Sunday 29 January 2023


Kirkenes (or rather Chirk-e-ness as it is pronounced), was our stop for today. 

It is right at the very top of Norway, and only a few miles from the Russian border. We stayed from 9am until 12.30pm which accidentally coincided with the current daylight hours. 

There is a small town to visit, but instead we wanted to go to the beach.

We started along the road and straight away passed a frozen inlet.

We are near to the shoreline, which is made up of little icebergs, and beyond them is the frozen sea.

Around the corner we reached a residential area with lots of cute bungalows that were brightly lit.

The road dipped down and we found a little path that took us down to the beach, although it was not the kind of day for a paddle.

Our destination was a barbecue hut that the crew on our ship had told us about. They were going to do an organised trip to it and roast sausages for us, but not enough people signed up.

I think that sausages would have been nice, but we had just as much fun on our own.

The snow must have been quite deep as the rope swing was only just off the ground.

It seemed as if we were the only people in the world as we followed the shoreline round to a lookout bench.

Back on board we checked the weather reports and it was due to be clear, and there was also a good chance of seeing the northern lights.

After dinner and a drink at the bar we had a quick walk on to the top deck, and a strange snaking cloud appeared across the sky. We looked at each other in amazement and realised that the lights were appearing just for us!

It quickly grew brighter and started to swirl, although it looked white. Darren took a photo and to our surprise it came out bright green. 

At that time there was no one else around, but then the captain made an announcement over the tannoy and loads of passengers started appearing.

The lights grew stronger and then dimmer for ages, but to our eyes they were mainly white with hints of green. 

We watched for ages and it may have gone on all night, but there is a limit to how long you can stand in the cold and eventually I reached it and went back inside to warm up.

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