Still Chasing the Northern Lights...



Tromso Norway



Part Two~Tromso and The Hurtigruten

So, last night we ate the reindeer, this morning...we played with them.  Well, not all of us played with them; the dads and the kids played.  The moms organized suitcases and explored the town.  Organized the suitcases you ask?  Yes, we were living out of suitcases and getting ready to live in very small quarters.  It was important that we had long underwear, gloves, hats and fleeces, all dry and ready to go when needed.  Okay, maybe organizing the suitcases was an excuse for us to "re-group" before the really cold, sleepless portion of our trip began.

As we "re-grouped" the other half of our group had an amazing day getting to know the reindeer of Norway.  Tromso Friluftsenter took the group on a wonderful reindeer sleigh ride near the Norwegian Fjords.  

Reindeer


Reindeer


Sleighride

They learned about the reindeer, how they have webbed feet so that they can swim, and the Sami people of Norway.  After a peaceful ride, they enjoyed a meal in a Sami tent and played near the Fjords.  





Once they were back it was time for the portion of our adventure that I had been the most hesitant about.  The cruise!  We wheeled our suitcases towards the port, all very curious as to what the Hurtigruten had in store for us.  

Hurtigruten

I personally was convinced that this ship would take me directly to the Northern Lights as thus far they had eluded us.    Boarding was an easy, organized process and we were given our cabins.  As I glanced at the 2 packets that I held in my hand, I noticed that my husband and I were on the 5th floor, while the two younger expats were on the 2nd.  Ohhhh, this was so not going to work.  Anyone who knows my youngest expat knows that he has NO FEAR.  He will climb the tallest of play structures, and then jump off, resulting in a broken arm.  He will run around a wet swimming pool deck, slip and fall and bite THROUGH his tongue...he is fearless and I had fears of him playing the "king of the world" roll made famous by Leonardo Dicaprio and falling into the cold, frozen Fjord, and us being non the wiser.  So, back up to the reception desk, I went...

"Hi, we need two cabins next to each other please."  I stated as I handed her my envelopes.  

"Oh, I'm sorry, we don't have two cabins next to each other."  She responded, completely unaware of just how serious I was.

"No, really...this is NON-NEGOTIABLE." I stated firmly.  Then I went on to explain the antics that my youngest was capable of and that it probably wouldn't be very good when they had to turn the boat around at 2AM, because the child playing "Jack" from the movie Titanic had fallen overboard!


"No problem, here are two rooms next to one another!"  She said as she realized that I was probably right.  By the way, thank you to the staff of the Hurtigruten for being so understanding and accommodating.  

Off we went.  We all got settled in our cabins and meet at our agreed time with our contraband.  Contraband you ask?  Yes, contraband...


For you see, we had discovered that alcohol in Norway was extremely expensive, so we were now pouring the wine that we had purchased in Duty Free into our "travel cups" and sneaking it around the boat and oh yea, into the restaurant.  And we had been told on more than one occasion that we shouldn't be doing this.  Boy, between demanding a room change and demanding or should I say providing our own alcohol we were setting the theme for the trip...It was "non-negotiable".  

The first night on the ship was fun and easy.  As the kids explored the ship, I continually went outside to see if the Northern Lights were visible.  Nothing yet and I must say, I was beginning to get a bit disappointed!  So after an amazing dinner of Arctic Char and wine out of a soda can we decided to turn in for the night.  I was amazingly surprised at how calm the boat was.  No seasickness for me!  But, before I turned in, I had to give it one more shot;  I went outside!  It was cold, cold and windy and as I stared at the overcast sky, and it began to snow, I realize that I would have to continue my search for the Northern Lights...oh and surprise, surprise I did run into the youngest expat in the hallway!

17 comments:

  1. Great post! Who knew reindeer had webbed toes??? And don't feel bad about sneaking booze onto a cruise ship, it happens all the time! When its so expensive why wouldn't you?

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    1. No kidding…webbed feet??? Oh, we were sneaking it everywhere. It's the most expensive wine of anywhere I have ever travelled! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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  2. wow! sounds awesome! even though you haven't seen the elusive northern lights yet, your photos look beautiful. sounds like a fun trip! and i loved that you snuck wine on the ship as well. totally something i would have done :)

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    1. Sneaking wine on the ship, I like you already Christine! You have to keep reading to see if we ever saw them!

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  3. Good luck finding the Northern Lights! We tried to see them when we went to Iceland and even took one of those chartered buses out to the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night, but no dice. Just as we were about to pile in the bus, we saw them! They only lasted about 15 seconds but it was better than nothing. I would love to try again someday, either back in Iceland or on a trip like the one you're on. Have a blast! And good luck keeping the littlest expat on board :)

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    1. Haha, thanks Vicki…he is a handful! You have to keep reading to see if we see them:)

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  4. I dream of a trip to Norway, the land of my ancestors. We are hoping to go when our kids are a little older. I can't wait to read more. I hope you get to see the elusive lights soon.

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    1. Becca-it was amazing and so worth the trip. The people are friendly and hospitable and it is an amazingly beautiful country!

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  5. This looks sooo cool! What a great experience! My husband and I read a book while we were in Africa titled, "You can negotiate anything" and we've found it to be true! It never hurts to ask! It looks like you've got that skill down! ;)

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  6. How right you are…but I still may buy that book :)

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  7. Wine in travel mugs, still more classy than vodka in a water bottle!
    Glad you got your two rooms next to each other. Your son sounds a bit like mine, he is always climbing everything and running off away from the group: action first, consequences later. I guess that is part of being a kid.
    Renee @ CreativeMamaMessyHouse

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  8. SO AWESOME!! What an incredible experience for you all. Can't wait to read more...I have always been intrigued by these cruises...a little different from the tropical cruises I've taken!

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  9. Thanks for stopping by my post about my "Missed Connections; Flea Market Style." Definitely hit up Tongeren if you get a chance. It was my favorite market so far, it's just so far from where I live. I'd love to see the Northern Lights as well. And photograph them!

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  10. I was also going to mention that it might be helpful to add your blog link to your About page on Google+, that way people can find you when they click your picture. :)

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  11. Awesome photos, I've never thought of going to Norway before but it looks great!

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  12. Great photos of the Reindeers, I loved them!

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