Norway 2011: Tromsø

Today I had my breakfast in the restaurant next door (because that’s where this hotel serves its breakfasts), came back up to my bed for another hour or two and then went out into Tromso. It was very damp and quite cold. Last night I saw a Eurospar supermarket just down the road so today I went in there. They have cheddar cheese! Cathedral City cheddar cheese!

I went down to the TIC where I was told that the last bus from the cable car definitely leaves at 00:15.

I prowled the town until I found the souvenir shop which I’d seen yesterday but temporarily lost and I bought a Norway flag badge for my blanket and a Viking ring.

Then I went up the back of the town in the hope of emerging into something that wasn’t city. No luck. But I did find the Polaria centre, just as the rain really started bucketing down. I may or may not have bought another duck. Just the one.

I went back to the hotel to eat my bread and cheese and stayed there for a long time. It was pouring with rain and while the setting is spectacular, Tromso is not hugely exciting in itself.

When I heard a honking down in the fjord, I went to visit the Hurtigrute boat – the Polarlys, which I saw sailing out of Trondheim on Saturday. Then I wandered down to the left of town and found myself walking over the bridge again. Because it’s very exposed up there, it felt far windier and rainy than it did on solid ground. I was very glad I’d practised walking over it in nice weather yesterday because it would have been terrifying doing it for the first time in that weather.

I sheltered under the pyramids of the Arctic Cathedral and then got my photo taken there to compare and contrast with yesterday’s sunny photo.

Then I had to walk back over. It was so wet! I stopped briefly in the bookshop, as I always do, in the hope of finding Mrs Pepperpot in Norwegian and then retreated to the hotel. I’ve had two cups of “chocolate milk” from the machine downstairs, which both turned out to be very hot chocolate. I thought I pressed the wrong button the first time, but no. I have watched Echo Beach, Top Gear (the one where they pretend to be 17-year-olds) and now Live at the Apollo – Jason Manford hosting and Michael McIntyre on next, so it’s time to switch the TV off. My arms itch like crazy. They’ve been soaked in cool water but it hasn’t helped.

I am going up this mountain tonight and departing the moment I’ve taken my photo of the sun. I am more or less packed and ready to go. Perhaps I will go as early as possible so as to be able to look at the mountains on the other side of this island.

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