Discovering Norway’s Arctic Secrets

Everybody that comes to the Norwegian arctic makes their own memories, their own story.  Sometimes, the stories of discovering the arctic are long and complex, like, “I moved here several years ago” or “I came to study at the university and never left”.

Other times, the stories begin, “I was there for a weekend,” “I spent my honeymoon there”, or “I finally got a chance to see the northern lights.” And while those stories are shorter, they can be just as powerful as the ones that involve a major change in location.

You never know when you’ll stumble over a moment that makes you realize you are somewhere special. For some people, it’s the view from a mountaintop or over the vast and empty wilderness plain, or an unexpected swoop of the northern lights overhead in the sky. Or maybe something smaller, like suddenly realizing as you gaze into a wood fire along a forest bicycle trail, that you can’t remember the last time you felt so peaceful, so connected to the land around you.

Jon Brown, a composer from the USA, took a tour up to this area last winter to listen to new sounds and get new ideas and perspectives. The video of his time discovering Tromsø, Alta and points in between shows that he did more than just collect sounds.

Take a look at the video and watch his experiences!  For us, it’s about seeing familiar faces and places. For you… maybe you’ll want to come do some discovering of your own.

4-star Experiences in Alta

Every now and then, we’re asked to build an itinerary for clients coming into northern Norway, and the travel agent or tour operator tells us, “These are very high end clients and they require 4-star accommodation”, or 4-star meals, or some other kind of 4-star thing.

That’s perfectly ok, because excellence in service and products is important to have. But here in the far north, we’re a little short on Armani suits and white gloves. You’ll find lots of Bergans coats and Ulvang wool socks, and snowmobile suits for sale pretty much everywhere, and lots of people debating whether Ski-Doo or Arctic Cat makes better snowmobiles (leave your own preferences in the comments, I’m not getting in the middle of those discussions).

And you’ll also find some delightful surprises, like a chance to eat a decidedly elegant dinner out in the middle of nowhere at a husky farm, where one of the owners happens to also have his professional kitchen. But we’ll leave the big palaces and tony hotels to the folks down south, thanks.

BUT… Continue reading “4-star Experiences in Alta”

An Arctic Morning’s Commute in Alta

Something about “the simple things”… a reminder about being lucky.  And now in mid-November here in Alta, the fast-dwindling light is beginning to turn blue again – that’s not a trick of the camera!

The morning commute to North Adventure in arctic Alta, Norway

Alta’s city center is just around the corner to the right – another five minutes’ walk ahead would put you right in the “bustling metropolis.” Even with 20,000 people in town, you’re never more than a few minutes from quiet roads that beckon toward the wilderness beyond.

Weihnachtsstimmung – Fehlanzeige?

Regelmäßig telefoniere ich mit Freunden und Familie in Deutschland. Dabei sind 2 Themen während der Gespräche zurzeit immer wieder hervorstechend:

  1. Wetter
  2. Weihnachtsgeschenke

Zwei Dinge, die in Deutschland zurzeit wohl nicht zusammenpassen.

Da bekomme ich immer wieder zu hören, daß es für diese Jahreszeit, immerhin bereits November, viel zu warm ist. Ist es gerade nicht zu warm, dann ist es zu regnerisch und zu feucht. „Usselich“ eben, wie man im Rheinland zu sagen pflegt.

Continue reading “Weihnachtsstimmung – Fehlanzeige?”

“What Can You Do in Alta?” – Winter 2016 edition

When people ask what one can do in Alta, it’s easy to just answer “a lot”.  We could be a little less snappy and say, “Northern Lights, dogsledding, snowmobiles, hiking and biking and snowshoes, ice fishing, the Igloo Hotel, museums and slate quarries and tours and eating.”

But sometimes it helps to be more specific and say THESE tours are available at THESE times. And since we like being helpful 🙂 you can take a look at the digital version of our Winter 2016 brochure – yes, in full and delightful color – and get a better view of what you can do.

You can see the pdf here: Winter 2016 Brochure, english

Need some motivation? Here’s an awesome picture of a husky dog by Stefan Dahlqvist:

Husky dog northern lights

One of the “simple things”…

If you look around in picture groups on Facebook and Instagram, you discover some amazing photographs of the nature in the area. Professional and amateur photographers alike find great success creating art from the surroundings, and it’s no surprise; this truly is a wondrous and wild environment.

But sometimes one gets a feeling of being lucky without a grand panorama. This morning, staring out my kitchen window in the middle of town, it suddenly occurred to me that even this ordinary view, without special lighting or a theme or any setup, made me feel really fortunate to be here.  There’s a tremendous sense of serenity after a new snow, with the world so quiet and fresh and beautiful, and for a moment all the conflicts and problems and noise falls away and you feel, just for that instant, like everything is going to be okay.

kitWin01