We have left Tromsø behind, but have retained a wealth of knowledge and experiences gleaned from our time there.
Polaria is a Museum compound with a conglomerate of buildings introducing topical subjects of interest to Norwegians and all citizens with Arctic/Antarctic concerns. Thus they’re subjects which should concern all of us. Of most interest to me were the projects presented by students from the
in Norwegian and English). Oil exploration and drilling and its effects on the
environment was one topic. Another was fish farming … how fish diseases are
transmitted and how the spread of disease can be controlled. The students tried
to address all the implications of the subject – including how (despite the
undeniable negative effects of oil spills or infection of fish species) the
positive benefits of these enormously lucrative businesses gave the country
more economic and political stability and reduced unemployment (also an
important topic to poor students everywhere!)
of Northern Norway
The seals were getting a lot of attention from the rest of the public but we had a happily-reminiscent time looking at the huge wolf eels, halibut and other fishes in the aquarium. Most beautiful to me was a lovely little tank full of bright pink coralline algae, variously-coloured anemones, sea stars and blennies – the amazing semi-rounded acrylic glass which protruded out into the gallery allowed the fish to swim right up to our astonished gaze. An MSc student of marine biology (studying harp seal eating habits) showed us around. As with all aquaria, this one is struggling for funds. A new tank is needed to keep the aggressive species from eating most of the other inhabitants – it’s a fish-eat-fish world!
Our other treasured visit was to the Polar Museet – a wonderful older building echoing with the optimism and joy of discovery of the early Northern explorers –
is justly proud of the amazing talents of Amundsen and Nansen to name just two
individuals. The exhibits tried to balance this with the fact that without the
generous gifts of knowledge given to the Europeans by the peoples of the North
– the Sami, the Inuit and the indigenous people across the Arctic,
none of the map-making and trail-blazing could have taken place. The exhibits
also showed the accomplishments of the many trappers (including women!) who
earned a living in the North – fighting polar bears and isolation to survive in
|Linde and Linda|
We’re so happy/lucky to have aboard our friend Linda Thom from
Ottawa – we’ve
known each other a long time. She and her husband Don befriended me while I was
living nearby as a single mom and teaching primary school. As she’s done so
often when she visited me, Linda brought her gold medal (L.A. 1984 Olympics in
Women’s Pistol Shooting) to astonish other visitors to our saloon. We’re hoping
that only her photo-shooting abilities will be called into play IF we get to Svalbard and IF we meet any polar bears.
The beautiful Tromsø Cathedral has a wonderful 42-stop, 3-manual new Grönlund (Swedish) organ. We were lucky to get to several fabulous concerts by virtuoso organist Linde Mothes – she generously invited me up to see the organ – I declined playing (it’s been 7 years since I was able to practice).
|Mozart Piano Duo|
We reciprocated with an invitation to lunch on Traversay III and we enjoyed a musical dialogue there … such a welcome guest … and a rare joy for me to make music with someone of her calibre.
Now we’re on our way under interesting, cloudy skies to visit “Opportune” and Rune in