High Noon in Tromsø, Norway, in January

Northern Lights: Days 6 – 11 – Plague

The Polar Night Half Marathon went off without issue and even featured some nice fireworks at the start and finish. The bars were open until late (or early…). From the hotel restaurant area, I could see some of the festive town streets. They were simply gorgeous in the holiday lights, snow, and ice! Tromsø is such a quaint town inside the arctic circle! People were having a great time.

Yes, being horribly sick during vacation abroad is no fun at all. The trip to Poland was cancelled. I simply couldn’t fly with the horrendous levels of congestion I had. I just stayed in bed here in Tromsø.

During this trip I realized that Pseudoephedrine, the active ingredient that makes Vick’s NyQuil actually work for me, can not be found anywhere in Europe! Apparently the drug lords use it to make some street narcotic. Nothing I could do would reduce the congestion. Finally, worried that I would not be able to make the flight to Amsterdam on the 10th, I decided I needed to go to the doctor.

This was an interesting experience. I had to go to the emergency room. While there, a taxi pulled up yelling something to me as stood outside. (It was boiling hot inside.) I kept saying I only speak English as he tried several languages. Then I realized his last 2 languages were in fact his version of English! He was looking for the doctor. His fare appeared to have been in a horrible accident with a broken and bloody face and two giant hiking packs. A helicopter arrived with someone else. But mostly the ER was filled with people filled with congestion.

I am impressed with how tough the people of Tromsø must be! They have to know how to walk on ice, if nothing else! And they are a very outdoor people. They love this.

The doctor and I had an interesting time trying to communicate until I coughed. “Ahhhhh! I understand.”

My days and nights were spent watching the ships dock outside the window, watching the taxis come and go, jumping out of my skin when the ships’ fog horns unexpectedly blared before they departed, listening to the singing (that went on until 3am) from the bars down the street, watching the sun rise (there was no sunrise! only darkness this time of year), enjoying the heated bathroom floors, watching it snow, watching it drizzle, watching it freeze… The big outing every day was going down for their wonderful breakfast.

The lack of change between day and night really became noticeably dismal. But this was a very interesting experience. The sun was scheduled to make its first appearance in a couple of weeks, and people were already planning their parties. I now understand why these people love bright colors indoors and paint their houses and businesses very interesting and intense colors.

Unfortunately, the trip to shoot the northern lights did not produce any norther lights for me! The local weather and my health prohibited it.

By flight day, I could travel again. My chest was horribly congested, but my ears were considerably better.

Ship in Tromsø, Outside my Hotel Room
Ship in Tromsø, Outside my Hotel Room
High Noon in Tromsø, Norway, in January
High Noon in Tromsø, Norway, in January

Unfortunately, the dirty window caused spots on the iPhone pictures above. (You can seem them most in the sky at high noon.)