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Arctic journey’s end

Our time on Spitsbergen was coming to an end. We packed our bags and were dropped off at the airport. It didn’t take long at all to get through security. The airport is tiny! But I love it, it’s got a charm about it. Then it was time to wait for our flight. Our plane had to come from Oslo, via Tromsø and somewhere ‘down there’ the flight got delayed due to bad weather. In the end, we had to wait a few hours before we could finally board. Not much we could do about it, so we spent our time chatting, playing card games, eating and perhaps a little snoozing here and there too.

All ended up being ok and we arrived in Tromsø safe and sound, albeit like four hours later. We were picked up by the same bus driver who had brought us to Sommarøy before our adventure on Spitsbergen. He was such a nice guy. Unfortunately, about a month or so ago, we learnt that he had passed away, unexpectedly. So weird, so sad for his family and loved ones.

We had two nights in Sommarøy. We tried Northern Lights hunting both nights from Halvar Northern Lights Base Station, which is a great place by the way! Halvar is really friendly and inviting. Alas, we weren’t as lucky as we had been on Spitsbergen in catching the lights. It was a bummer, but on the other hand, I didn’t mind so much either. We were having a great time and we had seen the Northern Lights after all. Admittedly, it was quite relaxing to not have to worry about missing something. I was content and just happy to be there.

On Friday, our second to last day on this adventure, we went out for a boat tour. It was chilly, but not nearly as cold as it had been on Spitsbergen. It was a challenge to get to the harbour, as the roads were covered in a thick layer of ice! We tried to use the snowy bits on the sides of the roads, but at some point, we did have to go across. Inch by inch, very carefully. Same thing for going back after the boat tour! The boat tour itself was lovely, It was wonderful being out on the water. I always get some kind of seasick, and this was no different. I definitely didn’t sit inside, because that makes it worse. But I loved the wind in my face and the beautiful, moody vistas. We even saw some eagles, which I managed to ‘capture’ as mere smeared out dots in the sky. Towards the end of the boat tour, the sky was clearing up and the sun was breaking through. Beautiful!

Our last evening was a fact. And after a very tasty dinner, once again, it was time to pack up! I normally don’t take too long packing, but I don’t like waiting until the last minute either. So that evening, I decided to pack what I could, so I only had the last bits to stow the next day. Saturday February 8th we were taken back to the airport, where we boarded our charter flight home. Since it was a charter flight, there were only people who booked their trips through the same organisation I was travelling with. We made a stop in Kiruna to pick up more people, before heading back south. I can’t even remember if we had another stop in between, but I don’t think so. I think we flew straight home after departing Kiruna.

That brings me to the end of this amazing, spectacular arctic adventure! I enjoy reminiscing past travels, especially now that we’re in lockdown. I hope it brought you some joy too.

Next, I’ll return to sharing travel stories of my trips last year to Sweden and Åland (we’re getting to the Åland part!) and my travels around Iceland. Stay tuned and stay safe! 🙂

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