Now onto Tromso, our next port of call in this beautiful Norwegian voyage. Tromso, located within the Arctic circle, is a major cultural hub and is famous as a viewing point for the colourful Northern Lights. Tromso was one of the best days we had, in terms of weather. If I remember correctly, it was blue, sunny skies for the whole day. It was absolutely perfect; there wasn’t a drop of rain or dark, grey cloud to be seen. This was another port where we decided to explore on our own. Tromso is a little bit harder to explore in all its entirety by foot since everything is a little bit more spread out than the other ports. Some things are one side of the bridge; some are on the other side. However, if you’re looking for some exercise and only pick about 3 to 4 main attractions, touring on your own can be very enjoyable. The ticket prices are also much less expensive compared to the shore excursion tours organized by the cruise ships. I definitely recommend it. In my opinion, when you’re not being rushed by tour guides and time restraints, you enjoy the sites more. And that’s what Norway is all about: relaxation and taking in its beauty.
We started our day off by visiting the Tromso Cathedral, as pictured below. Tromso is very famous for one cathedral in particular- the Arctic Cathedral. These two cathedrals are not the same, so make sure you pay close attention to that detail. The Tromso Cathedral is very notable since it is the only Norwegian cathedral made of wood. Built in 1861, it is a beautiful example of a church built in Gothic Revival style, and it contains over 600 seats. You get a very different feel from this church, so I definitely recommend the visit!
Deciding to wander around a little, we stopped by the Polar Museum to take a couple pictures. I’d recommend the visit if you’re interested in learning more about hunting in the Arctic, polar seafaring traditions, and more. We only saw the outside.
While in Europe, we can never get enough of cathedrals and churches and so, we went on to visit the renowned Arctic Cathedral. This is the one you’ve probably seen on postcards and postcards. This is the one that most likely comes up first when you Google “Tromso,” and I can completely see why. It is absolutely stunning. It’s not like the other cathedrals you typically see; the architecture for this one is so unique and so well planned. It has been referenced to as the “opera house of Norway,” with a link to the famous Opera House in Sydney, Australia.
To get to the Arctic Cathedral from where the Tromso Cathedral and Polar Museum are, you have to walk the distance across the Tromso Bridge. It spans a total length of 1,036 metres, or 3,399 feet, so it can be a bit of a trek. But the walk is not something to be dreaded! You get to see the blue waters, famous Tromso attractions lining the shore in the distance, and the Norwegian drivers speeding past. So enjoy the walk, trust me.
Now it’s time to marvel at the Arctic Cathedral. Completed in 1965, it is made mainly of concrete. The inside of it is just as impressive, with its large stain glass window. It is made up of 11 “blocks.”
I just quickly want to point out how a blue sky makes every picture better- if only Norway was always like this.
Next, we made our way to the “Fjellheisen.” Puzzled? Did you mutter your best guess of the pronunciation of the word in your head as you were reading? Not to worry. “Fjellheisen” is just a fancy, Norwegian word for the cable car in Tromso. The cable car runs from Solliveien in Tromsdalen up to the mountain ledge, Storsteinen (421 m above sea level) in just four minutes. Ticket prices are 170 Norwegian Krone for adults and 60 Norwegian Krone for kids. If you’re going with a family, which includes up to 2 adults and 2 children, it’s 350 Norwegian Krone. The ticket fares may seem a little pricey, but the view is absolutely worth it. It will take your breath away.
It was like I was in a storybook and everything around me was so perfectly illustrated. The sky was exactly the right shade of blue, and it mirrored the gentle ripples of the water below. The grass was soft, and the perfect shade of green. Everything was so picturesque. It still feels like a dream, looking back on the pictures. This definitely makes up for Stavanger and all the other rainy days.
That officially wraps up Tromso! Stay tuned for the next post on Gravdal and the Lofoten Islands- this is one that is not to be missed! Happy travels.