Land of the Midnight Sun

Hard to believe my Fulbright year in Tromsø is already drawing to a close. It seems just yesterday that I arrived, fresh off the plane. Thank you to everyone who has supported me while I stretched my wings during this year abroad! On July 21st, I fly into Minneapolis. Can’t wait to be stateside again after almost a full year away.

It will be bittersweet to leave, but I’ve been cheered up this past week thanks to some good friends visiting in Tromsø. Carly, Nikki, and Gretchen are three sweet ladies from the cross country running team at Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. The night of June 18th we made our racing debut above the Arctic Circle: the Midnight Sun Marathon.


The Midnight Sun Marathon is the world’s northernmost certified marathon and in June the temperature for the race was a balmy 40 degrees (Fahrenheit). The marathon course is a stunning sweep along the mountain-ringed coast past white beaches and picturesque wooden houses. The race started at 8:30 pm and went over the midnight hour. Although it was cloudy and threatened rain, the sky never darkened fully, even at midnight. With enough energy gel and water, we all pulled through. After 26.2 miles later, we crossed the finish line holding hands – exhausted but happy with our sub-4 hour marathon debut!


We slept in the next morning then celebrated the race with Norwegian heart-shaped waffles and ice cream. The rest of the week was spent sightseeing and doing some light hiking in Tromsø- complaining about our soreness the whole way of course!

Now we are headed south to travel Scandinavia together by train. We have spent the past couple days touring around Oslo by tram and subway. We were lucky to have sunshine and perfect weather to take the ferry to Langøyene islands in Oslo fjord.  The Vigeland sculpture park was stunning by sunset and we closed out the day grilling hot dogs by the lake Sognsvann.

I’m writing this now as we sit on the train from Oslo to Stockholm. We plan to celebrate Midsummer in Sweden for a few days then take the train onwards to Copenhagen. More photos and a new post of our travels to come soon 🙂 So lucky to have the opportunity to travel with friends and celebrate the end of the Fulbright year!

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