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Paul & Tracey's Travels
2nd Nov 2011 - Tromso & Arctic Norway
Lyngen Alps, Moose, and a trip to Finland

Today we decided to hire a car and take in some of the surrounding area. Although the forecast suggested a dryer day, it was raining and dark when we left the hotel at 8.30am to walk round to the local Avis.

The day had started ominously when we realised we both had a case of the Tromso trots but this passed quickly enough, and luckily did not re-occur during the day.

We set off from Avis in our Toyota Avensis at just gone 9am - at this time of year all cars are fitted with snow tyres which have lots of small metal studs all over them. After stopping back at the hotel to pick up some food and extra clothing, we set off over the bridge to the mainland, and headed out on the E8 which runs south along the Balsfjorden. We then joined the smaller E91 which goes across the peninsula to the Ullsfjord where we planned to catch a ferry. The roads were generally good and traffic was very very light, and although we could tell that we were travelling through some breathtaking scenery, at times it was difficult to see through the mist and cloud.

At Breivikeidet we found the ferry terminal easily as that is the only thing there. As we were arriving the ferry was pulling in, so we joined the queue of 8 other vehicles ready to board. The ferries are the lifeblood of the area as far as transportation is concerned – if they were not running it would add hundreds of miles to journeys. The ferry is a roll on roll off and you pay as you drive on (£18 for a car and 2 passengers) – it is a very fast and efficient service – 25 minute crossing time and a well equipped cafe and lounge. No sooner does it reach the other side then the gates come down and the traffic is off.

We had crossed the Ullsfjord and arrived on the Lyngen Peninsula, which is dominated by the Lyngen Alps. The road south hugs the fjord and the scenery is very dramatic. At one point we came across some old style dwellings which have turf on their roofs. The weather was still annoyingly wet and overcast as we arrived in the village of Lyngseidet on the other side of the peninsula on the shores of the Lyngenfjord.

We parked up and had a wander round the village. There is a famous wooden church here but we could not go in as a funeral was taking place. There is also another ferry service which runs across to another part of the mainland – a village called Olderdalen. At the ferry terminal we saw our first father Xmas of 2011.

On leaving Lyngseidet the weather finally started to clear up and we even saw a bit of blue sky. We pulled up at the side of the road to eat some food and look at the view down the fjord. We then continued on the road south and soon found ourselves entering a tunnel 3.5m long. The tunnel had been carved out of the rock but was not “finished” inside so the walls were very jagged and the road was not the same width all the way through. There were also passing places where it got narrow. I was just thinking that I hoped I did not meet a lorry coming the other way, when suddenly that is what happened. I just pulled over as near to the wall as I dare and held my breath as the articulated lorry thundered by.

Once out of the tunnel we pressed on stopping every five minutes to take photos, until we got to the junction at Lynskroa. By now it was about 1pm and likely to be about 2 hours maximum of daylight left and I wanted to turn north up the other side of the fjord and on inland to go up to the border with Finland but we were concerned about being in the mountains after dark. After sitting on the side of the road for 2 minutes debating, we decided to do it even though we knew that we would not get back in daylight (bearing in mind there is very little traffic and no lighting, cats eyes etc.)

So we headed north up the banks of the Lyngenfjord, and then turned inland east on the E8 towards Finland. The road was spectacular with massive snow covered peaks, deep gorges, pine covered slopes......and moose ! We had seen several beware of moose signs but as we rounded a bend we were greeted by a group of moose (mooses ? meese ? moosi ?). They ambled off up the hill but a few minutes later we came across another lot who were less eager to move. After we had taken a few photos we edged the car nearer and they eventually moved to the side of the road and we pressed on. 

By now, although it had dried up the sun had gone behind the hills and the light was getting worse. It was also quite a lot higher and there were lots of frozen lakes around. Just as we thought we must have driven over the border without realising we were greeted by a voice saying “Welcome to Finland” – it was the sat nav that up until now had remained silent and which we had not been using ! This is one of the few road crossings into Northern Finland - the first town you would get to is the Lapland city of Kilpisjarvi a few km south. Any way we parked up, took a few photos, I did a pee in Finland and Tracey did a “Bruce Forsyth” under the Norway sign, then we turned round and headed back down the mountain, running into the same group of Moose again (this time it’s serious !) on the way down.

It took us about an hour and a half to get back to Tromso (at 4pm) and most of that was in the dark but the journey was not too bad. We had done a total of about 200 miles. After dropping the car back, we walked back to the hotel and after the by now ubiquitous beer and cider, we headed down for our evening meal.
Once again the weather is no good for looking for the northern lights, so tomorrow we may have to resort to going on a Northern lights hunt with a guide if the weather is reasonable ie clear skies (which it is meant to be).



Next: Hunt for the Northern lights (Cancelled !)
Previous: Cold and wet in Tromso


Diary Photos

Moose, E8 To Finland, Norway

Breivikeidet To Svensby Ferry, Norway

Queue for Breivikeidet To Svensby Ferry, Norway

Paul on the Breivikeidet To Svensby Ferry, Norway

Onboard the Breivikeidet To Svensby Ferry, Norway

Lyngen Peninsula from the Breivikeidet To Svensby Ferry, Norway

Svensby, Lyngen Peninsular, Norway

Lyngen Peninsula, Breivikeidet To Svensby Ferry, Norway

Jaegervatn, Norway

Paul by Ullsfjord, Road to Lyngseidet, Norway

Ullsfjord, Road to Lyngseidet, Norway

Ullsfjord, Road to Lynsgeidet, Norway

Ullsfjord, Road to Lyngseidet, Norway

Road to Lyngseidet, Norway

Ullsfjord, Road to Lyngseidet, Norway

Ullsfjord, Road to Lyngseidet, Norway

Paul at Ullsfjord, Road to Lyngseidet, Norway

Lyngseidet, Norway

Lyngseidet, Norway

Tracey at Lyngseidet, Norway

Lyngseidet, Norway

Lyngseidet, Norway

Lyngseidet, Norway

Road To Lyngskroa, Norway

Road To Lyngskroa, Norway

LyngenFjord, Road To Lyngskroa, Norway

Tracey at LyngenFjord, Road To Lyngskroa, Norway

Paul, LyngenFjord, Road To Lyngskroa, Norway

LyngenFjord, Road To Lyngskroa, Norway

LyngenFjord, Road To Lyngskroa, Norway

LyngenFjord, Road To Lyngskroa, Norway

LyngenFjord, Road To Lyngskroa, Norway

LyngenFjord, Road To Lyngskroa, Norway

LyngenFjord, Road To Lyngskroa, Norway

Moose sign, E8 To Finland, Norway

Moose, E8 To Finland, Norway

Moose, E8 To Finland, Norway

E8 Norway Finland Border

Tracey at E8 Norway Finland Border

Paul at E8 Norway Finland Border

Paul at E8 Norway Finland Border

Tracey at E8 Norway Finland Border

Moose E8 To Finland, Norway


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