Standing on Top of the World in Tromsø
Back to happier memories of my trip to Tromsø... One thing everyone agreed on was that I had to get the cable car up Mount Storsteinen, the huge mountain on the Tromsdalen side of the city (the mainland). The thing about Norway is it does nature on an extreme scale. Not just a few hills here and there, no. Norway is vast mountains, and icy blue clear fjords cut through the country with islands floating in between like Tromsø and Kvaløya. The best way to see those? To get as high as possible.
It costs 170NOK
|Oh Norway, you're so pretty|
One teensy problem, standing at a mere 4ft 10 I am terrified of heights. As in standing on a chair freaks me out. I like my feet to be firmly on solid ground (maybe this is why I have an obsession with rooftops- but that is for an entirely different post). And solid ground is absolutely not a cable car. I was in the city for all of two nights, and if I was going to see how gorgeous the islands looked from above I was going to have to grow a pair and go on the cable car. It's only a four minute journey, how hard can it be?
I visited Tourist Info in the morning who told me that the Cable Car was running, but the low slung cloud meant it wouldn't really be worth going up if I was hoping to see the views. Mind you, I think I would have been happy to sit amongst the clouds. It wasn't until I finished my dinner that evening that I could see the top of the mountain and decided to take the bus across the city to go up the mountain.
Fjellheisen is not only a great way to catch the views of the city, it's a fab way to sit and enjoy the Midnight Sun Tromsø enjoys in the summer, and you can view the Northern Lights up here in the winter, too. The cable car runs until after midnight during the summer, but does shorter hours in the winter (currently the cable car is closed for maintenance and will re-open April 2016). Sometimes, in bad weather the cable car closes during winter months.
After an incredibly long four minutes, my knuckles were white (I found that if I stand the side I can see the ground most I am much happier than if I watch the earth falling away from the back), but I'd made it to the top of the mountain.
|Lookin' Good, Tromsø|
|Those clouds, tho'...|
Some clouds had gathered half way down the mountain, and the sky was a dull grey, but mostly it was clear. Everything looked tiny. The huge cruise ships that were docked up for the night looked like I could pick them up with my hands, pinching them between my fingers and closing one eye to stare at them from the panoramic view deck. Someone has crocheted the word "Tromsø" along the fence. There's a cafe at the top, but with the late time of day, along with the fact that it was summer, the fire wasn't lit. There is also a children's play park at the top, if you're taking kids with you. You can hike around a lot of the mountain, but some of it is not safe for youngsters.
I took myself off on a short walk, the ground was so bouncy, I was so high up I felt vertigo with every step I took and kept far away from the edge of the steep mountain. I don't think I've ever felt more like I was standing on top of the world, and the view was just insane. Just in a dip over the closest peak I spotted something awesome. Since it was a dull night, and I wasn't going to get to see the sunshine at midnight I decided to head for it.
There I was in August, on a cold drizzly day, armed with only my phone and a hoody tramping across a mountain top. Hoping that the thing I thought I could see was what I hoped for. As soon as I reached it, I stuck my hand in and let out a little shriek of delight, and laughed at myself. I'd found SNOW in August!!
I walked back to the cable car with a smile on my face, only to bump into a bunch of people who had been competing in the Arctic Race that evening which ended at the cable car. We piled their equipment into the cable car, and piled ourselves around it before heading down the mountain. One of the women competing had been staying in the same hotel as me, and talked me into walking back with her.
It was 1am when we passed the Arctic Cathedral, and she told me there had been a midnight concert there that evening. Something touristy to do when you visit this fab city. We crossed the bridge connecting the city centre island to mainland watching the water flow thru the fjord. The woman who was equally as tiny as me, and had just run an insane race and had an incredible pace. The walk back down gave me so much more time to take in the city, than the bus on the way up. I was so glad I had taken her advice to walk, and you should, too!
Things to Note
The Cable Car runs every half an hour on the hour and half hour until 00:30 during the summer, and from 10am-10pm in the winter (weather permitting)
It costs 170NOK
Or you can get a ticket for Bus 26 to take you to the cable car which includes the cable car ride.