Archive for November, 2009

Mørketid

After a very rainy Saturday, we were craving some fresh air on Sunday, and we went for a walk with Sevim. The mørketid, or dark time, has now begun – the sun doesn’t come above the mountains anymore. By Friday, it won’t come above the horizon at all. In the weather forecast, a cloudless day is indicated by this symbol:

Anyway, we went for a walk along the coast. It was cloudy and windy, but quite warm. We found a lighthouse with a ladder leading up… without any DO NOT signs, we couldn’t resist climbing up! The photo on the right (below) is taken through the top bit and you can see the large lens on the left.

We enjoyed the views from up there for a while! In the photo on the right you can see Paul climbing down. It’s not a very large lighthouse, but it was a fun visit :)

Last week, when the weather was frosty and clear, we missed out on some great aurora shows. I was simply too tired after work to go out and look for the lights! Sunday night it cleared up, and Paul decided to drive to a dark place to go for a walk and see if he could get some pictures. The aurora wasn’t very active, but it was continuously visible low on the horizon, and he did come back with some nice photos:

Too bad I had to miss out… but that’s the disadvantage of having a job which is not as flexible with working hours. I really enjoyed my first week at work though, I’m learning a lot and I really like it. Anyway… it’s definitely bedtime for me now!

Ice Crystals

Last Saturday we went for a trip with Sevim (who’s now my colleague!) to enjoy the last bit of sunshine. Although the sun will still come above the horizon next weekend, it won’t come above the mountains… The weather was still looking very nice, so we set out to climb Rødtinden on Kvaløya. We were quite slow, as we were fascinated by the beautiful ice crystals everywhere! We kept taking pictures :)

They come in so many different shapes, and some were very large. I really regretted not bringing my macro lens on this trip!!

Sometimes we found patches of what looked like snow, but in close up turned out to be a huge pile of ice crystals! We almost forgot to enjoy the view ;) It was a beautiful day, here is Tromsdalstinden in the last light of the day…

When the sun disappeared behind the mountain, we decided to abandon our plan to reach the top, and turn around. A large part of the mountain was like a swamp turned into a skating rink (but with some steep slopes!) and we didn’t fancy finding our way through that in the dark. At the bottom of the slope, we followed this beautiful river that was all frozen over…

One last photo taken just before we got back to the car. It was a great walk, and I am glad we enjoyed the last bit of sunshine!

I started at my new job today, it went well. I am quite tired now, speaking and listening to Norwegian all day requires so much concentration for me. But it’s going well, and I’m really enjoying it!

Frosty Tromsø

We came back to Tromsø last night. Today we walked to the south tip of the island (Telegrafbukta) to watch the sunset. We almost missed it – at 12:30 we just saw the last glimpse of sunlight before it disappeared behind the mountains! The weather is cold and clear, and everything is covered in white frost. We walked along the coast for a while, enjoying the beautiful views…

We walked on the jetty seen in the pictures above. I took a photo of these bird footprints. For a sense of scale, click here and remember that Paul has big feet ;)

Everything is covered with thick frost, like this branch that Paul held against the sunset so I could take a photo. The Tromsø palms (or giant hogweed) are now like skeletons, they are quite pretty against the winter sky.

We walked to this beautiful old boathouse, with grass growing on the roof…

After 1.5 hours in the cold, we were more than ready for a hot chocolate at home :) It’s great to be back!

This blog might go a bit quiet, I just found out today that Monday is my first day at my new job!! I have to be there at 8 in the morning too, I’ll have to get used to early mornings again…

London, Lymington – and a job!

Let’s start with the good news: I found a job in Tromsø! I’m going to work for met.no as a weather forecaster. I’m really excited :) I’m not sure when I will start yet, as this also depends on the second person they are hiring (we have to do our training together). I’m so happy that I found a good job, and I am looking forward to “really” live in Tromsø (I’ve been a visitor all this time, unable to do the simplest things like opening a bank account). We’re also almost certainly going to keep renting the wonderful flat we are in now, but it will become unfurnished – we are excited about decorating/buying furniture. Yay!

I’ve had a busy week… on Monday I took the train to London, which takes only 1.5 hours. I met up with Tanja and her friend Mike, and after a pub lunch, we visited the Victoria and Albert museum. Quite a crazy collection of all kinds of things, very interesting. Below is a photo of Mike and I in front of the big entrance, and the beautiful cafe where we had a break.

We also went to say hi to Tanja’s biggest friend: the blue whale in the Natural History museum :) The museum is next door to the V&A; museum, and housed in a beautiful building. The photo below shows the entry hall, I love it!

On Wednesday I took a train to Lymington, on the edge of the New Forest. From there I walked part of the Solent Way, to Keyhaven and Milford on Sea. This walks takes you through an amazing landscape of brackish marshes on one side and the Solent on the other side. I always thought the Solent is a river, but it’s actually a stretch of sea. At this point, it is quite narrow and you can easily see the Isle of Wight on the other side. The day started out very sunny, but soon the clouds were increasing…

Some lucky people live in this beautiful old building in the middle of the marshes! This area used to known for salt works. Now the marshes are a paradise for birds. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the right lens with me for taking photos of the birds, but I did catch these geese flying over.

The skies became darker and darker, until it started to rain quite heavily. In these marshes, there is nowhere to take cover so I got soaked. I didn’t mind though – I saw the best rainbow I’ve ever seen! Suddenly the sun broke through the clouds and the colours of the landscape became very vibrant against the dark sky – with a beautiful double rainbow as the icing on the cake :)

It briefly became quite sunny again after the shower had passed, but not for long. The tide was going down, exposing large muddy areas.

Near Keyhaven, there is a long spit with a castle at the end (Hurst castle). I could see it from far away, as well as “the Needles”, chalk cliffs at the isle of Wight behind it. I decided not to walk to the end of the spit though, as it was really windy and exposed and I didn’t want to get soaked again. I walked from Keyhaven to Milton On Sea to catch the bus back to Lymington. The public footpath was more like a small river, very wet and muddy. It had become very windy too, with some impressive cloud formations. In the photo below (on the right) I managed to get the reeds blurred as they move in the wind :)

From Lymington I took the train back to Southampton. I really enjoyed this area, Lymington itself is also a really nice looking town. I told Paul that if we ever move to Southampton, I want to live in Lymington – but unfortunately I don’t think I’m the only one, house prices there are rather high ;) Anyway, no need to worry about that as we are now certain that we’re staying in Tromsø for at least another year :)