5 December 2007

Tromso Winter

Almost a month has passed since I arrived here in Tromso. The city is very lively and an important cultural and economic center in the north of Norway.

My brother Jan, his girlfriend Elin and I live in a small flat just outside Tromso. Over a huge bridge, past the airport and through a massive tunnel it is just a 15 minute ride by car or bus to the center. Bicycling takes a bit longer because the bridge is very high and during storms you have to push your bicycle because otherwise you risk ending up being a flycyclist into the fjord. The 2km long tunnel that connects our end of the island with the center of Tromso is also closed to cyclists due to the poisonous exhaust gases inside the tunnel. So it's all the way over the hill past the University and back down on narrow icy roads into the Center - roughly 50 minutes.

On the pictures above you see Tromso and some of its wooden houses in the center.
You can also see how my bicycle takes a rest during bad weather with the other stuff - hanging out next to Elin's kajak. Tromso has a nice town center with a long pedestrian zone. Believe it or not- the pedestrian zone has FLOOR HEATING. Too many people hurt themselves during past winters and after nobody went shopping anymore the shopowners had to come up with some idea to get people walk the streets again safely. On one of the pictures you see the pedestrian zone with its Christmas decoration. See that nice ice-free strip on both sides? In the front left corner is a cafe/bar where I work from time to time. Inside you find a nice atmosphere, good music and the oldest cinema in Norway. Every spring they host an important film festival here. Good that I stay until spring :)

As you can see, my brother and I have fun with the dogs. Here we use a so called "Spark" to race around the neighbourhood. It's a mini-sledge that people use for better balance when walking on very slippery icy days. We didn't feel much like walking so we modified the Spark with two high powered engines: Naita and Ronja... and "Whizzzzzzzz...." off we go!

Now this next one is almost embarrassing...
But the ones who know me better should have guessed that I end up baking Christmas cookies at home and then sell them on the local farmer's market, no?! :)


  1. Dear Tim,

    I have a question for you. I will be staying in Tromsoe for 10 months as of september. I love cycling but I am afraid that it would be difficult to do it in that snowy city. I have seen you were there in the winter two years ago. Is it feasible to get around by bike? Since I cannot bring mine, can I get one (perhaps used) somewhere? can you suggest me any store/website? Would you suggest a mountain bike rather than a hybrid? I fancy road bikes, but I gues those wouldn't do much there... Thank you very much!!

  2. Hello Tim, Irene, and anyone else interested in cycling in Tromso!

    I'm planning a bike ride in the polar night right in the beginning of January 2010. Possible start is Kilpisjärvi on the Finnish border (I come from Finland) and possible destination point - or maybe just a midpoint - Tromso.

    In Tromso, I'll be probably staying in some kind of hotel; nights (he-he, someone told me there will be just one of them ;) ) on the road to Tromso is still under planning - I'm investigating, is it possible to rely on warm accomodation, or will it be necessary to carry the full winter camping set. I'll be very thankful for any pointers. So far, I did not manage well to find many all-year open overnatting places between Tromso and Kilpisjärvi.

    Have a nice Christmas!