Archive for February, 2010

Gerda in Tromsø

As promised, some more photos of my mum’s visit to Tromsø. After that first clear night when we saw the aurora, she wasn’t very lucky with the weather. But we went out anyway, and on one of these trips we visited Håkøya, my favourite place around here! It was a very windy day with lots of snow showers but we managed to visit during a brief break in the showers. There was a lot of drifting sea ice around there…

Paul was brave (or stupid?) enough to stand on one of the ice bits, he had to jump off when it started sinking!

Some portraits…

And Paul with a moose sign 🙂

We found these cute mini snowman, or better snow birds, on the railing of a restaurant terrace on a snowy/rainy day in the city centre. By the evening there was nothing left of them, they had melted.

A photo of me on a very icy pier at Telegrafbukta, and one of my favourite building. I have a collection of photos of this building in several seasons, quite nice! See for example this one (or this one) for a very different view of the same building.

My mum also took these nice photos of our house, on the only sunny day she had in Tromsø (which of course I spent at work!). The first photo shows what I call the back of the building, which actually has the front door. You can’t really see our house in this one, we are in the third one. The second one is at the front, with the windows of our front room on the top floor and the bedroom and the guestroom on the ground floor. (And no, that ugly satellite dish is not ours! )

After a short break we have visitors again, this time my brother and his family, including my 2 year old niece 🙂 The weather has been beautiful in the last few days (though very cold!) and I’m sure there’ll be lots of photos to share. For now, you can see some on their blog.

SNOW – at last!!

We didn’t have any snow in Tromsø for a long time, I think they had more snow in the Netherlands and the UK than we did here… which is quite frustrating as everything was just very icy and we couldn’t go skiing. It’s also a lot darker when there is no snow. But last weekend we finally got snow, and not just a little bit… 50 cm!! 🙂 This is what the view from our window looked like after all that…

And that’s actually the upstairs window 😉 Hehe… there is a small roof underneath where the snow piles up. It weighs down on our front door, which is now hard to open. We’ll have to remove this snow at some point I think, if only to get some light in again!

On Sunday we went skiing on Kvaløya with Sevim and Njål. The snow was so deep and powdery that we sank in up to our knees at times. It was good fun though, and great to be out skiing again. Of course there were lots of people with the same idea, it was really crowded! Here’s a picture of us during our break. We learnt how to make a bench out of ski’s 🙂 While we were eating lunch, the skies cleared up a bit – the second photo shows how it changed from foggy to almost clear…

The next day was very sunny, and I stopped at Telegrafbukta on my way to work to take a few pictures. The fresh snow looked so beautiful in the sun. There is an open air museum here with pretty old buildings. “in cod we trust” is a (really nice) exhibition in this museum. The small red house is a cafe when the museum is opened.

My mum arrived in Tromsø today and she got lucky on her first night here – we got to see the aurora! It wasn’t very active or very bright, but it was impressive nonetheless, reflecting in the water as well. My mum wanted a picture to make everyone at home jealous, so I took one of her with the aurora in the background 🙂

All for now, more photos soon!

Ice & Aurora

Last Sunday we met up with a friend from Norwich, Nina. She’s a PhD student in the same project that I was in, and she was in town for the Arctic Frontiers conference. We picked up her and Svetlana (Nina’s friend from Russia) from their hotel in town, and we drove to Håkøya – the same place I took the sunset photos in the last post. We had a VERY cold spell in Tromsø last weekend. The lowest temperature measured was -15, for the first time since 1998! Combined with a strong wind, it was seriously freezing. We went for a short walk on the beach. Here’s a photo of Nina (on the left), Svetlana (middle) and me, and one of Nina and Svetlana.

It was beautiful there, with lots of big pieces of sea ice lying on the beach. We spent some time taking photos before running back to the warm car…

We drove back to town and stopped underneath the bridge between Tromsø island and the island of Kvaløya. Svetlana wanted to take some pictures of the bridge. I had never stopped there, but it was really impressive to stand underneath the bridge!

Our next stop was Prestvannet, the lake on top of Tromsø island. We’ve hardly had any snow this winter, which means that you can skate on the lake! There were quite a few people braving the cold wind. I was hoping to go skating too, but as we’re in the middle of moving my skates were somewhere in a box and I couldn’t find them.

After our visit to the lake we were really frozen and went for a cup of tea inside 🙂

I have finished my training at work now, and I’ve started with the parallel shifts. Very exciting! I’m now writing forecasts “for real” and I’m learning a lot. They don’t want me to do night shifts yet, but I have worked a few afternoon shifts (15:00-23:00) which aren’t too bad. On Tuesday night I drove home from work and noticed some northern lights in the sky. When I came home, they were really bright, I could clearly see them even from inside the house. I quickly went outside to get some photos. The first photo is taken from the building plot in front of our flat, they’re building a football field there. The second one is taken near our front door 🙂 We thought it would make a great “we’ve moved” card, but as we’ve been subrenting this flat before we started renting it ourselves, everybody already has our address 😀

The aurora was so good that we decided to drive to a beach near the north tip of the island. When we arrived there, it started to move like crazy, dancing across the sky. It was showing some pink as well, as you can see below – very impressive!

We stayed there for a while, enjoying the beautiful show. Luckily temperatures had climbed up that day, otherwise we would have never lasted that long! I played with the camera a bit, and asked Paul to stand very still…

We’ve been busy this past week with decorating our new flat. This is the first time for us to live in an unfurnished flat, so we needed lots of furniture and appliances. We finally have everything now and we can start to unpack all boxes. Tomorrow we’re going skiing though, we FINALLY had a lot of snow. And on Tuesday my mum is coming to Tromsø for a few days, so I’m sure there’ll be lots of photos to share next week 🙂