Saturday, January 15, 2011

Tromso Pretty

Tromso is a bit lovely. Aside from the fact that its almost always constantly dark which makes me have to fight the urge to stay in bed and the fact that its abominably cold which makes me have to fight the urge to stay in bed, its a beautiful place. On my first night here in this party capital of Norway, guess what this madman did? Guess what this crazy, all about town, hounddog of a guy did? That's right, I had an early night. Er...yep. In a place where the Northern Lights mostly appear between 10pm and 2am and the bars stay open till everyone leaves, I was all tucked up in my lovely warm duvet by 11pm. Wuss o'clock. But I'm proud. No, I really am. Much snoozing was needed after a mammoth day of flying, getting trains, dragging round a suitcase which has had half of its left wheel somehow shaved off meaning its not disimilar to how I imagine Obelix felt dragging round his, er, obelisks, and seeing a lot of Oslo in two hours. With Jonathan very kindly being my 'drive-by' tour guide, in a very short space of time I'd walked round the Vigeland sculpture park which included such David Icke like tributes as this:

You can't see it properly, but its a lizard sexually harassing a naked woman. No, I have no idea why either. Wikipedia doesn't seem to know why either. Essentially, its just creepy. As were most of the other statues that are apparently a tribute to the 'human condition'. Yes, ok, but that doesn't explain why:

This one is riding in a stag's antlers. Or why:

This one is playing keepy uppy with babies. Or why:

These two are doing moves to a Steps dance. There are many more odd ones too. I can only assume that when Gustav Vigeland created the park, he based it on his 'human condition' which was clearly bonkers, and not that of others.

Here's my impression of the Sinnataggen or “Angry Boy”.

And here's Jonathan's impression of the, er, not so angry boy.

The whole place looked amazing in the show and we raced from their to the palace where they have real soldier guards and everything, then the National Theatre with its statue of Ibsen and finally to the train where I could embark to my flight further North. And now, well now I'm not sure what to do with my day. Last night I had a walk round in the dark and cold. I checked out the harbour and I very briefly popped my head into the 'Northernmost brewery' but it was full of old people doing karaoke and a huge stuff polar bear. I lasted two minutes and ran away. The polar bear was fine, but those warbling tones were terrifying. So now I'm just waiting to see if some Arctic Guide has space for me on his Northern Lights expedition tonight or if I have to do a cheaper but less guaranteed sightseeing trip. All I really want to do here is see the lights. There's a high chance I won't. There are a few selfish clouds in the sky and Geophysical Institure Aurora Forecast page says chances are only moderate (yes, really. See here:, but if I don't try at least then I'll feel like a chump. Of course if I spend ludicrous amounts of money trying, and then don't, I'll feel like more of a chump. But still probably less of a chump than one that goes to bed early. Either way, tonight I will go seek out the bars. And end out warbling old people and stuffed polar bears. Go team! Though it is very dark and cold and that bed does look lovely.....

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