Wednesday 17 January 2018


We arrived in style this afternoon into Bergen Harbour after a slightly rough few days. It was foggy and snowed all morning, but then glorious sunshine as we pulled in.
Apparently this is quite rare as Bergen is the wettest place in Norway. 
Staying with Margs and Dave tonight and then Nottingham bound tomorrow. 

Monday 15 January 2018

Rough seas as we leave the Arctic

We have been sailing into a gale today and it was difficult to even stand up as we passed the marker point showing that we were leaving the Arctic.
Apparently it is traditional that you should drink a spoonful of cod liver oil at this time. It wasn't very nice at all and left a very fishy taste for quite a long time.
Once again the views were incredible although it was hard to keep the camera still to take photos. 
We missed one of our ports today due to the weather, but fortunately the boat is very stable. I think that it is because we are sheltered by the coast, and heading straight towards the storm. 

A short walk in the Arctic

Beautiful calm and clear day today. I spent the whole morning outside walking around the deck and enjoying the amazing views.
The sun rose above the horizon today,  but it was very low and we didn't see it as it was behind the mountains.
The sunrise was a beautiful dark orange and throughout the day the sky was either orange, yellow or a lovely pink that was reflected off the mountains on all sides of us.
The final photo is of me and our lovely tour guide called Tuna. 

Saturday 13 January 2018

Northern lights

We were starting to think that we wouldn't see them on the trip, but suddenly they appeared at about 8pm tonight.
In real life they weren't as green as in the photos, but it was great to see them, and they did dance for us. 
They lasted for about an hour and then disappeared. 

Superb 'sunset'

We arrived in Hammerfest this morning and there was sheet ice everywhere. You could tell the local people as they walked normally, and there was all of us tourists clinging on to railings and shuffling slowly around the town.
Fantastic polar bear statue right next to the harbour. 
The boat left at 1pm and then there was the most beautiful 'sunset'. The sun never actually came over the horizon, however it is due to do so here in about three days time, and apparently tomorrow we will be further south so may even see the sun. 

Friday 12 January 2018

Icicle of the day

Today we are in Kirkenes, which is just a few miles from the Russian border heading towards Murmansk. The climate is extremely cold as we have gone over the top of Norway and although still by the sea, it is classed as in the cold interior of the country.
We stepped out in full winter gear as it was -8, and we stayed warm and happy for the whole outing. 
We just wandered around Kirkenes enjoying the deep snow and pretty houses. 
Lots of great icicles were hanging from roofs and guttering and the cars were buried in huge snow drifts.

Thursday 11 January 2018

Hot tub in the north

We had a totally amazing day yesterday.
Firstly we stopped briefly at a village at just before 9am.
The sky cleared and the sunrise was unbelievable, except of course that we never saw the sun as it didn't reach the horizon. It tried really, really hard though and the colours were something that I have never seen before. 
Back on board it turned to daylight and we tried out the hot tub. It was a very short run between our cabin and the bath and a brilliant way to sightsee.
Then we docked at Honningsvag and it was very cold and snowy. It is the nearest place to the Nordcapp - the furthest point north in Europe. We didn't join the bus trip to it, but in the end they couldn't get there because there was too much ice on the road. 
All day the sky was amazing colours and we saw the sunset - without the sun - at about 2pm, and then night closed in again. 
Ps, I won third prize in the boat photography competition for my picture of a snow angel! Won a pack of playing cards. 

Wednesday 10 January 2018

Tromso, capital of the Arctic

One of the most surprising things about this trip is that many hundreds of thousands of people live all along the fjords. Even though we are near the very top of Norway there are lots of settlements and quite a major town called Tromso.
Over 70,000 people live here and it calls itself the capital city of the Arctic. It is busy and has lots of well known shops including H and M, Burger King and lots of bars and cafes.
It has a very modern church that is built from concrete slabs and lots of glass. Pic 1. It also has a matching museum made from the same slabs, but they look as if they have all fallen over. Very arty - pic 2.
But it also has a beautiful chocolate box traditional church as well. 
We are also so far north that the sun doesn't rise at all here, but there is still quite a lot of daylight. There was about five hours today, although it was getting pretty dark by 2pm as we neared Tromso.
This morning we stopped for half an hour in Finnsnes this morning and it was as bright as England. 
Still no sign of the northern lights yet, but we are hoping that they might put in an appearance tonight. 

Tuesday 9 January 2018

Into the Arctic Circle

Excellent sunset last night which we saw just as we were passing a lighthouse in the middle of nowhere. It was inhabited for many years and one family had three children. They used to tie rope around the children's waists so that if they fell in to the water they could rescue them before they were washed away.
Most of the time we are protected from the open ocean by the hundreds of little islands, but occasionally we have to venture out in to the sea. 
This happened last night just as we were starting dinner. I quickly decided to give it a miss once the glasses and cutlery started flying around. 
Daz stayed a bit longer and the lady at the next table was served her soup. Suddenly the ship bounced and the whole bowl of soup landed straight in her lap. Dinner was then cancelled, but just over an hour later we were back between the islands all was calm again and the soup was delicious. 
This morning we crossed into the Arctic Circle and met the God of the North. He gave us safe passage across his sea and then proceeded to tip ice cubes down our backs to celebrate the occasion. 
Mine went right down inside my trousers and ended up crunching inside my boots! 

Monday 8 January 2018

Trek around Trondheim

We arrived in Trondheim at 6am but it didn't really start to get light until about 9.30am.
Fortunately it stopped raining just as we set off and we had a very nice walk around the town. It is the third largest in Norway and has some very pretty buildings. 
The cathedral was very imposing and we slipped and slid in the slush as we admired it from the outside. Daz checked the price to go in, but at £18 each we gave it a miss.
Back on the boat we joined Elizabeth, one of the crew on the top deck for the sail away. She told us to get our rock foot ready and then she played some local pop music for a quick bop. 

Sunday 7 January 2018


After a good night's sleep amongst the fjords, we hit the open sea just before breakfast time. There was a pretty big storm so I just stayed in bed and food was no longer on the menu. 
Two hours later we turned back amongst the mountains and we arrived at Alesund in style. An early lunch and then we were off into the snow to explore.
It is a lovely art deco style place and we wandered happily around. I managed to hit Daz with a snowball so all was good. 
We had a nice coffee and then back on board.