Only the Young is my favorite Journey song. I'm always enlivened and nostalgic when I hear it. Probably because it's a hit from the soundtrack of the beating-all-the-odds film Vision Quest but don't get me started on iconic 80's movies. I had a vision quest of my own. To see the Northern Lights. And being in Tromsø, the unofficial capital of the Arctic that lies within the arctic circle and the Aurora Borealis belt, strongly increases the odds that unpredictable Aurora will come out to play. Tromsø is a cute town that seems to pride itself on its front-and-center seat for the year-round light show. But the journey there is not so easy. I could have used Steve Perry's vocals in my ear on a loop. Only the Young is indeed perhaps who has the stamina for this trip.
Map of Scandinavia
With no direct trains from Bergen to Tromso, the route was as straight as a crazy straw. And marched to a tune that went a little something like this (see map image):
Train leg 1- Bergen to Voss (middle of Bergen - Oslo train line)
Bus leg 2 (due to track issues that had to be circumvented)- Voss to Ål (middle of Bergen - Oslo train line)
Train leg 3- Ål to Oslo
Train leg 4- Oslo to Trondheim
Overnight train leg 5- Trondheim to Bodø
Overnight boat leg 6- Bodø to Tromsø
Aside from flying (and we all know how much I would've enjoyed that in bad weather), this was the most efficient route! A wearisome 48 hours straight. And very little shut eye. Thanks loud snoring guy passed out in front of me on the overnight train!
But I kept my eye on the prize and heart full of hope that finding space on the trains for my huge suitcase and the cruise through a rainbow arc at sea were signs that the trip would be worth it. Only time would tell if my vision would be impaired.
Rugged, tundra-like terrain seen on parts of the train route
One positive thing about the rainy weather that followed me up the Norwegian coast... rainbows galore.
Eyeing the life boat during the choppy overnight cruise from Bodø to Tromsø