Mrs RM had decided she was going to see the Northern Lights, whether I came or not.

“Oh, won’t it be cold there” I said. “And the Chinese takeaway scene is pretty ropey“.

But then James said he’d come too, and I realised Mrs RM would have a better Instagram than me, and I relented.

And to be fair to her, she did some sterling work getting the cheapest flights. The only risk was that we’d miss the 3 hour connection at Gdansk and be completely stuffed.

The other slight hiccup was when we realised there were no trains to Stansted the night before, so we had to slum it in the Radisson Blu, which may have cost more than the flights but at least you can stare down at the awful bar from your bedroom.

At 6am the next morning, Stansted’s Windmill didn’t appeal, even with its top cask range.

But 3 hours later the smart burger bar at Lech Walesa Airport proved irresistible. Zywiec IPA, about £4.

Despite the train into central Gdansk starting yards from the airport doors, Mrs RM refused to let me attempt an hour ticking shipyards, but at least we have Duncan there now.

As you’ll see from the map, Tromso is a long, long way from Gdansk, and it was pitch black when we arrived at 4pm in the afternoon. I think it had been pitch black since 1pm, and never got much lighter the next 4 days.

Yes, there’s a Hard Rock Cafe, but no Brew Dog, so Tromso’s not there yet.

But it does have pubs; they’re the places marked “Pub”. Just as well as there’s no mobility scooters outside to identify them.

10 minutes after checking into our apartment we were moved up the hill. Very slippy but the improved view almost compensated.

Tomorrow, we would see JUST how expensive Tromso was.


  1. Gdansk is on my long list of cities I still want to go to, mostly because I feel like I know the place from the descriptions of it in the novels of my favourite German writer, Günter Grass, who grew up there and, much like James Joyce with Dublin, kept it alive in his mind throughout his postwar exile in West Germany.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. In Shetland today, sunrise was at 09.10 and sunset was 14.59. Not that we saw the sun because it’s been granite skies, lashing rain and howling wind.


  2. I still think of Gdansk as Danzig.
    “an hour ticking shipyards” – inspired by the Shipyard beers from Wolverhampton ?


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