STUCK in Tromsø, Norway

UPDATE Jan 11, 2023

 … over 5 months after SAS did not deliver all my luggage to Norway ➙ I finally was sent an airline voucher for CAD $940.  And I’m happily surprised I got anything.  

Scandinavian Airlines did EVERYTHING to pretend they hadn’t let my luggage sit untouched in Heathrow airport last summer — while I waited day-after-day in Tromsø, Norway.  Wanting to start my long cycling tour.  No reply to dozens of my attempts to contact them. 

After weeks I finally got the camping & cycling gear — but not the bike.  It was (finally) sent back to Canada. 

Scandinavian Airlines did EVERYTHING to ignore my compensation claim, as well.  Pretended I had not sent receipts, for example.  I had.  

Someone there finally got fed up of my pestering and reluctantly sent a voucher.

I’ll use it to get back to Tromsø, Norway this summer as it’s only valid until 2024-01-13.  And try to start my cycling trip again. 

_____ original post – August 12, 2022

Tromsø has the 3rd largest population (80k) north of the Arctic Circle anywhere (following Murmansk and Norilsk). 

At 69° it’s north of Reykjavík, for example.

350 kilometres (217 mi) north of the Arctic Circle.  The summer sun doesn’t set until July 27th.

On my only other trip to Norway I made it as far north as the Lofoten Islands, but not to Tromsø.

Strikingly scenic, it’s increasingly popular with tourists.

The Arctic Cathedral, built in 1965, is one memorable landmark.

I saw this Telephone booth converted into a FREE community library near the Cathedral. Brilliant.

I enjoyed wandering the streets, some bleak but interesting landscapes. And some ultramodern looking buildings.

With long, dark winters, libraries are popular here.

ME at my Bibliotek hangout. 😀

Historically, this was the furthest outpost of “Norweigans” in an area mainly populated by the Sámi.

Explorers like Roald Amundsen recruited their teams from here. Here’s a statue of Helmer Hanssen from nearby Andøya. (He’s unrelated to the Helly Hansen company, originally based out of Norway, purchased by retail chain Canadian Tire in 2009.)

I saw two memorials to Roald Amundsen, first to reach the South Pole and the North Pole. First to navigate the Northwest Passage.

Amundsen disappeared in June 1928 while flying on a rescue mission for the airship Italia in the Arctic. The search for his remains, which have not been found, was called off in September of that year.

It’s tempting to fly to Tromsø in winter. Very unique. The northern lights are visible most clear nights.

I stayed at the only hostel in town. About US $35 / night. They treated me well.

Click PLAY or see Tromso Activities Hostel on YouTube.

I flew to Tromsø to start south on a long cycling adventure. Sadly my bike and gear got stranded at Heathrow airport. I watched them unmoved for … weeks.

Waiting for my luggage. 😀

Surprisingly, there’s a botanical garden at the University here. Astonishing what they can grow in this climate with sunlight 24 hours / day.

After 2 weeks my gear bag finally arrived. But the bike remains in Heathrow as I post. 🤨

I’m finally heading south without it. By ferry and bus.

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