Friday, 2 February 2018

Travelling solo...plus kids!



On New Year's Day, I flew with my three kids under 8 into the polar night to discover Tromsø in Northern Norway. Yes, it was a feat of organisational skill, patience, and determination that got us on that holiday but I'm so glad I did it. 

There were obviously moments that weren't on my list of holiday highlights. The little one kicking the aeroplane seat in front for hours as the poor girl tried to study for an exam. The little one jumping the queue at Norwegian passport control, bypassing the desk and disappearing through the doors! The little one clambering onto the baggage check in and heading up the baggage transport system (weight: 15kg, label: missing). The older two weren't saints either, but at least they can be reasoned with/bribed....


I also hadn't quite anticipated how cold it would be. Turns out Tromsø is above the Arctic Circle! "I freezing!" "My chin cold!" I might have economised on the wrong things when packing - I mean buying brand new kids snow boots for one week is such a waste of money, right? Wrong!! Norway is also so expensive that we basically lived off waffles and cinnamon rolls all week - OK, not a total hardship. Navigating Tromsø's bus system in the dark and with deep snow drifts is not up there in my top life skills...we spent a lot of time waiting at bus stops!




But of course, being there was brilliant. We stayed with our lovely Norwegian friends who managed to beg, borrow and steal car seats, snow boots and extra gloves for their ill-prepared British visitors. We went husky sledding at the awesome Villmarkssenter, with a bonus opportunity to feed reindeer in knee deep snow. We took the Fjellheisen cable car up to see the stunning view of Tromsø and the surrounding fjords amidst snow and serene pink and blue skies. The little one screamed the whole time but it was still beautiful.




We headed even further North through blizzards to a traditional cabin, to let off fireworks, sledge, attempt fishing in the dark (risky!) and best of all, get cosy or “koselig” with hot chocolate. We enjoyed a typical Norwegian park day - sledging and ice skating.





The proper fun family activities were amazing but of course, the holiday was made even better by a night off enjoying eye-wateringly expensive cocktails in town. Yes, it turns out the Norwegians love a gin just as much as I do. Now I'm looking for my next adventure. Having helpful mates obviously makes all the difference so friends in exciting foreign climes, you may be hearing from me soon...you can host a family of four right?





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