Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Gateway to the Arctic Is an Adventure Capital; This Month Explorers John and Yvonne Gardiner Share Their Wonderful Experiences as They Discover 'The Gateway to the Arctic'

Newspaper article Sunshine Coast Daily (Maroochydore, Australia)

Gateway to the Arctic Is an Adventure Capital; This Month Explorers John and Yvonne Gardiner Share Their Wonderful Experiences as They Discover 'The Gateway to the Arctic'

Article excerpt

OUR trip to Norway began in the north, at Tromso, one of the best places on earth to see the enchanting aurora borealis.

Tromso lies 350 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle and is the largest city in northern Norway.

The first night of searching for the elusive northern lights was the best, with shimmers of green in the late-night sky and a surprising encounter with the multi-coloured aurora from the bus on the way back to town.

Despite the climatic challenges, human settlement in the Tromso area dates back thousands of years, although the city itself was founded only about 200 years ago.

Tromso soon became the centre for animal trapping in the region, and in the early 1900s it was the starting point for expeditions to the Arctic - hence its nickname, Gateway to the Arctic.

Apart from the phenomenal northern lights, Tromso is renowned as an adventure capital where thrill-seekers can speed up their sightseeing on an RIB (rigid inflatable boat) along a deserted fjord or take teams of panting sled dogs for a run.

A less strenuous pursuit was an overnight stay on the Lyngen Peninsula northeast of Tromso in a "lavvo", a glass-top teepee that allows a wide view of the night sky.

These cosy cabins are equipped with wood heaters for maximum comfort.

Each day offers a rich variety of "wow" experiences.

Definitely an experience not to miss is the cable car up Mt Storsteinen, which reveals a dazzling panorama of snow-topped mountains, the shimmering sea and an astounding vista.

When we arrived back at the hotel, quite literally chilled, the hot tub and sauna revived much-travelled bodies.

Norway's attractions are many, with its spectacular scenery, a chance to see the northern lights, fascinating Viking history, and a diverse and entrancing mix of people.

The capital Oslo was next on our itinerary, a city bursting with beauty and culture. …

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