This year's January has been the driest January ever in Tromsø, according to the local weather bureau. But last night it finally started snowing; 15 cm of fresh snow overnight and another 10 cm or so during the day. Beautiful powder snow for our first ski trip of the season. We only did a short trip up the very popular local hill Rødtinden, but we had great fun skiing through deep powder snow. This is what it should look like in Tromsø in the winter!
There is more ice than snow in Tromsø when we got back. We don't have the extreme cold temperatures as in other parts of Europe (-23C in The Netherlands!), but today the temperature has dropped to -16C, which is quite cold for Tromsø. As we didn't want to start our skiing season on hard icy snow, we decided to go for a snowshoe trip instead - a short trip up the local mountain Kjølen in beautiful winter weather. Hopefully we will get some fresh snow next week.
We had no problem selling the bikes, we made some people happy with a good deal on virtually new bikes and we were happy to get some money back. Puerto Varas and the surrounding area, the lake district, have a very strong German history, which is obvious in the old architecture and their interest in German style cakes (they even have a day of the cakes - dia del kuchen!). So the last day in Puerto Varas we walked a tourist trail along a number of old (ca 1880-1935 period) houses and churches and sampled some of the cakes.
Checking our flight details the day before we left we found out that Spanair (which was supposed to fly us from Madrid to Copenhagen) had gone bust and had canceled all flights. Fortunately we found this out in time and managed to buy a near identical flight with Iberia so we had a smooth journey home to Tromsø.
The beach in Puerto Varas, on lake Llanquihue. In the distance, volcanoes Osorno on the left and Calbuco on the right.
Puerto Varas has a populair swimming beach.
German-style Casa Maldonado built in 1890.
The German-style church in Puerto Varas was modeled on the Marien Kirche in the Black Forest in Germany.
The very interesting museum Pablo Fierro, focussing on the architectural history of the region.