Today Tromsø (once called the "Paris of the North") is a large village inhabited by 60,000+ souls that, despite its rapid growth in recent decades, has preserved almost intact the charm of its historic center of almost entirely different colored wooden houses whose height rarely exceeds 2-3 floors. Located entirely on the island of Tromsøya (connected to the mainland by bridges) downtown Tromso center combines modernist buildings with the aforementioned wooden buildings whose construction date, in some cases, from the late eighteenth century. Despite the fire of 1969 all the guides of the region, say that the historical center of Tromsø has the highest and most notable the concentration of wooden buildings in Scandinavia. If you want to enjoy a nice walk surrounded by historical buildings I advise you take the Storgata street whose flanks are dotted with flirty wooden houses two or three floors high and in where you can find such unique works as the Protestant Cathedral, the Cathedral, built - how could it be otherwise - of wood, or cinema Kino, one of the oldest in Northern Europe and still in operation, aquarium and Polaria museum. Finally the icing on the cake, Skansen fort considered to be the oldest building in and around the city. Northern lights, midnight sun, lively bars and environment, a rich cultural life, a charming historic center and the ability to make countless excursions makes Tromsø a great destination to consider.
Our last visit to Tromso was to see one of the most emblematic places in the city, the Church of Tromsdalen which is one of the churches attached to the Tromso Cathedral. This church was built in 1965 under the direction and design of architect Jan Inge Hovig. It was built on a small hill on the outskirts of the city. The material used is mainly concrete and glass that make up the largest facade on a church in Europe. It's a pity that our visit was outside visiting hours. Next time.
One of the main attractions of the city of Tromsø is the cable car up the mountain Fjellheisen Storsteinen, 420 meters above sea level. At the top there is a point from where you can see a view of the city of Tromsø, waterways and the surrounding mountains, and midnight sun and the northern lights. A 4-minute trip can bridge the gap between the city and the mountains. This route would be a steep walk an hour long by foot. The cable car was put into operation in the year 1961 and since then has been popular with locals and tourists. Its opening during the year depending on the weather, so it is recommendable to look at the website to see the forecast. Many tourists use it as a starting point for trips to the mountains, like Tromsdalstinden, a peak over 1238 meters high, which is visible from the city. It´s a place where you can see the views of Tromsø city.
Polaria is a small aquarium with arctic wildlife. Inside there are several exhibits, aquariums and various special attractions such as harbor seals and bearded seals. There are also two videos projected on the Arctic and the Northern Lights, which are both really cool. In the part of the cafeteria there are some very dramatic pictures of the northern lights that will satisfy you if you have not gotten to see any during your stay in the city. The building is very unique from the outside, and next to it is another glass building where there is an ancient arctic exploration ship. A visit to the aquarium takes about an hour.
We left from Tromso later than expected towards Bodo. The day and the light was perfect to take a picture, but the A6 with continuous zig zags by the Norwegian Sea, made it so no one could get the camara because as usual in these latitudes, the roads have barely any shoulder and although the traffic is usually pretty good, it still means that you can get unlucky and get in someones way. It took many miles to find a small hole and I also believe that with the good fortune to catch one of the best views I've had in my travels. The perpetual snow on the mountains in the background along with Tromso, the whiteness of the existing small clouds, the intense green of the land and the proximity of a completely bare mountains, formed a truly splendid set that was reflected in the deep blue sea.
The springs in Bryggen (old port) of Tromso seem to retain all the charm and splendor of times past, including ambitious Arctic expeditions, as commanded by the legendary Roald Amundsen toward the North Pole. Tromso is a major commercial and fishing port and that housed warehouses teeming with Arctic fish or goods from different parts of the world. Over time the old wooden warehouses, meticulously restored and decorated with colorful paintings, have completely changed their functionality becoming charming hotels, restaurants and lively pubs. Life bustles around the Bryggen in Tromso and wandering around its picturesque corners you can spend an entertaining evening stopping for a coffee, chatting with friends while listening to a concert and having a drink and finally retiring to rest in one of its charming hotels ....
Kvaløyvågen is one of the best places I've ever gone for photographing sunrises. In February a sunrise lasts more than two hours and there are a lot of photographic resources because it's a small fishing area in a very photogenic fjord. According to the locals, sometimes it's possible to see whales from here. At night, due to the low amount of city light pollution, you can see the stars as a perfectly natural spectacle. They're even more sought after than the aurora borealis. During my five nights in Kvaløyvågen, I could see and photograph it during 3 of them. The remaining 2 nights I didn't see it because it was cloudy. Anyway, the weather there is very unpredictable, and the clouds might be in the way for a half hour. A highly recommended place for photographers who love nature and tranquility.
The Trømso Polar Museum in Norway is one of those must-see museums for all polar exploration lovers. It's incredible what appears in a small wooden hut by the sea, enclosing many objects and models. Roald Amundsen, who earned the honour of national Norwegian pride as the first man to reach the South Pole, or the not so known achievement of finding the mythical Northwest Passage connecting the Atlantic with the Pacific Ocean through the intricate and dangerous Arctic channels. In the Polar Museum, you'll find a wealth of information and Amundsen's personal belongings including very interesting photographs and original documents. Nansen also has its moment of glory in this small museum. The visit begins with an interesting (and somewhat disturbing) model of life-size human and animal figures in a fishing cabin and comes complete with hunting seals and polar bears, as well as aspects of life on board fishing ships in this part of the world above the Arctic Circle.
In winter, tours depart daily from Tromso to see the northern lights. You have to have a little luck because this phenomenon doesn't happen if there are clouds in the sky. The phenomenon is AWESOME ... you can see it in the photo.
We have already mentioned in other corners dedicated to Tromsø night owl activity of this city is very lively, but it is unfortunately pretty costly too. In any case, if you like good beer and live music, you shouldn't miss this. It is the Irish Tavern Kelly's Corner, a place where the only obligation of the many customers who visit is fun , drink and enjoy the good (or bad) live music. The dining is just like in any Irish pub, and the best part is really the wild locals, the happy people. They are friendly, easy with conversation and usually much given to drinking industrial quantities of beer .... The owner of Kelly's corner told me ( 4 years ago) that he was getting tempting offers by large grocery chains to gain local, so it is not surprising that this temple Beer and music has turned into a sad mini mall which would be a shame, if you go by Tromsø, Tell me please which was Kelly's Corner ...