Our adventure in Norway ended in Bergen. The new adventure would begin in Athens, Greece 2 days later. Our last day in Bergen was very wet… not unusual for Bergen we were told, in fact quite normal. It is didn’t deter us from riding on the cable car up to the top of a mountain and looking down on a toytown Bergen through the mist and raindrops. The best way to see Bergen, whether it is rainy or sunny.
Our journey south takes in the same towns we visited on the way north at different times of the day. This time we visited Trondheim in the morning and though the wind was icy, the sun shone and we took advantage of the two and half hour stop to take another walk in the town.
Before we left on our trip I read as much as I could about what clothing to pack for an Arctic trip – remembering our journey was at the beginning of Spring, so we knew the weather would be cold.
As we sail south we take a different route to the journey north. On Day 9 we sailed through the Risoyrenna, a 4.5 km long man-built channel opened in 1922 by the King. then into the region of Vesteralen. The weather continues to be very cold and sleet is normal, which adds to the beauty of this spectacular scener. I hope that one day we will be able to return in the summer and discover more about this exciting country.
As we travel north snow, sleet and rain are the usual weather pattern, and the spectacular mountains of the fjords are covered with snow and leafless birth trees.
Today we continued our journey north. We had passed the North Cape and today was an opportunity to take a bus journey to the northernmost point of Europe. We took the opportunity to explore Honnigsvag, a town with a strong fish aroma from the huge racks of drying fish along the waterfront.
Today, day 5, we headed for Tromso, Norway’s largest town with around 75,000 inhabitants, unofficially known as the capital of the Arctic. There were stops at Risoyhamn, Harstad and Finnsnes as we made our way to the sound of Gisund. Along the way we passed under the Gisund bridge which connects Norway’s second largest island Senja with the mainland. As well as the Hurtigruten ferry service, which provides a lifeline to the communities along the fjords, Norway is criss-crossed with roads, local ferries and amazingly long tunnels.
As we crossed the Arctic Circle King Neptune and his very large feet appeared on the upper deck! We gathered around to hear about his ceremonial welcome to the northernmost part of the world and were invited to be ‘christened’ with a cup of ice! In return we received a certificate and a cup of hot raspberry tea.
The day greeted us with heavy rain… we were not to know how cold it was until we headed off into the city of Trondheim. The boat had docked early in the morning while we were asleep and would be there for 3 hours. Trondheim is Norway’s third largest city with a population of over 175,000 – and also one of the most significant in Viking history having been founded in 997 by King Olav Trigvasson.