Friday evening I was invited by a Norwegian and a Bulgarian to enjoy a hand made sushi dinner. They worked hard and it paid off, it was delicious! I love sushi and there is no place to get it in Harstad so I’m so glad they thought to make some.
I woke up at 6:30am Saturday to catch the ferry to Tromso, a 3 hour ride north to Northern Norway’s largest city. It was dark the whole ride so I wasn’t able to see what I assume were beautiful fjords and mountains so I tried to nap instead; it reminded me of sleeping on the greyhound form PG to Edmonton, scrunched into a little ball on 2 seats.
We arrived and the first thing I noticed was how windy it was. I had checked the weather before hand and it was supposed to be warm but I didn’t account for the chilly wind. First stop was the Polar Museum which I found fascinating. Norway is a nation that is very proud of their polar explorers who have become some of the best known in the world. The museum recounted many of their stories as well as showed exhibits on whaling, sealing, polar bear hunting (there was even a petrified polar bear heard!) and had old equipment from actual expeditions.
The best part, for me, was the exhibit on Roald Amundsen. He accomplished many feats that were sought out and attempted by many explorers from several nations. He was the first person to reach the South pole, the first to lead a boat across the highly acclaimed Northwest passage and was the first person to (undisputedly) reach the North pole. There were old skis and artifacts from some of his expeditions that were almost surreal to see.
Next we headed over to the Polarium, which is a very interesting, and new, polar aquarium. There was a movie shown simultaneously on five screens of Arctic scenery and wildlife. Next, we checked out some seals playing in the water and eating; they were so cute! There was lots of information on Arctic ecosystems and animals as well as a large display of Arctic fish.
The ride back on the ferry was long and I was exhausted. I was planning on having an early night despite it being Saturday, but I got coaxed into going out and didn’t actually get to sleep until past 5am. Sunday morning I had a Bavarian breakfast made for me by the German. I had a lazy day and in the evening I had a meal of pancakes and played some cards games with some girls from Ghana and Germany.
I am having a fantastic time!