Flying to Norway was always a dream of mine. I remember sitting in New Zealand many years ago and seeing Norway advertised as a honeymoon destination with the Northern Lights. These images looked so dreamy... and such a romantic place to escape too. Cuddle in an igloo, have a dog sled ride, see some reindeer, look out at the snow-covered mountains and discover the magic of the northern lights. Little did I know that discovering and viewing these northern lights was harder than I had ever imagined.
Fast forward a few years to February 2019 and my dream from many years ago was about to become a reality. Booking accommodation was the first shock to how much Norway would end up costing us. In Tromsø I booked us into the Clarion Collection Hotel which was reasonably priced for Tromsø, it also included breakfast and dinner which was great. But the real shocker was booking into a tent in the middle of nowhere with the chance of northern lights. Camp North Tour was over 600 euro for one night, but whenever was I going to get to do this again so I booked it dealing with the consequences later.
So where are those Northern Lights?
The five nights in Tromsø was not exactly how I had imagined. It was an amazing experience though. Let’s just start with the thing that shocked me the most, the northern lights. There are two things you need to have one of those spectacular experiences you see in all the magazines. You need to have clear skies and you also need for the lights to be active.
In our five nights in Tromsø, we had weather that was not the best. We paid over 200 euro one night to travel by bus for over 2 hours to see the lights for fifteen seconds and then to head back to Tromsø for another 2 hours by bus. This was not the experience I was looking for but at least I saw them … ?
A Tent in white
Our second attempt to see the lights was staying out in a tent in the middle of nowhere. Unfortunately, we paid a huge amount of money but did not get to see them. Instead we experienced a camp site with six tents all to ourselves and snow. The tents were beautiful and the hut and food provided a different experience to Norway. In the morning when we woke up we were snowed in our tent. B had to get out and shovel away all the snow. This was a beautiful experience in itself and provided me with a lot of laughter.
The rest of our time in Tromsø was experiencing the different animal attractions. Of course, we had to do these as most of our trips revolve around some animal encounter or another. Dog sledding was just amazing a we highly recommend it. You get to hang with the dogs, where one got very excited and almost tore my jumper, you also get to drive your own sleds, which B thoroughly enjoyed. Word of warning when you leave the dog sledding area all your clothes will smell very strongly of dog.
The Sami and the reindeers
The other animal experience we enjoyed was the reindeer. Here we got to feed the reindeer which was such a crazy experience. They are all such sweet animals and we found out that they really care and look after these animals. The animals are only brought in from the mountains to protect them over the harsh winter and then they are allowed back out to roam free. The Sami people who care for these animals have a culture that everyone should aspire to when it comes to their care and respect for animals. We also got to have a small sled ride and got to go into the Sami tent to learn more about their culture.
Tromsø, Norway was an amazing experience the city and surroundings are also fun to explore in the snow. The food is also a treat with a variety of delicious items, we particularly enjoyed having a good coffee and pastry daily from one of the may cafes in the town. The town itself is suited to the many tourist needs. It is definitely worth the visit, but be warned your pocket will return very empty... just maybe don’t tell your fiancé, boyfriend etc. beforehand how much it may cost.