Sunday, July 30, 2017

Trolling the streets of Tromso, Norway

Tromso is the largest of the Norwegian ports we are visiting on this cruise.  Once in the city centre, most of Tromso’s sights are within walking distance. To do Tromso on your own, you had two options. Purchase a day ticket that got you around easily using the bus system, or purchase a return ticket on the ship’s shuttle.

In planning our day, we decided on the latter as we were going to do everything by foot, except for the 4 kilometres walk into the town centre. Let’s face it, we needed the exercise, but not that much.

Surrounded by mountains still capped with patches of snow, Tromso is a pretty city with a wonderful mix of old and new architecture standing side by side. Picture perfect images of brightly painted timber house adding a splash of colour to today’s typically grey day.

We had to walk the Tromso Bridge to reach the stunning Arctic Cathedral.  This ultra-modern triangle shaped building can be seen from all over Tromso.  It features a beautiful floor to ceiling stain glass window, but missing was the magnificent crystal chandelier designed to depict hanging ice formations… damn!, taken away for maintenance apparently. The organ is nice too, except we weren’t quite sure if it was a tune that the organist was trying to play.

Continuing further along we arrived at Fjellheisen station, where we rode the cable car to the top of Storsteinen Mountain.  The beautiful views were hampered by the nagging fog that hung around continually all day.  We walked across the top of the mountain to one of the snow patches that was still left behind.  Expecting to be able to grab a handful snow, it had turned to ice and crunched as you walked upon it.  Other passengers were very excited as this was the first time they had been that close to snow.

Making our way back to the city centre we decided to walkthrough the small residential streets. Beautifully painted cottages with gardens full of lupins, hollyhocks, daisies and pansies, again adding colour to this otherwise dull day.

We walked down Storgata, the main shopping street, passing rows of the historic timber houses. The Tromso Cathedral is a stark contrast to the Arctic Cathedral.  It is the only one made of timber in all of Norway.  The Arctic Cathedral had the wow factor, this cathedral has the warmer, more inviting feeling with its more ornate interior.

There is something about cruise ship passengers always being able to source public toilets and free Wifi.  Scouring our map, I found a shopping centre, where we took refuge from the cold and made good use of their facilities until it we were ready to head back to the ship.

Gaznjo’s port tips

The ship offered a shuttle for $20 per person return into the city centre. We used this as we were only going in and out once.

On the dock you could purchase a 24 hr day ticket for the bus system for 110 Nok, 55 for seniors.

I am not sure what currencies they accepted and as this was on the dock there is a good chance they also took Euro’s. The city maps are well designed and it is easy to work out which bus you need to go to each of the Tourist Attractions.

Everything is so expensive in Norway, so we basically used our credit card all day, eg 2 coffee’s 90 Nok, that makes it nearly $15.

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