get to them or the fact that we have a lot of dramas and films from there coming our way right now.

    But the fact is, you mustn’t discard the other Nordic countries, as you will be missing out. After coming across http://stuckiniceland.com/ I was very intrigued by this Nordic nation.

    Iceland is a unique Nordic place, which over recent years has really started to assert itself through its tourism and business.

    It holds some very special events such as; the Icelandnoir festival ,which celebrates its Nordic Noir authors. Countless music festivals in and around Reykjavik. The Reykjavik Winter Lights Festival and DesignMarch which showcases all areas of design, from architecture to fashion and furniture to product design.

    Because Iceland only holds around 325,000 inhabitants, it means they are indulged with vast space, stunning and every changing landscapes and a high quality of life to enjoy. Being outdoors and participating extreme sports is an Icelandic pastime which is enjoyed all year round.

    From beaches to volcanoes and from glaciers to forests, you can see just why people want to show it off, whilst keeping it a secret!

    Stuck in Iceland, is a humorous, informative and passionate blog about Iceland.

    Make Iceland one of your Nordic destinations this year. And if you do, these guys will gladly help you!

     

    Stuck in Iceland

    Visiting Iceland is an Life Altering Experience

    Jon Thorsteinsson and Sigurdur Fjalar Jonsson run the indie travel blog Stuck in Iceland which was launched in September 2012. Jon works as a marketing specialistat the Nordic IT company Advania and Sigurdur Fjalar is the marketing director at the Idan Educational Center. They run Stuck in Iceland as a side project but the site has been growing fast since it was launched and has accumulated just over 131 thousand users during that time.

    stuckiniceland

    Their site features a lot of great travel advice but also contains information the quirks of Icelandic culture and is sprinkled with fascinating details of Icelandic history. “We are amazed by the strong feeling of affection people feel for our country after they have visited it. Above all they are captivated by Icelandic nature and the extreme elements here. It is pretty clear to me that many of  these people find their visit to Iceland a life altering experience,” comments Jon.

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    He adds that originally Stuck in Iceland was originally based on their own travels around the country but now a lot of the content on site, both long form articles and videos, now comes from people abroad who have visited Iceland and have been captivated by their experience are very keen on communicating their experience to the world. “ We absolutely love this content, it is authentic as it is based on real life experiences of traveling in Iceland and as such it is really useful for those who are planning their Iceland trip,” comments Jon.

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    Photo credit Martin Schulz. Read his full article here http://stuckiniceland.com/east/me-myself-iceland-and-the-volcano/

    Photo of Jon Thorsteinsson, taken from http://stuckiniceland.com/extreme/scaling-the-majestic-icelandic-peaks-of-vatnajokull/

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