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Donnerstag, 3. Mai 2012

Tromsø Island, North Norway

I started my life in freedom in a blessed place of this world, exactly 22 years ago, at age of 22: Sunndal Fjord in Norway, Sunndalsøra. Long story, old story.
As I had to leave Norway, in July 1990, I cried. Since then I never stopped to consider that corner of the world my soul place. As I had to leave Norway again, in January 2012, I cried again. Same intensity.
*yes, these are my hands, my red gloves and myself is taking this amazing picture .... I look at it and I still cannot believe I was there ......... The PARADISE DOES EXISTS in so many places on Earth, really!
 After 22 years I found the reason to spend my last savings and go to Norway. Not to Sunndalsøra, as the place were very strongly connected to the people I met there 22 years ago. And they are not there anymore.
The reason was a half marathon, a running race. My first competitional pure half marathon ever. I wrote about the event here, you’ll enjoy the story and the pictures.
But about the small paradise I discovered in Tromsø I didn’t write much and now is the time to do it.

Shortly about light and darkness
 Tromsø is located in the middle of the Aurora Borealis zone, and is in fact one of the best places in the world to observe this phenomenon.
 Because of the planet’s rotation, Tromsø moves into the Aurora zone around 6 p.m., and moves out again around midnight. As it is light round the clock in the summer, no aurora is visible between late April and mid August.
The Midnight Sun occurs from about 18th of May to 26th of July, although the mountains in the north block the view of the midnight sun for a few days, meaning that one can see the sun from about 21st of May to 21 of July. Owing to Tromsø’s high latitude, twilight is long, meaning there is no real darkness between late April and mid August (like in Sunndalsøra too).
The sun remains below the horizon during the Polar Night from about 26th of November to 15th of January, but owing to the mountains the sun is not visible from 21st of November to 21st of January. 
The return of the sun is an occasion for celebration. However, because of the twilight, there is some daylight for a couple of hours even around midwinter (so between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.).

Tromsø city is the 9th largest urban area in Norway by population and there are living about 69.100 people. It is also the largest city and the largest urban area in Northern Norway. The city is actually located on the small island of Tromsøya, 350 km inside the arctic circle. The island is connected to the mainland by a long bridge (if I remember right, about 1.700 m long) and a much longer tunnel.
Tromsø also means the world’s most northerly: University, Cathedral, Planetarium, Botanical Garden, brewery and the station of the Hurtigruten.
The city centre of Tromsø contains the highest number of old wooden houses in Northern Norway, the oldest house dating from 1789.

The Hurtigruten 
is a Norwegian passenger and freight line with daily sallings along Norway’s western and northern coast. The enormous ships sail almost the entire length of the country, completing the roundtrip journey in 11 days. The trip has been described as the “World’s Most Beautiful Sea Voyage”.
The origins are somewhere over hundred years ago. Hurtigruten was established in July 1893 by government contract to improve communications along Norway’s long, jagged coastline.

The University of Tromsø 
was established in 1968 and opened in 1972, being one of eight universities in Norway. The main focus of the University’s activities is on the Auroral light research, space science, fishery science, biotechnology, linguistics, multicultural societies, Saami culture, telemedicine, apidemijology and a wide spectrum of Arctic research projects.
I visited the University after a long walk for about 45 minutes. It was a very pleasant way to see the upper part of the island and to surprise magnificent lights of the Polar Night.
About 7000 students from over 30 different nationalities study here.

Macks Ølbryggeri – the world’s most northern brewery
Follow it in the next days
In 1998 The Norwegian Polar Institute was relocated from Oslo to Tromsø.

The Arctic Cathedral
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I couldn't visit the Arctic Cathedral, too expensive (about 30 euro!) admire it from outside is like a melody ...
The Polar Museum
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The Planetarium
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The City Library
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Follow it in the next days
Sport life
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Follow it in the next days

Some history
The area is historical well documented. It has been inhabited since the end of the ice age. Outside the city limits there has been found traces of a settlement from late stone age (4000-1800 BCE).
The first church on the island of Tromsøya was erected in the 1252 and at that time it was the northernmost church in the world.
By the end of the 19th century, Tromsø had become a major Arctic trade center from which many Arctic expeditions originated. Explorers like Roald Amundsen (his statue in this picture, looking over the icy North Sea), Umberto Nobile and Fridtjof Nansen made use of the know-how in Tromsø on the conditions in the Arctic, and often recruited their crew in the city. The Northern lights observatory was founded in 1927.
In 1964 the Airport was opened and that was a major infrastructural revolution.
To rise the fascination I feel for these cold weather places of Earth I should go to Svalbard and to be closer to the North Pole .... this is my dream!
About my first half marathon in Tromso 

5 Kommentare:

  1. I liked it very much to read this, thank you. The pictures are admireable!

  2. Beautyful!! I am planning to take one year of my study in Tromso, maybe even move there, that will depend on how I cope with midnightsun and the dark time of the year. Being from Denmark I know how the dark time of year. But to live with darkness 24/7 in a number of month in the year will no doubt be different.

    1. Let me know how you find it. I would move to live in Tromoso for ever, if I would find the right solution for that.

  3. Beautiful picture! Did you see the northern light?


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