But first, let’s carry on where we left off (the previous post is available here if you haven’t seen it yet)…
After our day exploring Tromso, we were very pleased with the idea of dinner followed by a quick dip in the hot tub (though perhaps it might have made sense to do it the other way around?).
Dinner was a hearty affair of creamy soups and cod (at the Sommaroy Hotel) which I wolfed down very quickly.
What we hadn’t really thought about was what swim trunks we were going to wear to the hot tub, seeing as our luggage hadn’t arrived with us into Tromso. Luckily for us, the hotel had swimming outfits available to borrow… not swimming outfits as you’d think though.
These were retro swimwear and it was pretty much lust at first sight (we all ended up buying one when we left).
Swimwear on, we headed out into the cold to the delightfully warm hot tub! We alternated between walking out, instantly freezing and running back in to warm up until we pretty much looked like prunes.
By this point, it was properly dark and we headed out to check out the Northern Lights on the beach (after changing of course) – we had the full-body fishermen’s outfits we’d been lent by the hotel too to keep us warm (don’t worry, the outfits didn’t actually smell of fish so we were good on that account).
The Northern Lights were weak that night but the beach was actually sheltered from the wind and made for a good spot to just chill and chat till the wee hours when we crawled into bed.
The next day, we checked out of our hotel, thanking everyone for their help so far and made our way to the main city of Tromso – confusingly also known as Tromso. Today we would be heading out into the Arctic Sea on the Vulkana, an Arctic Spa experience unlike any other.
Initially, when I’d heard about the Vulkana, I thought it was just a boat with a sauna on it and wasn’t overly interested but after speaking to someone who’d done it before, I was assured that this would be totally worth it. They were right!
Unassuming as you get on (all you see is the hot tub steaming), you soon realise that the Vulkana is almost labyrinth-like boat just waiting for you to have an amazing time!
The staff onboard are also pretty amazing and get you settled in very quickly with drinks, snacks and a proper introduction to the boat (which also has rooms on here so you can rent it for an Arctic tour lasting several days… or maybe even weeks).
Onboard, you’ve got a dining place upstairs – next to the bar, bathroom, showers and not too far from the sauna (the sauna has a great view as you sail along).
Downstairs you have a living area, complete with fireplace – all leading to the steam room.
Upstairs you have the general chill out area (the drinks are left outside to chill – you’ve got alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks included) and if you go to the top deck, you’ll find the hot tub; arguably our favourite spot due to the amazing view (beats the sauna view – that view is from a window – whereas here, you’re outside).
We spent a couple of hours just unwinding and totally soaking up (the view and also quite literally) before remembering what our host had said when we first stepped on board
“If you want, you can take a dip in the Arctic sea, it’s cold but it’s the Nordic way…” she said.
While the other “Mmmmm”ed about it, I immediately said yes. Somehow, I just knew I had to do it though I was pretty much terrified of the thought of it once it finally came round.
(Due to lack of luggage, ergo, lack of swimwear, this, of course, meant using a strange cross between underwear and cycling shorts I’d bought in the store the other day as my swimwear – which was the closest thing to swimwear I could find in the store 😆).
To prepare for my Arctic sea dip, I went into the sauna to head up (which actually left me steaming – quite literally), before heading into the freezing Arctic sea.
The experience is quite unreal! Within seconds, your pores appear to go crazy from the stark contrast and speaking is almost impossible from you teeth chattering so much. It also feels like your body has ‘brain freeze’.
You’ll probably spend all of 5 seconds before hurrying out of it (at which point, everyone else had built up the courage to take a dip too!)
The reaction is funnily similar (perhaps even more hilarious because it’s someone else instead of you) but soon enough you wanna go back in – which I did a couple more times before finally calling it quits, thoroughly pleased with myself.
Lloyd was perhaps the one least likely to have taken the dip (he even struggles to get getting into swimming pools in warm countries if it isn’t really toasty) so unsurprisingly; the look on his face in this photo below was the highlight of all the photos (you might need to zoom in to see it properly).
Arctic sea dips over and done with, we proceeded to spend the rest of the afternoon alternating between hot tub, sauna and steam room – beers in hand until we got the call to head to the dining area for lunch.
Oh, and we also saw a dolphin (or perhaps a small whale?) in the distance…
Lunch was a delicious cod stew (typical of the area as you can imagine) and just what we needed!
I switched my beer for wines and as you find when there’s good food available, all our non-stop chitter chatter had gone silent as we wolfed down our lunches!
By the time we were done with lunch, we’d arrived back at the harbour, thorough relaxed (this was just such a perfect way to spend a day) and absolutely thrilled with the bragging rights that came with our rather ‘refreshing dip’ in the Arctic sea.
And there you have it! Now – your turn! Yay or Nay – would you take a dip into the freezing Arctic sea? 😁