If you've seen my latest vlog, you might know that Norway's National Day on May 17 this year was a rather wet one in Tromso. That didn't stop us from having fun though and I brought my point and shoot camera along to take a few snaps from the parade and also shot our traditional champagne breakfast earlier that day. As a result, I was left with a few pictures that I think, summarize what 17th May in Norway is all about pretty well.
May 17th was Norway's National Day and as you might have seen on Snapchat and Instagram, we celebrated with lots of good food!I wasn't able to celebrate the day last year due to my Master's thesis so this time around, I was even more eager to join in on the fun and so we started the day with a traditional Norwegian champagne breakfast!
I guess I've become really Norwegian in the way that I have to go outside when the weather is good to soak up as much sunshine as possible - even if it's -10 degrees. With long and dark winters, you really learn to appreciate the short summers and sunny days much more and use them much better!And now that the snow starts to melt, I really can't wait to get back into hiking!
After 2,5 years of living in the Arctic and three winters spent here, it's however safe to say that I cannot spend the rest of my life in a place which doesn't get any sunlight for 2 months. And I know what you're thinking right now: but there's the Midnight Sun in summer so you'll get plenty of sunshine for the winter! Well...
Well, we're not quite rid of the snow here in Tromso yet but I just wanted to use this day to say thanks to everyone tagging me on Instagram and using #snowintromso. I got to admire some stunning pictures of Tromso in the snow this winter! So I thought it might be nice to share my favourite pictures of yours and your favourite pictures of mine this winter!
For some reason, crime novels have become really popular here in Norway during Easter so everyone buys a few before heading to the cabin. In fact, the traditional Easter Crime has become so important, that there's one printed on the side of the milk cartons. It’s a crime cartoon and people can solve the crime and send in their answers to win a prize after the holidays.
Simon was so kind to explain all and everything about polar night not long ago and while he described a few of the many things you can do here during the dark months as a tourist, I'd like to write about how we who actually live here cope with polar night. Now first things first, those who have grown up with polar night, like Simon, don't really have any issues with this time.
In case you read my post on the Northern Lights and you want to come to Tromso or just anywhere north of the Arctic Circle, you need to know something first. These regions experience something that is known as polar night during the winter. So what is polar night? Due to the angle of the earth relative to the sun, the sun will not rise above the horizon at all during the winter months in the region north of the Arctic Circle.
Being an Expat in Norway? Wonder what that's like? Is it all admiring the Northern Lights all night and seeing reindeer all day? I'm sharing the ups and downs of my second year as an expat in Northern Norway with you!
Ever wondered what life in the Arctic was like? How often can you see the Northern Lights? What is Polar Night? And does Midnight Sun mean that you can see the sun every day at midnight? Click through to read the answers!
In Norway/Tromso, many landlords want to see testimonials from former places you've lived in to make sure that you're a responsible and tidy person. This doesn't have to be a written statement, mostly it's enough to provide a phone number to your previous landlord. I admit, I definitely feel that this is a bit over the top - especially when some people require at least 3 testimonials, like how often do they expect you to move?
You know, there's cruise ships arriving with thousands of tourists in the city almost every day during summer and I'm really wondering who told them that a trip to the Arctic in June or July is a good idea. These poor people arrive here with the hope to see the Midnight Sun and sun-bathe at midnight on the ship's deck but instead they're greeted by grey skies and temperatures between 8 and 12 degrees - if they're lucky and it's not raining cats and dogs!
First of all, it's all about neutral colours: white, black or grey mixed with a few popping colours like green or yellow. Also there's lots of wood and organic elements involved. So that's basically what I was going for. Now slight setback: as newly graduates we were on a budget and even though Ikea is available in Tromso too, I didn't want the flat to look like an Ikea store.
I know, being an expat isn't always easy and moving abroad probably never is free from challenges and problems. My move was no exception to that. I had to deal with housing and finance issues and my studies were much harder and totally different from what I expected. However I think hope that I'm past the initial culture shock/depression phase now and am determined to change reality to fit my former expectations a little bit better!