The past two weekends in Tromsø have definitely been the beginning of Spring. We were warned that the transition from WInter to Spring to Summer happens fast around here and they were not kidding. One week it was dumping snow every night and now it is almost all gone in the city center and people are out riding bikes, fishing and kayaking.
We had to join in on the Springtime fun. It began with the purchase of a new fishing rod that can be used for some ocean fishing from the shore and an idea to go camping. Well Spring is here, but camping season is not. There is still enough snow everywhere that the camping spots are nonexistant. We did, however have a fun time exploring the Norwegian fjords while Joel tried his hand at fishing and the kids and I went on some sea treasure hunts. They also took their turn practicing their casts and are more than ready to catch some fish! The pictures are mostly from the coastline west of Tromsø on Kvaløysetta and Ringvassøy.
The following weekend brought out the bicycles, inspired by a visit from our friends Tim and Elin and their two girls, Frida and Louise. In this all too small world, our good friends Jud and Kerri in Sitka,AK linked us up with two of their friends who had moved to Tromsø. Tim is from the US, Elin is from Sweden and they have been living here raising their girls while they benefit from the free education for medical school in Norway. We have been hanging out with them fairly often. So, they joined us for a pizza dinner followed by some speedy bike riding with Odin and Frida (age 5) chasing each other! Too fun. Unfortunately no pictures…maybe next time.
The big project for me for the weekend was starting an Artic garden on our balcony. I purchased a mini greenhouse then took the kids out to Plantasjon – the local gardening. Compared to American standards, this garden store was like a little closet – not a huge selection. We did manage to come home with some seeds, flowers, and two cacti. We did a little coastline treasure hunting again as the garden store had a nice little beach next door. The kids love finding all the little crab shells, oyster shells, and even a huge dead fish – ewwww. They were excellent gardening helpers as we planted cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, lettuce, spinach, garlic, and carrots. It comes nowhere close to my amazing garden in Missoula, but a fun little project to see what i can get to grow north of the Artic Circle. There are sure to be reports (bragging:) if I am successful!
While the kids and I put together the garden, Joel made his inaugural adventure fishing the open seas with some friends from work who rented a boat for the day. He also was quite successful catching a lot of cod, haddock and cusk (torsk). Now we have a freezer full of fish! Come visit and we will feed you! I have given him a hard time for not taking the typical picture holding a big fish up. I think one of the requirements for becoming a fisherman is to brag about the size of your fish, kind of like I am going to brag about my Arctic garden. He is not as into bragging as I am apparently. So, no pictures of Joel holding a huge cod… He did take some nice pictures from the boat though. I especially like the one of the sun setting and one of the fish drying houses where they dry what they call Stockfish. You can see them everywhere along the coastlines, not always as this one. If you look closely, you can see the fish on the rack.