"" Writer's Wanderings: Norway--Tromso

Friday, July 17, 2009


We awoke to warm bright sunshine and watched as our ship approach Tromso and docked as we ate breakfast. By the time we donned our layers of clothes (we expected it to be cold), the ship was cleared for disembarking for our day in the scenic town known as the “Gateway of the Arctic.” It is from here that many of the Arctic expeditions set out.

A shuttle bus from the pier took us to a spot near the center of town (about a 20 minute ride) and we set off from there to find our way across the bridge that spans the water between two of the three islands on which the city is located.

About 40 minutes later, we were across the bridge and staring up at the landmark Arctic Cathedral. Since it was Sunday and services were being held, we couldn’t go inside but it was easy to see why this structure is so outstanding. The roof is glassed and the sun shines through giving it an open air feeling. There is a glass mosaic on the back wall but the sun was not coming from the right direction for us to capture the colorful picture in a photo.

Heading up the road from the church, we followed the Cable Car signs and found the Fjellheisen (funicular). For 99 kroner each (about 15USD) we rode up the steep mountainside to the observation area high above the water and the city below. By this time, we realized we didn’t need quite so many layers and began shedding. The sun was quite warming.

We enjoyed the fantastic view and the fresh air. Attracted to a young man with a baby on his back (we are such grandparents!), we struck up a conversation and were astonished to hear his Americanized English—so much so that we thought he was from the USA. No, he told us, he was a local. Apparently they watch so many American movies with no subtitles that the English they learn in school is easily Americanized. Our conversation was about comparing economies, healthcare differences,

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