Tales from Europe: Tromsø

Tromsø, Norway was one of those places that I never thought that I would go to in my time in Europe. It seemed too out of the ordinary and off the beaten path, but when one of my coworkers went and got to see the Aurora Borealis I knew that I had to go.

Now, I have two different ways that I kind of rank the places that I have been to: the location in general (food, sightseeing, etc.) and the experiences that I had there. Tromsø falls in the latter category. Not because it wasn’t a great place, but as far as sightseeing goes and food goes it isn’t on the top of my list. Althought, the experiences I had there were some of my favorite in Europe.

Tromsø, Norway

The main town is very small. The building to the right in the picture above was kind of like the main shopping center. There were all kind of stores in there and a grocery store as well. To the left were some restaurants, one of which I tried Reindeer! (Sorry, Santa). As you can see, the town is pretty small and there really isn’t much going on. Unless, I’m just oblivious and missed it all which could very well be the case.

I was travelling with my coworker and friend Bobby. Our trip started off somewhat interesting because, as it turns out, the Airbnb that we reserved was actually a room in the downstairs of a families house. We had rented a bunch of Airbnb’s before and the family was super nice for the little time that we saw them, but it just kind of took us off guard.

There were two main reasons why this trip happened: to see the Northern Lights and to go dog sledding. Let’s start with dog sledding. It was one of my favorite things that I did in all of Europe and I guarantee you that I will never forget it.

Somewhere in the Arctic Circle, Norway

It was amazing. The dogs could not wait for me to take my foot off of the brake and start pulling. It’s what they were meant to do. Their purpose on this Earth is to pull that sled. They never even stopped to use the restroom, they just ran and went at the same time!

Every now and then our group would have to stop for some reason or another and the dogs would just roll around in the snow to cool off. It was really an awesome experience.

If you would like to see a video of our dog sledding adventure, it will be located at the end of this blog.

The dog was shy

Once we finished up sledding we came back and ate some food in an awesome tent! I don’t remember what the food was or what the tent was called, but I do remember the amazing hot coffee and how it warmed me up!

The hospitality was amazing and my buddy and I actually ended up having a nice conversation from a college student from China. I think he was from Hong Kong if I remember correctly.

The next night, it was time to go hunting for the Lights!

About 5 of us loaded up into a van and set sail (or wheel?) even farther north than Tromsø. We had some difficulty finding the lights at first, but then we reached the area that is pictured above. I’ll be honest, the visibility wasn’t great and to the naked eye it just looked like some clouds. But it was the experience of it all. We were out there in the freezing cold, with our cameras, hoping to capture a glimpse of that great phenomenon.

While we waited for the lights to show themselves, our tour guide made a fire. We had a traditional cake from the region and sausage as well(I think it was Lamb). It was delicious. We all talked around the fire. It’s amazing the people that you meet from various parts of the world, all gathered there in that one spot for the same purpose.

These are the reasons that Tromsø will remain near the top of my list of places that I visited in Europe. Not necessarily because of the town, but because of the amazing experiences that I had there.

Stay tuned for my next entry into the Tales from Europe series! I think the next country that I will do will be Belgium! Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed!

Published by Jacob Fite

My name is Jacob, I'm 30 years old and currently serving in the USAF. Born in Sheridan, Arkansas, USA. I love writing poetry and stories. My first completed story, The Drip can be found here on my blog.

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