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Sun, 15 Jul 2007
day 09: tromsoe and polar zoo (0 comments)
after getting up at the park ground next to tromsoe we drove to the center of the town. our first stop was at the church, but it was closed at that time in the morning. so we drove on to the tromsoe museum. the streets were totally empty and as in helsinki we were the only people on the street. tomtom guided us to the tromsoe museum. we thought we were just in time, since our paper guide said the museum opens at 09:00. so we sat there and were wondering why it's still closed at 09:15, until we found out that we are in another time zone again. so we adjusted our clocks to GMT +1. oh no, we got up one hour too early - it was 06:00 when the alarm clock rang. so we got back to our camper, i took a short nap, zombiequeen was reading, and we returned to the museum at 09:00 sharp - this time it really was 09:00! when the museum had opened its gates we went in, had a look at various exhibitions, like a special exhibition on fire (one could try to make fire themselves), of course a sami exhibition (this is a must to every museum to show political correctness, i guess), a special on climate changes, about the people living in the stone age, another exhibition on the aurora borealis (another must to every museum in north scandinavia). we were the only people there, which is pretty cool and very enjoyable. afterwards we drove to the polaria, a small but very nice museum on the fauna around the northern polar areas. a highlight were the living seals that had a big aquarium there they could swim in. one could get really close to them. unfortunately the light conditions were very very bad in there and the seals were moving very fast, so no sharp pictures were taken of those lovely creatures. besides seals there were all kind of living animals like sea-stars, fish, crabs, eels, etc. additionally we saw a film (again in 125 degree viewpoint angle, by the same company and technology as the one shown at the north cape - scandinavians seem to enjoy those techniques). it was about spitsbergen, over and under the sea, filmed in either a boat or a helicopter. great pictures again. we left the camper at the parking ground of the polaria and went to the center by foot. we saw the center and the harbour. very lovely town with beautiful houses, but again not very many people there, and the once we saw were most likely tourists. seems like norwegians are having holidays and they all flee to warmer countries, or they stay at home on sunday? we are not sure. another attraction we've been visiting was the arctic cathedral. there was an entrance fee of 25NOK (that's about 2.5EUR). the church itself was ok, but we were a bit puzzled about the entrance fee, because inside it looked like an ordinary church. ok, there was a nice, big, glass-painted window but this definitely was not worth the 2.5EUR. but, for the first time in my live, i've been to a toilet in a church. that was worth the entry. additionally we've seen another member of the "world's northernmost"-attractions: a brewery. so up to now this makes: the world's northernmost point that can be reached by street (north cape), town, catholic church community, university, ice-free harbour (all in hammerfest), afterwards we left the "paris of the north", heading for the lofoten. on the way there we saw an advertisement for the polar zoo (of course the world's northernmost one). spontaneously we decided to go there since the weather was really awesome, and we hoped to finally see a moose in full view. but we were very disappointed as we read a sign saying "we are sorry, but the moose is dead.". poor moose, poor us. besides the moose there are foxes (polar and red), lynxes, brown bears, badgers, domestic animals, wolves, musk, deer, reindeer, and wolverines. this zoo has very very large enclosure with wild growing plants in there. so it often happened, that we didn't see any animal at all. either because they were hiding somewhere within their large enclosures, or in their lair, lying around in the grass or bushes, or they were dead. but in summary we saw every second animal (badger, bear, wolves, polar foxes, domestic animals, deer). after spending two hours in the zoo we drove on southwards. but since it was already late camping grounds were crowded. after two full camping grounds we finally found a very beautiful one. besides the two of us there were only three other campers and five tents there. after having our camper plugged to an electricity outlet we took a walk around the camping site.

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