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Reflections on my norway trip (Tromsø ) p1

Gatwick- London
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Reflections on my norway trip (Tromsø ) p1

Lovenorway!

As a newly married man i went on my first trip through norway. here i will tell all future tourists what to expect and how to plan for anything on your trip to tromsö.

Picture of Tromsø here : …virtualtourist.com/6/3387435-To_Tromso_on_t…

I used SAS to get from Stavanger to Tromsø and that cost me 2377 kroner (about 400 USD). On January 28th I took a flight from Stavanger to Trondheim after work and it was only about a one hour flight. The landing with the Boeing 737 at Værnes was quite brutal and we landed in heavy snow. I had to wait for a bit for my next plane – due to clearing on the snow the flight was a bit delayed but soon I was on my way to Bodø and after a short stop there we continued to Tromsø. I landed in Tromsø at about 7.30 PM and it was a cold greeting. On the ground it was about -15 degrees Celsius (about 5 degrees Fahrenheit) and windy - which spells freezing cold.

Link to cheap flight comparisons: http://www.cheapflights.co.uk/Norway/

It didn’t take long to get out of the airport and I went outside in the cold to wait for a taxi. After a short time we were about 20 people waiting in line and there were no taxis in sight. But luckily there was a sort of indoor area where we could wait for the taxi without being exposed to the cold wind directly. I was prepared for this kind of weather so I did have a fleece hat and gloves and it gave me some sort of protection but I saw a few others that were freezing. After a while the taxis did start to pour in and soon I was on my way to the hotel. Tromsø is located on the small island Tromsøya and it only takes about 10 minutes to the the downtown area. I stayed at Radisson Blu and you can read about my hotel experience later

n our first morning we decided to just browse around the downtown area to find out what it was like. With temperatures still down to -15 Celsius and lots of wind we soon discovered that it was not that best day for strolling around. I was wearing two layers of super underwear, thick wilderness pants, good boots, a woolen sweater, Goretex jacket and a balaclava and hat and I was still feeling the cold wind sneak into all the places where there was a slight opening. We used the opportunity to just stop by a few shops to warm ourselves and look at local products. Here in the north of Norway you can get items like gloves and boots made out of seal fur – the seal boots seems to be quite warm but they do cost up to 3000 kroner (500 US dollars).

Did you guys know that Norway’s main export items are oil and fish!

Many of the attractions in Tromsø are related to the location of the city and its history. So we started at the Polar museet (Polar museum) and it gives a nice introduction to Norwegian polar and arctic activities. Here we learned about Norwegians “discovering” Svalbard or Spitsbergen, how Norwegians have carried out hunting on various islands in the arctic, about Roald Amundsen’s expedition when he reached the South Pole as the first human etc. One of the rooms at the museum shows an old cabin used at Svalbard for hunting and it is hard for a modern Norwegian to really picture what it would be like to survive in a harsh environment without modern day facilities. On our way out of the museum I was planning to go the bathroom but it was closed as it was frozen! And the waves outside the museum were waves of ice slurry – another reminder of how cold it was.

Note: As Tromsø is above the arctic circle the sun does hide behind the horizon approxemitly between December 15th and January 15th. In the summer time you can also experience the midnight sun.

The worst thing that could possibly happen on this trip ,happened to me. I fell ill with pneumonia and had to seek doctors care.

Fair wairning. The norwegian health care system is public and not private so you must call the nurses office to book an appointment. Most nurses will not speak english so be prepared to have a norwegian friend interpret.

I waited two days for my doctors appointment and he told me he couldnt prescribe an antibiotics recipe due to restrictions in norways medical health care Law.

he told me i had to be close to dying to be able to give me antibiotics. So me and my wife sat down and looked through the web for an online pharmacy.

We found http://www.nettapotek24.com with express delivery (4days)

thank goodness they saved me

Facts on Tromsø

Tromsø has about 66.500 inhabitants and is located at about 69.3 degrees north which means that it is on the same latitude as northern Alaska

Note: Currency in Norway is Norwegian Kroner. At the moment 1 USD is about 6 Kroner. You can get local currency at ATM's around town and you can use credit cars in most places.

Norway
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1. Re: Reflections on my norway trip (Tromsø ) p1

Thank you for your trip report.

There are one or two bits of information in there that I feel is factual incorrect or may give an incorrect impression of the norwegian health care system:

You say "most nurses will not speak english". If you look at the statistics and facts this is just not correct. While it may very well be that the nurse you contacted did not speak english for some reason, this is not by far the general situation. The fact is that almost all norwegians will understand english and most will also speak english to some extent. The majority of norwegians, especially the younger generation will speak english more or less fluently. For example: Of all the people I personally know, only one person does not speak english at all, and that is my more than 80 years old mom.

It may be good for english-speaking tourists to be aware that some people in Norway may not completely understand everything they say and may be reluctant to speak english themelves, but in general this will be a much smaller problem than in almost any other country in Europe (except for the native english speaking countries of course)

Your experience with the doctor that did not want to give you antibiotics and that you had to be "close to dying" before he could administer antibiotics seems really strange to me, there must be some misunderstanding here. As far as I know the practices for use of antibiotics in Norway is quite similar to most other countries in Europe, and there is no general problem of getting a prescription for antibiotics if you need it (the key point here is the IF). I have been given antibiotics on several occasions over the years for different reasons, some serious and some not so serious, and getting the correct medication has never once been an issue. The only cases I know of personally where people have been refused antibiotics by their doctor is when the doctor consider that antibiotics will have no effect, such as for example in case of a virus infection, where administering antibiotics is pointless. I know that doctors say that many people will ask for antibiotics even for problems that can not be treated with such medication and that they are required to be restrictive out of concern that frequent use will increase the danger of developing antibiotic resistent bacteria. In some other countries there is a different practice for this and antibiotics are often administered on a "just in case" base even when the actual benefit is none or uncertain.

In general Norwegian medical drug regulations may be stricter than in many other countries, but that applies mostly to what kind of medication is available without prescription.

It might also be useful for other visitors to Norway to know that importing prescription drugs to Norway from on-line shops like you did is in fact illegal, and you run the risk that the package may be stopped and confiscated (and also of course you have the general risk that you may not be getting the real thing but something fake that either does not work or is even dangerous)

Trondheim, Norway
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2. Re: Reflections on my norway trip (Tromsø ) p1

I belive the OP might be a US native (from the prices stated in US$). In the US antibiotics are given much more freely than in Europe.

Also note that if it's an emergency there is both an emergency room at the hospital and emergency number to call (113). Doctors are also obliged to accept walk ins if the medical need is present.

Oslo
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3. Re: Reflections on my norway trip (Tromsø ) p1

I am sorry you got ill! Most doctors are booked up for weeks, so when acutely ill in Norway, you go to the casualty ward. In bigger towns, this is a separate institution. In the countryside, private practitioners cooperate to offer immediate response.

"Casualty ward" is not a good translation for the Norwegian "legevakt", though. It does noe have a direct parallell in the US or UK. You go there if you have a fever, if your kid has an ear inflammation, if you have broken a finger, if you have been in a fight. They treat minor incedents on the spot and admit you to hospital if necessary.

Gatwick- London
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4. Re: Reflections on my norway trip (Tromsø ) p1

You are right "Brainspin"

Legevakt does not hold a comparison with our UK/US casualty docs or the emergency ward.

But would you agree that norwegian doctors are very restrictive with administering drugs for any symptom other than life threatening ones

Oslo
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5. Re: Reflections on my norway trip (Tromsø ) p1

I went to a doctor in France once, and came out with three prescriptions (for jellyfish burn). Allegedly, this is in line with customer expectations in France. In Norway, you would probably be told to pull yourself together. Both ways probably work, but it is a cultural difference.

Harstad, Norway
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for Bergen, Norway
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6. Re: Reflections on my norway trip (Tromsø ) p1

I think Norwegian doctors do their job according to the rules and regulations that apply in Norway. They will not prescribe antibiotics if you have a viral infection even if the patient insists. Normally they take a test to establish if your infection is viral or bacterial. For a bacterial infection, I think most doctors will give you the appropriate antibiotics.

French doctors may prescribe a lot, but ime you get an appointment within a few hours, you do not have to wait around Legevakten half the night.

Minneapolis...
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7. Re: Reflections on my norway trip (Tromsø ) p1

Legevakt sounds a lot like "urgent care" and by a lot like I mean exactly like.

8. Re: Reflections on my norway trip (Tromsø ) p1

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