TromsøJuly 8, 2017 in Norway
Although Tromsø was out of our way, we thought that as it was by far the largest city in northern Norway, it was worth a visit. Driving to the end of the peninsula, we passed through an undersea tunnel to get to the island of Tromsøya on which most of the city was located. We are getting used to travelling through tunnels and this looked like your everyday two lane tunnel. The only thing was that it was the left of two tunnels in a country where you drive on the right. It was used to take traffic in one direction, then switched entrances and exits to take it in the other. We found it more than a little disconcerting that green arrows directed us to the blocked right side tunnel, while barriers funneled us into the left. After 5 minutes of daylight the sat nav plunged us into yet another tunnel. This one had three roundabouts in it with other subterranean roads leading off in different directions. The sat nav lost us and so we had to guess at which of the exits signed 'Sentral' we needed to take. Luckily, Will's sense of direction still worked underground and we ended up at the world's northernmost Botanic Gardens as planned.
Unfortunately Vicky was feeling too fatigued to do a tour of the city but we both really enjoyed wandering around the free, open air gardens, with their Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine areas. Tiny cushion plants bunched together on gaps between rocks where earth had accumulated. Our favourite plants were the Himalayan Blue Poppies that came in a range of sizes and whose colours ranged from indigo when first peeping out of their buds, to a light blue after they'd been faded by the 24 hours of UV exposure day in, day out.
On our way out of Tromsø we passed the Arctic Cathedral, a striking place of worship, encased in 11 white arching triangles designed to resemble glacial crevasses like the one we'd seen in the glacier a few days ago.
That evening we returned to the waterfall restplace we'd stayed at the previous night and filled the van's tank with water from the waterfall.Read more