February 25, 2017 (Day 10)

Highlights:

  • On Hurtigruten to Tromsø
  • Casual walk near the apartment

We all had a comfortable sleep and when we got up, the ship was approaching the village of Harstad, the second-most populated municipality in Troms county. It is mostly located on the large island of Hinnøya. The southbound Hurtigruten ship, Kong Harstad passed us by. The ship reached Harstad at around 645am and the weather was awful. We decided to grab breakfast. The buffet was sumptuous, Vegas style. After breakfast, we checked out the various decks of the ship. At about 10am, we walked to the small auditorium where they showed the Discovery Channel documentary of MS Fram, another cruise ship in the Hurtigruten fleet, fighting through the ice-choked fjords of Greenland. It was quite impressive.

The sky was clearing and the existence of the sun was reconfirmed when we reached Finnsnes at around 11am, the last stop before reaching Tromsø. The ship docked in the cute village for 30 minutes. While the trio took turns to take a quick shower, I grabbed my camera bag and started shooting some images from the back of the ship.

View of Finnsnes from MS Nordkapp (Nikon D7100; 66mm; f11; 1/250 sec; ISO 200)

The ship promptly left at 1130am for the 2 hour journey to our destination, Tromsø. We passed some beautiful villages with awesome snow clad mountains in the background. The images below is a sampling of pictures I shot between Finnsnes and Tromsø.

View of Silsand from MS Nordkapp (Nikon D7100; 100mm; f11; 1/250 sec; ISO 200)
View of Leiknes from MS Nordkapp (Nikon D7100; 62mm; f11; 1/250 sec; ISO 200)
View of Lenvik Kirke from MS Nordkapp (Nikon D7100; 92mm; f11; 1/200 sec; ISO 200)

The ship reached Tromsø right on time at 230pm. We unloaded our stuff and looked for a taxi to take us to the apartment which was just about 0.25 miles away. The owner of the apartment had promised to pick us up at the Hurtigruten terminal but he had rented his car to somebody else. As we each had 3 bags to carry, it was prudent to look for a taxi. The ship docked very close to the Scandic Ishavshotel and the lobby had a touch screen terminal to order a taxi. While waiting for the taxi, we grabbed a few shots of MS Nordkapp getting cleaned.

MS Nordkapp docked in Tromsø (iPhone 6 photo)

Soon, the taxi driven by a Pakistani showed up. We loaded our luggage and the ride to the apartment 0.25 miles away took 3 minutes and cost 200 NOK/US$24. The taxi charge translated to about $100/mile!!!! The apartment owner met us at the front, helped unload, and took us to the apartment on the 10th floor. It was about 330pm when we settled down. The apartment was spacious with 2 bed rooms, fully equipped kitchen, a nice living room with a giant TV, broadband internet and a big set of washer and dryer in the bathroom. There was also a small lounge area facing south with a small sofa.

About 15 minutes later, we realized that the Europcar rental car facility at the airport closed at 4pm. We frantically called the counter but nobody picked up. Later we realized that on Saturdays, it closed at 2pm. Go figure!!! Dash had prepaid for the car for over US$125/day and one day rental was down the drain. The next day, being Sunday, the counter opened only at 1pm. The moral of the story: No need to rent a car in Tromsø as the town is quite small and you can hit all the attractions by foot. Only reason we rented the car was for going to Lyngen on Monday morning. We decided to relax as it was constantly snowing. The view from the lounge area of the apartment facing south was spectacular and we all took turns to shoot some images.

Tromsø Cathedral/Domkirke shot from our apartment(Nikon D800E; 75mm; f11; 1/100 sec; ISO 800)
View of Tromsø from our apartment(Nikon D800E; 78mm; f11; 1/10 sec; ISO 100)
View of Kongsbakken Secondary School from the entrance to our apartment (Nikon D800E; 95mm; f11; 1/80 sec; ISO 100)

Snow stopped at around 6pm. Sun had already set at 430pm. We walked around the town for about 90 minutes. MS Nordkapp left the dock towards Kirkenes at 630pm. It was windy and cold as usual. I decided not to lug around my camera gear. We returned to the apartment a little past 8pm and the Trio cooked a terrific dinner. As we carried the groceries we had purchased in Lofoten, there was no immediate need to buy more that day. The Northern Lights forecast was not favorable. We washed and dried our clothes and went to bed.

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