Given that it took me about a month to get this blog going, there were a few fun adventures to share that took place during those beginning weeks when Nana and Aunt Alli and Boris were all in Tromsø for a visit. As I already wrote about in Navigating the System, it was a busy first few weeks of trying to get all of our paperwork filed, finding an apartment, getting furniture,etc… but we still had to have some fun. It was so nice to have some visitors, not only to help but to get us out enjoying our new surroundings.
One of our first visits was to Polaria, the museum of polar science and history next to Joel’s workplace. The visit started with a pretty cool film on the Arctic Polar land and animals for Northern Norway. From there we wandered the mini-aquarium until we came to the big attraction – the seal pool. They have adecent size pool with several seals and we were just in time for the feeding. The walrus seals have the whiskers, the regular seals akids were of course enthralled with being so close to the seals and watching them do some of their tricks. Pretty cool!
The next adventure, thanks to Boris making some plans ahead of time, was a daytrip of dogsledding. We met a tour bus at a local hotel and all thought we had gotten ourselves into some cheesy super-touristy activity. Luckily, though correct that it was touristy, it was a lot of fun! The bus took us about 20km out of Tromsø to the Villmarkssenter on the island of Kvaløya. At the center we were greeted by a nice little Sami style village (Sami is the local indigenous population that were traditionally reindeer herders) and a load of dogs ready for their daily exercise pulling the sleds. I don’t remember the exact number of dogs that were kept there, but it was somewhere in the 200s. We even met one named Odin! As everyone was getting appropriately geared in warm clothes we were able to wander the grounds, pet some dogs, and check out the sleds and puppies. Joel, Odin, Adelheyd and I were put in one sled while Boris, Alli and Jackie joined in a second sled. There were a total of about 20 sleds in the group, holding between 1 a 4 people each. We were lucky enough to be in the lead sled driven by the owner of the whole operation. It was a beautiful sunny day, so we were able to see a lot of the beautiful scenery, but as typical with sunny days in the winter…it was pretty cold just sitting there. We were out for about 90 minutes and returned to a nice warm meal of reindeer stew, coffee, bread and brownies for desert. It was a wonderful day!