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Living Above The Arctic Circle April 19, 2008

Posted by finallywoken in Around The World.
Tags: ,

This article is written by
Mulia Nurhasan, the blog owner of
My Process of Learning.


See the picture above? Beautiful isn’t it? C’on..you have got to admit. And I didn’t take it from a tourism site or top of a mountain. It’s just from my window, few minutes ago 😀 , 2.22 PM local time.

I live in Tromso, they say it’s the capital of the north. Capital, yea rite, we are only 64,782 people here. Hehe. It’s 300 km above the arctic circle. Do you know what that means? It means during summer, we have no moon and during winter we have no sun. AT ALL!!!

Extreme, huh. Wait till you hear more. Actually, unlike the rest of Europe we have only one season, which is winter. But we have green winter and white winter. From June to August (September sometimes if we are lucky), we’ll experience the green winter. It’s when trees are green and no snow falls down. The rest of the year, we have white winter. Where snows falls down a loot and the road is either snowy or icy.

goretex.JPGIt’s a challenge, really. Because even just to walk to school, we kinda need technique to do it. I use goretex shoes. I love it, it’s the best 70 euro I have ever spent in Europe. It helps me walk on ice, snow, wet field and even hike. If it’s not enough, i can also put spike underneath my shoes. It’s like a torn made of iron to crawl the ice so I won’t get slipped on the road. But I almost never use it. Like the Tromso people, I say “Spike are for tourist and old people”. Hehehe (sounds arrogance, huh).

It’s not so cold here. Not as cold as people thought because the city lies between the mountains and the sea. So the sea stabilize the city temperature. In winter time, the temperature range from zero to minus ten degrees and in summer it ranges from eight to twenty degrees. Twenty degrees is heaven for Tromso people. Last year they were so enthusiasts as they experience 20 degrees for more than a day in June and July. And they love it too much. Hahaha..funny people. They should have gone to Indonesia.

First year I was here, I thought during white winter, they will keep the children at home. Because it’s dark and cold and dangerous outside But guess what?! The Northern Norwegian were born with ski. So when snows come, they go to school with ski, like it’s part of their feet. When I ski, I feel so ashame, a couple of 70 years old grand ma and grand pa or four years old boy could ski faster than me! Crazy.


Although I enjoy a lot this extreme lifestyle, I must admit, I have escaped from this place the last two winter I had in Norway. Sorry but I couldn’t take it. I need sun. I am a tropical girl, God sake. So when winter comes, I am ready with a ticket to Barcelona, where sun waits for me and I can take off my winter coat. I can walk with normal cloths under 15 degrees celcius. hehe.

Winter is better off with snow then woithout. Because at least it’s not so dark. The white color from snow gives lighter impression and it will also absorb the cold. So we all loves snow here. Though we must admit it’s kinda too much sometimes. Imagine, now it’s April and it’s still snowy this morning. Last year it was end of May when the last snow fell down. I am expecting this year snow will fall in June, and so I will sing “Sometimes the snow comes down in June..” hehe, like Venesa Williams, you know..

Ah ya, one stunning thing I must tell you. Tromso is also famous for being the Northern light hunting most favorite venue. You know Aurora Borealis? Check here for more info. It’s stunningly beautiful. You can only see it when it’s so dark. But since during winter it’s always dark, you can see it a loot of time. Last winter, at 4 PM I walked out from library and there they were; green, red and white lights danced all over the sky..I can only say Subhanallah.

Anyway, much more to tell but will keep it for next time (perhaps). Maybe I’ll tell you about January in Tromso-the sacred month. Because it’s the first time sun appears again after two months 😀 . But for now, It’s enough to introduce my lovely beautiful city; Tromso, the capital of the north, Paris of the north, biggest city in the north..whatever. Tromso is a home to me, now.

Ha det bra from Tromso!

Note: the aurora pic was taken from here and the others are personal collection. Including the shoes, my hero 😀 .



1. the writer - April 19, 2008

I was planning to go to Bergen and Tromsø the other day when I visited Oslo, but alas we did not have enough time to do so, but will do next time, during winter because I am still wanting to see the aurora.

2. rima - April 19, 2008

Mulia, I have always wanted to see an aurora. Maybe I will get the chance to go to tromso one day for a visit. when is the best time to go there to get a glimpse of the beautiful aurora. (ps: my grandma’s name is aurora. Aurora Sterk)

3. M - April 20, 2008

aurora is great..really..worth to see it.
some are medium, some are just like rainbow but the great one..waaah..u must be lucky if u got to see it.

I could stand outside in cold for hours just to see them, dancing..green and red all over the sky..Subhanallah!

come on february or november. but it’s not always sure sih. ada website nya kok u predict aurora activity..but i forgot where did i bookmarked it..

4. genechelle - April 22, 2008

wow, that’s so cool! would defo try to visit one day! 🙂

5. yodee - Mei 23, 2008

you are so lucky, can you see midnight sun in the summer there? if yes, then yeah it’s confirmed that i’m absolutely jealous. and the auroras… oh they’re just to die for!!

6. asap - Juni 3, 2008

midnight sun….oh, that just reminds me of my 4 years in Norway. Expensive and cold country, but loveable….uh, i miss Bergen….

7. dinysays - Juni 3, 2008

damn beautiful. tho it’d freeze my tropical ass off, he heh.

8. anonimous - Juni 4, 2008

it’s mid night sun now, started 21 of May. Bergen has a lot of rain, isnt it? here we have only three months without snow. people complain when they get abit of rain and i used to say, this isnt rain. this is what we call in indonesia as gerimis. and this is romantic. if u want to complain about rain, u shud visit my home town on january. lol.

9. parvita - Juni 11, 2008

I would definetely be extremely depressed with no sun at all! I suffer SAD; every winter when I was living in the states I get hit by depression. But you are right, there are lots of fun playing out in the snow. I remember the snowball war we did with my colleagues when we were in Salt Lake City. I remember making snow angels with my friend.

Have to admit, your post makes me want to ‘just ‘ experience the snow for a bit. Just to visit. But to live there…I think I’ll stay in the equatorial area where I can wear bikinis on the beach, rather than heavy coats and boots! Good post!

10. Chocolab - Juli 16, 2008

Wow….really really wow….I am really impress with your place. I always love snow, but………after your story dunno if I still wanna go that extreme. But I would love to come and visit and see that aurora. Great writing!!!!!!!!!

11. Mieke J - Juli 17, 2008


This is truly awesome. I work in travel agent and I’d love to visit Acrtic. And watch the aurora. Kopk bisa kamu sampai tinggal di situ ? Due to marriage or work ? Duh ngiri………… Btw, if there’s a doctor congress nearby, I would like to visit yor area. Do you do couch surfing ??

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12. mulia - Agustus 7, 2008

Halo Mieke,

yes i have couchsurfing page, just find me, my username is Nurhasan. But i am travelling now. There are so many nice couchsurfers in Tromso, you should never give up to get one couch. We kinda know each other as its a small city.

Few weeks ago, my friend yang guide bilang ada turis Indo di Tromso. pas dia bilang di Tromso dia punya temen Indo, turisnya pada kaget. hehehe.

I was a student in Tro, now part time working in the uni but i left Tromso, dunno if this is for good or not. But i am pretty much nomad.

Saranku, go and visit Tromso, when else in your life you will experience the midnight sun and aurora borealis dancing around the sky? so many mountains to hike, so large sea to sail. Tromso is a place which you can have 30 minutes walk to the mountain, 30 minutes walk to the sea, 30 minutes walk to the city.

I miss it already 🙂

13. white - Agustus 18, 2008

i am very much fascinated by the aurora borealis,,, perhaps in another lifetime, i could go there and experience that wonderful display of lght that seemed to captivate my soul…..perhaps…someday!

14. Endy - Oktober 7, 2008

” So when winter comes, I am ready with a ticket to Barcelona, where sun waits for me and I can take off my winter coat. I can walk with normal cloths under 15 degrees celcius.”

So I am an absolute whimp!! It is fall in BC Canada, it is 15C, the farmers just finished harvesting the apples.. still waiting to harvest the grapes to make the ice wine.. and my so tropical butt already freezing!!

I can’t believe my whining and bellyaching! But darn it.. I’d rather be in that 30C baking in the sun! Well hopefully things will change when the first snow flakes comes..

15. Hassan - Desember 23, 2008

Hey Mulia, I have a question for you, do you know how to speak Norwegian or are you speaking in English with the people in Tromso?

I’d love to go there but I don’t know any Norwegian.

16. Ben - Januari 17, 2009

Great read! I visited Tromsø in July and I’m coming back in a few days. How did you come to live there? Do you have a job there? If so, how did you find it? I’m also curious as to whether you speak Norwegian. I’ve been teaching myself with the hope of living there, so locals won’t always see me as a tourist, but I’m by no means fluent.

To Hassan, I went to Tromsø in July and got by nearly completely with English. I tried speaking a little Norwegian but it was by no means required. I met only one person who didn’t speak English, an old lady who probably grew up there before it was taught as a second language. I used her to practice my Norwegian on. 🙂

17. Shelley Saminem Langford - Maret 25, 2009

I’m visiting Tromso this June with my British husband. We will stop there on the way to and from Svalbard. Maybe when I go to Svalbard I will be the most Utara ever Indonesian on record?

18. jandy lee - Agustus 27, 2009

hi there…
i so love your way of telling ’bout the North. aurora borealis is my interest since we talked that during my general science class
by d way im jandy from the PHILIPPINES and im quite fanatic of natural phenomena.
i’ll visit your site next time
take care

19. Nicole Stromsoe - November 4, 2009

Do you know anything about traditional Norwegian music in relation to the aurora? are there songs about it? Or does the aurora influence music written by people living in the Arctic circle?

Also, have you ever “HEARD” the aurora? It is a myth that the aurora makes a sound, correct???

20. gloriadelia - November 17, 2009

I used your beautiful aurora borealis picture on my blog. Is that ok? I will link it back to your blog. If it’s not fine with you, I’ll find another.

Thanks, Gloris

21. The Heavens Declare the Glory of God… « Gloriadelia - November 17, 2009

[…] thanks to these photographers: David B. Vernon (moon over bridge), Mulia Nurhasan (Aurora Borealis), Sarah Mack (hand under […]

22. gloriadelia - November 17, 2009

Here’s the direct link: http://gloriadelia.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/the-heavens-declare-the-glory-of-god/

Thanks, Gloris

p.s. I can’t imagine being able to see that in person. Wow.

23. priyanka - November 20, 2009

awesome yaar….its really damm lovely , i would like to njoy der one day ….n would like toplay wid snow flakes…………

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