Friday I went ice-skating for the first time in several years. It was the first real winter activity I have done since I have been here since there hasn’t been enough snow for XC skiing or decent enough snow for snowboarding. I was with mostly Russians who assumed that since I am Canadian I should know how to skate like a pro and play hockey. The skating I was okay at but I have never been coordinated enough for hockey. We had lots of fun and it was my first time riding the city bus since I’ve been here. Later that night was a “girls night” where all the international girls and even some Norwegians, got together.
For the next three weeks, this city is supposed to be crawling with English and Dutch soldiers that are here for their “winter training” so that will be interesting. I don’t know much about the armed forces here but I do know that Harstad is home to the (world’s or at least Norway’s) largest land based canon. I will go check it out sometime in the spring.
I spent the day on a walking tour of the Ilios music festival. There was about 80 people who walked together around town to check out 3 musicians in different venues. The first two played some sort of trumpet instrument and the last one was a school group; all quite interesting. Today was the coldest day since I have been there, about -11C but I know that there is a cold wave sweeping over Europe, and Norway isn’t affected as bad as in other parts of Europe. After the music festival walk we went to warm up at a nice café called the Four Roses. I had a delicious pesto and chicken sandwich. I’ve noticed that there is pesto on nearly all menus in Norway; fine by me, I love basil pesto! The sandwich was great, but it was the equivalent of $18, and it didn’t even have any sides!!
It is starting to be light out for most of the day. It is light out at around 10am and it doesn’t get completely dark until about 3:30pm. I saw the northern lights again this weekend; they weren’t as active as the week before, but they were still a gorgeous mix of green and some red.