Ambika Anand’s Top Things to Do in Norway

Ambika Anand's Top Things to Do in Norway
Ambika Anand's Top Things to Do in Norway


Posted By: ambikaanand

The last time I looked at the Arctic circle on the globe was when I was in school.

My trip to Norway began with a desire to see the Northern Lights… a geographical phenomenon that is created due to the collisions between gaseous particles in the earth’s atmosphere with charged particles released from the sun’s atmosphere.

Day 1

Photo Credit: Pranav Bajaj

I started my trip from Tromso in Norway and that entailed many hours of flying, basically Delhi- Frankfurt then Frankfurt to Oslo and finally from Oslo to Tromso.

It does seem long and dreary, but it really isn’t if you are travelling with 6 other people. That is when you tend to spot humour in most situations.

On one of the flights we discovered the black bread, high fibrous bread made with various proportions of flour from the rye grain. On another flight we discovered reindeer meat, a local Norwegian delicacy and we believed it was only salmon!

Soon enough we landed in Tromso and everyone was wearing about 4 layers of woolens and various versions of down jackets and snow boots!  

Photo Credit: Pranav Bajaj

Tromso is a picturesque place where the snow clad mountains seamlessly merge into the sky. The city is home to approximately 75000 people. Walking on the road and snow clad pavements with snowflakes falling from the sky, gently caressing your face was a far cry from all of my Delhi’s roads just 24 hours ago.

Before we headed out to chase the lights we had a 5 course dinner to fuel ourselves, it consisted of delicious food like Mussels, Reindeer Heart, Cod Cheeks, Pork and finally dessert!

At night we went to see the lights. We were in a hired 9 seater van. Chasing them we reached several patches with black ice. Our vehicle got stuck in black ice for 20 mins and we all slipped 5 times each trying to push it. The car was stuck at a mini slope which lead to a lake with freezing water and to make sure the van did not slip, a huge rock of snow was kept behind the tyre! Finally our friend who is a star driver meandered the car in several directions before we were could all jump in it and head back to our agenda: chasing lights!

So we chased these lights till 3 am! Yes the sight was euphoric and the excitement of spotting them even more so. For the naked eyes they appeared light grey with a green tinge. They looked completely green only through an SLR camera on slow shutter speed.

Day 2

Photo Credit: Pranav Bajaj

The morning was spent skiing and running up and down the snow. If you have not skied before try practicing or reading about the art of skiing right so you can spend some fruitful hours on the ski slopes!

This was followed by a 10 kilometers walk and then finally dinner.

We headed to a place that boasted of delicious steaks. Now there we had a situation -One of our friends had too much to drink. Some of us reached early and decided to open a bottle of wine. Our slightly buzzed friend walked in later and snoozed on the shoulder of the person sitting at the corner. The management was so disturbed and did not want to be held responsible for excessive drinking that they told us to have the wine as complementary and exit the restaurant. Of course they were shocked when we let our friend leave and we completed the meal and left only after. Interestingly one is not allowed to carry a glass of any form of alcohol on the road! I was quite impressed with the sense of responsibility that prevails here!

Day 3

Photo Credit: Pranav Bajaj

The next day we drove to Lofoten which is a 508 km drive. Lofoten is a small fishing village and needless to say the cod here was amazing, it literally just melted in my mouth! Lofoten is an archipelago and is known for its distinctive scenery with dramatic mountains and peaks, open seas, beaches and untouched land! The temperature here is considered to be mild even though it is located in the north or the Arctic Circle! It has 24 hours of sunlight in the summer and the beauty of this place is so staggering no wonder we spotted several seasoned photographers standing and taking shots from various angles. Words like nonplus, dumbfounding, stupefy …all come to life when you are in this part of the world.

We stayed in cottages made of pre-fabricated material. The property was surrounded by mountains and was sparsely populated. As the sun went down, it started to drizzle, and the temperature had already hit -1 degree! It honestly seemed like

Day 4

Photo Credit: Pranav Bajaj

At night the strong breeze shook our pre-fabricated cottages. If our cottage disintegrated we would have flown into the freezing water. But knowing that I was surrounded by such natural beauty gave me the security of completing my 8 hour sleep!

While Lofoten has places for lunch and dinner the cafes here are only open from 11 am to 3 pm.
Post a yummy lunch, and of course it was cod, we went fishing in the evening. We were given overalls to wear so we’d be warm. In order to not feel sea-sick, I also tried my hand at fishing…twice. All my fitness obsessed friends would be really glad to know that fishing is a great workout for our arms, as you have to constantly pull the string with a metal bait up and down.  

Photo Credit: Pranav Bajaj

After the grueling activity I took a blanket and slept like a baby, all the while being gently rocked by the waves. However as I enjoyed the waves, three of my friends fell prey to sea-sickness. So it’s important to mention how you can avoid it:

1. Pop a pill to avoid the sickness two hours prior to boarding
2. Keep staring at something that’s stationary like the mountain
3. Distract yourself and try to fish!
4. Carry a blanket, watch the captain at work, have a herbal teas and let the waves and the movement of the boat gently rock you to sleep

Day 5

Photo Credit: Pranav Bajaj

Next up was a car drive for about eight hours, covering some 532 km from Lofoten to Lyngen. We were basically headed towards Uloybukt which is located on the island of Uloya. If you aren’t a big fan of long drives, you could basically while away your time as I did. Which was basically keeping the following things handy – a) Laptop with 100% battery with a good movie collection b) Magazine c) Good music d) Charged phone to chat on e) Or you could just a write a blog, like I did!

After a car and ferry ride and another brief drive, we reached our next stop- The Arctic Panorama, which looks straight out of the movies.

With a population of 18 people, three of who managed the resort, to say it’s a sparsely populated island is an understatement. There wasn’t a soul on the roads, but when you are travelling with a crew of 7 being alone isn’t really a problem. The first day here was spent doing husky sledging and snow mobiling, that helped us soak in the mountains covered with fresh snow. I will admit that I actually did taste some of it, and it was absolutely delicious! To successfully brave through the snow, we were given these really warm overalls that required only two layers of clothing underneath.

Photo Credit: Pranav Bajaj

One of the nights there we saw the moonlight peeping from behind the mountains and back lighting them. The other end and the center of the spectrum had the Northern Lights shining in shades of green and purple. The air here was purer than Tromso so we could see darker and stronger shades of the Northern Lights with our naked eye.

The beauty of this brought out the best emotions as we discussed love, life and a vibrant future all which lay ahead of us. One of my friends was overwhelmed by the surroundings, and felt as though the circumference of light above us represented God’s blessings!

Photo Credit: Pranav Bajaj

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