A Travellerspoint blog

Norway and the Northern Lights

Cruising toward Bergen

overcast 36 °F

Our last 24 hours on board was spent cruising southbound towards Bergen. The scenery was spectacular and you never seem to get tired of looking at a beautiful coastline.

All in all, the cruise was more than we expected in terms of scenery and enjoyment. The cabin was comfortable, only about 350 people on board primarily Norwegian, German and French and everyone enjoyed each other. The crew was exceptionally friendly and truly liked their work. Their schedule is roundtrips on and two roundtrips (22 days) off, year round. The get on and off the ship at whichever port is closest to their hometown, which makes life very good for them. This will not be my last trip on Hurtigruten - Spitzbergen and Antarctica (again) await.

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Posted by rpickett 08:50 Archived in Norway Tagged bergen to cruising Comments (0)

Norway and the Northern Lights

Trondheim and cruising

rain 42 °F

We were off the ship at 7:50am this morning for a tour of the city and the Cathedral...the oldest Gothic Cathedral in Scandinavia circa 1050. We were not allowed to take pictures inside at was an active Lutheran Cathedral for the past 500 years. It was the grave site of St.Olaf.

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Posted by rpickett 11:27 Archived in Norway Tagged trondheim Comments (0)

Norway and the Northern Lights

Bronnoysund

rain 35 °F

Today was a transit day as we dipped below the Arctic Circle at 9:30am this morning. It's been stormy and rainy for the past two days, as there is obviously weather coming in from the west. This afternoon we had a 45 minute stop at Bronnoysund, so we got of the ship in the light rain, got some fresh air and walked around for about thirty minutes in the slush, but it was refreshing.
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Many of the public spaces on the ship are on the 8th of 9 decks and I have included some pictures of those spaces.
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Posted by rpickett 08:48 Archived in Norway Tagged bronnoysund Comments (0)

Norway and the Northern Lights

Sortland, Stokmarknes, Svolvaer

storm 35 °F

As we continue our voyage south towards the Arctic Circle and Bergen our mid-day stop was at Sortland for the standard 30 minute stop for cargo and ferry passengers.
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We then headed to Stokmarknes, the home of the Hurtigruten (Hurtig Ruten or Quick Route) Museum. The line was founded as a mail carrier and has expanded to full ferry and passenger service as the years went by. The hallmark of the Museum is the Circa 1912 vessel Finnmarken, which has been brought ashore and made into part of the museum.
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Our final stop of the day was at Stolvaer - the center of the cod fishing industry both in the past and currently. We visited the restored portion of the late 1800's fishing village and listened to a story of the cod fishing war of the Trollfjord. It was a truly dark and stormy night. Even though the temperature was in the high 30's we were greeted with rain, hail, lightning, thunder and significant wind.
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Posted by rpickett 01:32 Archived in Norway Tagged sortland stokmarknes svolvaer Comments (0)

Norway and the Northern Lights

Hammerfest

snow 29 °F

Today, I achieved another milestone in my world travels. I had previously been to the southernmost town in the world, Ushuaia Patagonia while in my Antarctic trip, and today Hammerfest is the northern most city in the world. It's main industry is a liquified natural gas plant which gets its supply from an underwater piping system from the Snow White Gas Field in the Barents sea. One thing we have learned over the past two days is the the Nazi's - 100,000 troops occupied Northern Norway in an attempt to prevent any supplies from reaching Russia during World War 2. As a result of and extensive bombing campaign, most cities and towns in this part of the world were leveled and few if any buildings survived. Hence most of the buildings were built between the 50's and the 70's. Compared to the frigid cold temperatures of yesterday, Hammerfest is much warmer because of the Gulf Stream with mitigates the cold significantly.
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A replica of a native hut from the first inhabitants...
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We also visited the Meridian Column, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where the first measurement of the exact size and shape of the earth was made.
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Posted by rpickett 08:10 Archived in Norway Tagged hammerfest Comments (0)

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