When I first heard about our Trip To The Ice Domes of Tromsø, I was beyond intrigued and had immediately so many questions That popped up in my mind. Is The ice going To melt when I Touch it? Is The structure safe? How does it feel To lay on a bed made of ice? As a fan of Olaf and The movie Frozen I was so excited about This opportunity, which is for many a once in a life Time experience.
So on New Years day 2018 we made The Trek all The way up north To The mountains of The Tamok valley, an idyllic valley high above The artic circle. At This place The weather is still cold enough during winter, making it a perfect place To build an ice castle. However The owner Told me This may change in The future with The current stage of global warming. The chances are very small That within 10 years, The ice Domes will be build on The exact same place. In 2028, probably magic like This will only be happening in Finland and Sweden, where The inland Temperatures are still low enough.
Is This a real ice hotel?
Technically yes, as They have one sculptured ice suite in which you can stay The night as part of an exclusive package. Very exclusive because at night you have The entire Ice Domes To your self and you have a personal guide at your disposal 24/24. Conclusion, when we visited in January 2018 The hotel part had not been commercialised. However This is going To change next season, as from 2019 accommodation will be included The project and several suites will be added To The concept.
Reception at The Ice Domes
Well I did not find Olaf, but I did meet with Erik, The owner of The Ice Domes. When we arrived Erik was waiting outside in The cold, in front of The entrance To give us a warm welcome.
As soon as The doors opened it was like I entered an icy fairytale, a True place of magic was revealed. Erik was a good host, he knew exactly what his guests needed after a one and a half hour bus ride from Tromsø. We were offered immediately a complimentary drink at The first ice bar. Yes, you guessed it right, There is more Than one bar in The Ice Domes. Blueberry juice for me and a more stronger drink for mom and dad were served in glasses made of ice. Gosh it was not as easy To drink from an icy glass as I was expecting. Afraid To spill any blueberry juice on Erik’s perfect icy floor I wisely decided To let mom finish my drink.
The Construction of The Ice Domes
After The welcome drink it was Time for a bit of education. The process behind The construction, from The planning onwards, was explained in a short movie, shown in The conference room of The Ice Domes.
I learned That The snow for building The Ice Domes needed To be artificially created, as The density of real snow is not good enough To make This Type of construction.
I was also Told That The ice was harvested from a nearby lake and brought into The Domes where a highly skilled Team of Chinese sculptures would make amazing Ice sculptures out of it.
I was very surprised Norway has no skilled ice sculptures, who could Take on a project like This one. The experienced sculptures come from Harbin in China, where They also participate in The yearly Ice festival. Maybe something I need To put on my bucket list, knowing what an amazing art They create. After The movie, all our questions we had left were answered in The Q&A session.
Within The Ice domes
The ice Domes consists of four sections, The welcome area with a bar, a conference room, a restaurant and a hotel room. Each area is decorated with sculptures which are breath taking and it was extremely interesting To see how The nature Theme was integrated in The project. I spotted trees and amazing wildlife, one even more beautiful Than The other. Some cute animals where hiding, other liked To be in The centre of attention. Also The Sami culture was not forgotten and some nice sculptures were dedicated To some aspects of The Sami life. I was amazed by how crystal clear The ice was and even more by how flawless The sculptures where. I could try out The bed, The chairs, just everything.
The Temperature within The Ice Domes is a comfortable -5 degrees Celsius. Why do I say comfortable? Well with an outside Temperature of more Than -20, you can Take out your jacket at -5. At least This was my feeling.
First impression about The Room
The chance To experience a hotel room made entirely out of snow and ice is a unique experience. One Thing I noticed immediately about The room, apart from being cold, is that There were no windows. Light is provided Through coloured led lights, which made it all very cosy. The wall was nicely decorated and The bed, entirely made of ice was covered with reindeer skin, for a proper isolation of The body heath. If you would stay The night, you would need an Thermic sleeping back, no more, no less.
I can not wait for The day That I will be able To stay The night. This is of course if Toddlers will be allowed.
Time To relax and having lunch
After The guided Tour, I was free To roam around with The Ice Domes and To have a drink and/or lunch in Their amazing restaurant. Of course again all Tables and benches/ chairs were made of ice and covered with reindeer skin. The bar in The centre was a real masterpiece and The nice lady who served The drinks answered my last questions. I learned That The Ice Domes shrink every day a little bit and That The Domes will never collapse when The temperature start To rise. Instead a hole will appear in The roof, which will become bigger and bigger by The day, until The entire construction disappears.
Some last reflections
Tromsø Ice Domes was constructed in 2017 for The first Times and is still a hidden gem, not yet know by The big public. Not very smart from me To write This article, but I had To share my enthusiasm somewhere. I liked very much The attention given To The ecology and The interaction between men and nature. I Truly believe This Team has a real vision and a mission.
You can also combine your visit with a full range of other activities, from a Northern Light chase Till dog sledding and even a visit To The most Northern Distillery of The world. It is all up to you. Imagine how amazing it must be To experience The Nor(there light in a setting like This. I would not say no.
Who could wish for a better start of the New year. Thank you Erik and his Team for The warm welcome. I hope one day I will be back again To stay in your wonderful hotel. Don’t forget To allow Toddlers.
Cheers To The new year!
Before you go, check out This short movie To get even a better flavour of my visit.