My first few days in Tromsø have been 70 degrees and sunny. Hard to believe for a city located over 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, but I’m not complaining 🙂
After a rough start with a delayed flight out of Minneapolis on Wednesday, the rest of the journey to Tromsø went smoothly. Another Ole alumni, Ingrid Aune, and I were on the same flights from MSP to Oslo, with a layover in Reykjavik, Iceland. It was great to have a friend along the way, but it was sad to say good-bye in Oslo.
I landed at the Tromsø airport on Thursday, and was greeted by Alexander, the postdoc in the lab I’ll be working in for the year. Alexander dropped me off at the house where I am renting a room for the year. My new home is a cozy white house located up on a hill overlooking the city center. I have a view of the ocean from my window! I’m living there with 3 other girls who are all very friendly.
As soon as I got there, I was asked by one of my housemates, Hilde, if I wanted to go swimming in the Arctic Ocean with her and her friend. I couldn’t say no; I’d never been swimming in an ocean before. It was a great and freezing “Welcome to Tromsø”, but we liked it so much that we jumped in again the next day
My housemate Hilde also is an incredible runner, and she was a participant in the “Extreme Mountain Challenge” this weekend. I had a lot of fun cheering for her as she raced up “Fjellheisen” – a narrow rocky path up to a 1,378 feet high outcropping that overlooks the entire city of Tromsø. The view was beautiful and I got to meet the fittest and sportiest people in Tromsø all at once. On Saturday, Hilde casually ran 50 kilometers (about 30 miles) back in the mountains, and I tried to cheer but mostly just wandered around in the forest. Can’t wait to get involved with the Tromsø Løperklubb (Tromsø Running Club) and the student hiking club.
On Friday, I started in the microbiology lab at UiT: The Arctic University of Norway. And by “started,” I mean I got my student ID card and set up in an office I’ll be sharing with two other grad students. I also spent a long time in the break room drinking coffee and saying “hi” to anyone who walked in. Looking forward to getting trained in next week!
This coming Thursday, I and the 15 other U.S. Fulbright students will be flying to Oslo for orientation. I also have plans to stay in Oslo for the weekend reconnect with Oles living there and babysit my second cousins. Hoping to post in this blog about every two weeks.
Until then, ha det!