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Visiting Kvaløya Island

Norway VT Euromeet day eight

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Grøtfjord, Kvaløya island

Our Virtual Tourist meeting had officially ended but I still had one more day to explore the area and some of my fellow VTers were also staying till tomorrow. Four of us – me, Anne Marie, Martin and Zohara – had booked a landscape and wildlife tour which took us to various locations on Kvaløya island, a much larger island connected to Tromsø by bridge.

So after breakfast we walked together to the pick-up point near the Radisson Blu hotel. Our guide Stine arrived on time but was surprised to find four of us waiting as she’d been told, wrongly, that there were just two on the tour. Luckily she had a large enough car, although it wasn’t the minibus I’d been anticipating.

Stine was friendly and quite informative but the set-up in the car meant that Zohara, who’d chosen the back seat, couldn’t hear the facts she shared as we drove. We did ask her to speak up but she didn’t seem to have the usual tour guide’s knack of projecting her voice. A shame, as otherwise she was good company for our day out and those of us who could hear her learned quite a lot!

Unfortunately the weather wasn’t great at the start of the tour, and it was raining when we stopped for the first sight, some old buildings near Hella, relocated from Tromsø itself.


Old houses on Kvaløya Island

Soon after this we saw our first reindeer, a male in the road. Appropriate, as it was still raining!

Reindeer in the road


As we approached Grøtfjord we stopped at a viewpoint above the small village of Grøtfjorden.

View of Grøtfjorden

The rain was easing by the time we drove down into the village for a closer look.


Driving on we skirted beautiful Grøtfjord and stopped for photos several times. Stine assured us we would be passing back this way and might have the chance for more photos in better conditions, but I thought it looked pretty stunning already, despite the low cloud over the mountains.



Around Grøtfjord


We had a longer break in the small fishing village of Tromvik. By now it was dry, if not exactly sunny, and we were able to enjoy hot chocolate and biscuits by a small cove.

The beach at Tromvik

Afterwards Anne Marie and I walked a short distance along the harbour wall for more photos - lots more photos!


Views from the sea wall

Fishing boats



Looking back towards the village


We then made our way gradually back around Grøtfjord. This time Stine stopped in lots of scenic places where we were able to get out of the minibus to take photos, for the most part in dry or almost dry conditions. The scenery varied but was always awesome. There were sandy coves and rocky ones, streams and small waterfalls, snow-streaked mountains and every shade of green imaginable!

I will try to show restraint in choosing which photos to share from this part of the day, but I have so many favourites!


A small beach by Grøtfjord


Stream flowing into Grøtfjord





Views of Grøtfjord
~ you can see Martin by the water's edge in the last one, giving a sense of scale

Martin and Anne Marie, Grøtfjord

Martin and Zohara

Towards the end of the tour Stine stopped at a supermarket selling lots of Norwegian specialities. I bought some chocolate and sweets for Chris while Zohara got brown cheese for herself and chocolate for her grandchildren.

Before crossing back to Tromsø Island Stine took us to a spot where she hoped we’d see more reindeer, and we did, including a few calves. A lovely way to end the tour!



We got back to the hotel a little after two. It had been a great tour despite the sometimes poor weather, although I had hoped to see more variety of birds.

Last look at Tromsø

I was tempted to have a restful few hours but this was my last afternoon in Tromsø so I decided on a short walk around town to stretch my legs after spending a lot of time in the bus. I went to check out the small Catholic Cathedral which is relatively simple but was decorated for (I think) First Holy Communion services.


In the RC Cathedral

Organ loft details

Stations of the Cross

And I took a last few street art photos before returning to the hotel to sort the far too many shots I’d taken this morning!


Street art in Tromsø

In the evening I’d booked a table for those of us still in Tromsø at the Egon restaurant next door to our hotel. This is a Norwegian chain with reasonable prices by that country’s standards and operating more like a UK pub in that you have to order and pay for everything at the bar. There were ten of us in total as in addition to those of us who’d been on the Kvaløya trip, five others had stayed on for the extra day to see more of the area, and we were also joined by our local host Jon. It was a great last evening with loads of chat about the things we’d been doing and plans for next year in Kotor. A super way to round off the meet!

In Egon: Yvonne, Jon, Isa, Martin, Diana, Zohara, Anne Marie, Malena, Shelagh (I took the photo!)

My fish with bacon and chips - yummy!

Posted by ToonSarah 08:14 Archived in Norway Tagged landscapes people snow islands food rain restaurant views cathedral weather norway seas street_art virtual_tourist Comments (10)

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