TRAVEL DIARIES . LONG HAUL |
On this day in 2019, after a painful start of the year, there I was, on my way towards the North Pole for some epic adventures! My winter travel to Norway would become one of these trips you never forget. .
2018 was about scorching hot adventures, 2019 would be about iced-cold ones!
my painful start of the year
I thought I wouldn't be able to make it, but I did!
After spending two years having unrequited feelings for an emotionally unavailable man and ending having my heart shattered into pieces in the late November of 2018, and as consequence of this, I started feeling ill and contracted a very bad and lingering bronchitis.
No drugs seemed to be able to relieve my bad cough and soon, over Christmas and New Year, things turned for the worst.
What was initially a bad cough, quickly turned into a very ugly and excruciating chest infection, and then, very very quickly, into a severe pneumonia that got me bedridden for more than a month and almost hospitalised.
I will of course spare you the details, but after that painful heartbreak that literally 'killed' me emotionally and psychologically, everything that was left off me, physically, got wiped out by the pneumonia.
On all levels. Emotionally, psychologically and physically, I became what we call a survivor!
So when I slowly started recovering and getting healthier, and after getting my doctor's consent, I decided to accept my good friend's invitation and join her on this amazing trip to Norway.
She had it all planned out and I knew I would have a great time, as she is a bit of an adventurer! We wanted to see the northern lights but we also knew it was never guaranteed, so we also booked other excursions to make our trip worth while, such as a dog sledding excursion.
This travel was my way to rise from the ashes, to come back to life and show my 'middle finger' to what almost caused the end of me. I also decided at that time to stop posting anything on social media and reconnect with myself, to learn to live my life to the fullest and be present in the moment.
Time for packing....
brace yourself!...it is going to be cold
... and like my mama always said: "Keeping warm is all about wearing layers"
In march, temperature in Norway can drop to -10 and I had some shopping to do to get myself ready for this! Layering doesn't necessarily look "cute" but the purpose of that trip was not about looking sexy and I really didn't care how awkward I would look. I could not afford getting a cold, relapsing and go back to the nightmare I was jut coming from. Just so you know, if you’re going to cold destinations, there’s a very good chance that there is going to be snow and just in case you didn’t already know…snow is wet. And really, you don't want to get wet and cold.
So here's what I would advice you to wear to keep yourself on the warm side of things!
For the bottom layers - a thermal legging, waterproof ski trousers and Hiking waterproof boots
For the top layers - a fleece lined long underwear, a thermal long sleeve top, a warm jumper, and over all this a windproof ski jacket
For the extremities- wool socks - wool Gloves with touchscreen fingers (so you don't have to take your gloves off when you are taking pictures with your phone) a warm scarf, and of course a beanie hat with your jacket hoodie over it.
Once dressed up, you will have the feeling that you just transformed into a bibendum but once you pass the door and the iced-cold wind hits you, you will thank yourself for it!
... en route to Tromsø
our norwegian home
My airbnb experience
After a 3-hours-long flight, we finally landed on Norwegian soil. It was already night and after going through the security and immigration, we jumped in a taxi to reach what would become our norwegian home for the next 5 days.
Located on the south-west side of Tromsø island and in calm scenic surroundings not too far from the sea, there was our little airbnb accommodation!
We received a warm welcome from our hostess who showed us around and explained the house rules and also kindly gave us a few tips for your stay and upcoming expeditions.
We then went for some grocery shopping in a little store located only 400 meters away.
On our 10 min journey to the shop, we were so amazed at the amount of snow and so busy looking around and admiring the sceneries that we slipped a couple of time, ending up both on our buttocks, giggling like school girls and thanking our waterproof trousers.
It felt like this trip would bring us some fun memories! and it turned out that it went above all our expectations.
Our small studio contained two bedrooms, a bathroom and tiny kitchenette and all the rooms had underfloor heating which was pure heaven, being able to walk barefoot on a warm floor.
The studio was on the top floor with two flights of stairs and there were no elevator, so when we were heavily dressed up and going up and down the stairs wearing our ski boots, it was already in itself an expedition.
The next morning...
literally snowed under...
My screaming friend Sandra who only managed a couple of steps out of the house before slipping
... oh dear! what a promising start of the day lol
Morning Walk to Telegrafbukta Beach
The Southern beach
A short 20 min walk down the main road, with a beautiful line up of colorful houses, brought us to a wild beach called Telegraphbukta, where we spent some time in awe of the most amazing and unforgettable winter views.
Stepping in the deep and untouched snow, with the bright blue sky above my head and the rush of oxygen and fresh air filling my traumatised lungs....The feeling was indescribable.
I took a few deep breaths and for a moment all the suffering seemed to vanish.
I was breathing. I was alive... I was feeling happy
The beauty of this place got me speechless and to this day I still can't really find the words to describe it... so I'll let the pics talk for themselves.
After our little hike to the beach, we headed back home to have a chilled afternoon and restful evening.
The next day, we would go on a night expedition up north, chasing the Northern Lights
THE GIRL NEXT DOOR