Day 2 - Fri 23 June 2006
Up quite late, must have been more tired that I thought - down to the local tourist info place, they have moved since the Lonely Planet map was done, and I managed to walk right past the new location at one point! Very helpful people, I've got a ticket to for a coach/coastal steamer tour. Departing Tromso at 16:00 and back at 23:45! Set about trying to replace my broken camera. I checked both camera shops, and in the end bought a new Olympus FE-130, at close to twice the price I'd pay in the UK - but needs must when the devil drives! I've filled in the Tax Free Shopping form, so I should get about 25quid back from that, even so it's expensive!
Then I did some food shopping in the supermarket, and dumped it all back at the hotel. A Number 26 bus got me to the bottom of the cable car. All the way up in the car there were great views of Tromso, but as soon as I stepped out at the top the cloud came down and stayed down. While I was waiting for the cloud to lift, there were a couple of lightning strikes nearby. I waited for an hour and a half before giving up and heading back down.
I walked down to the Arctic Cathedral and paid 22Kr to get in, all in all not that impressive. Then walked over the massive road bridge back to Tromso proper.
A quick visit to the hotel to get something to eat, send some e-mails and make a sandwich for my expedition this afternoon! Then it was down to the bus station to catch the coach. After a four hour drive, including two ferry trips, and a long underwater tunnel, we caught the Hurtigruten from Skjerv°y. The weather has improved, but there's still a lot of cloud.
The coastal steamer is a lot more plush than I was expecting. It's more like a mini cruise ship, I'm glad I've done this little bit of the journey, but I think it has put me off doing the whole trip from Bergen to Kirkenes. I now know that there would be little else to do on the boat and most of the stops are either too short, or are in the middle of the night. Doing the trip in mid-winter would be close to hell.
The boat got into Troms° at about midnight and yup it was broad daylight, cloudy, but you'd have no problems reading a newspaper, or driving without lights. Back to my hotel by twenty past midnight, and packed up everything ready for a quick getaway tomorrow.