Aurora by my window | Arctic Panorama Lodge, Tromso, Norway
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You wouldn’t dream of eating out in a fancy restaurant in Norway and you’d definitely think twice about splurging on optional extras. You head to such a place to revel in nature, get soaked in the few wonders found only in this part of the world. Yet, no matter how much you’d like to cut down on costs, they still have a way of creeping up on you. Even after factoring all of this, when you search for a cosy corner in a remote part of the world and find one that’s exactly how you’d imagined it to be, joy knows no bounds.
In a frenzy of ensuring my expenditure stayed low, I happened to find such a place in a remote location near Tromso called Uloya. An island with about 80 inhabitants, most of them who only visited to get a glimpse of the Northern Lights, the location exemplified ‘offbeat’. Hidden on the other end of the island was Arctic Panorama Lodge.
It wasn’t a mean task getting to the lodge though. After getting to Tromso, a 3 hour drive and a 40 minute ferry later, we met Svein, on Uloya, who looked very similar to a character from ‘Frozen’ to me. He greeted us with a smile that made his eyes disappear. After feeling happy at the initial welcome, I headed to Arctic Panorama.
The lodge was anything but a ‘lodge’! A full-stocked bar was present as soon as we entered and the massive living room was done tastefully in hues of brown. Fancy furnishings dotted the corners and it all felt very welcome right from the first instance.
We headed to the bedroom which was again, homely. The bathroom was elegant, super spacious and extremely clean. After getting refreshed, I headed out to wander around. The kitchen was well stocked and Aud and Sheila were busy preparing meals and setting the table. Miniature reindeer’s sat on the counter. The food smelled lovely.
While waiting for the table to be set I was pleasantly surprised when I realised the dining room had full-length windows by its side and the majestic mountains were being reflected in the Arctic sea. Not a soul was in sight other than some migrating birds. Svein chuckled and said ‘It’s to keep an eye out to ensure we don’t miss the lights while we eat!’
While we ate delicious roe soup and heard tales from a bygone era from Aud, the lights faintly flickered outside the window. I finished my meal in a hurry, used some of the spare boots and jackets to layer myself and headed outside to wait for the Northern lights. It wasn’t too cold and I was reassured by the fact that if I did feel cold, bed was just a minute away.
The lights did make an appearance and it was an experience like no other. I giggled , cried and muffled my screams. A hot tub bubbled to the side of the lodge, looking very inviting. A few other guests decided to give it a try while sipping some beer.
I started to feel cold and headed to my room to continue watching the lights from the window. As I continued to watch the lights I realised, I had truly found a place that was magical, away from civilisation, where it was possible to feel both like a tourist and a local at the same time.
Pictures // Ajay Hasabnis/Lavina
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Arctic Panorama Lodge, Tromso, Norway
- Arctic Panorama Lodge offers all inclusive stays including local home-cooked meals * 3
- There are always excellent offers available if booked directly from the website
- You can definitely specify meal preferences when you get there or via mail
- There’s a variety of activities you can do on the island itself including but not limited to snow-shoe walking, hiking, skiing, ice-fishing, snowmobiling etc.
- The rooms are spacious and the lodge itself is very elegant
- There is also a big patio right outside the dining area
- Drinks are always available at an extra charge
- There’s also boots, snow jackets available if you need to borrow it at no extra charge
- The location is excellent, at the entrance to the Lyngen Fjord, with the Arctic sea in the front
- You do not need to chase the Northern lights here, all you need to do is step outside. If you get a room facing the mountains you’re sure to see them from your window too!
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