Monday - no longer within Arctic CircleOctober 14, 2019 in Norway ⋅ ⛅ 5 °C
Sitting sipping a wine glass of Tempranillo before dinner, trying to remember what happened today while watching an amazing sunset. Each day is so memorable, but all I can say is we passed yet more glorious scenery. No serious ports till 3 pm, but a few stops during the day when the usual handful of people got on and off and goods were loaded and unloaded. These stops range from 10 minutes to half an hour. During the morning there was a leaving the Arctic ceremony, and later there was a Norwegian folk dancing lesson. I didn’t think I’d participate, but couldn’t help myself - it was such fun, and our guides/leaders Nicklas and Sven are so funny and it was irresistible! Amr gave up after the first one, but I stayed on for the 3 different moves we learned. It is all a group thing, either in a circle holding hands, or one complicated one was in groups of 3. Anyway, lots of fun, but you probably had to be here!!
Then we had lunch, and arrived at Brønnøysund at about 3. We didn’t go on a tour, but had a walk around the town. It is another perfect cloudless day....can’t believe it! The notable thing we saw was that the houses are not the rectangular shapes that we have got so used to - these ones had extra gables, a wing out to the side, and most noticeably they often had verandas or balconies. Also some of the leaves on the trees are still green and just getting their autumn colour. Obviously we have reached a more temperate climate, and in fact it was pleasant walking round without gloves or hat. We did however suddenly find we were walking down a shaded road that turned out to be icy, and VERY slippery. So not totally warm! But we had a nice wander. This town is the mid spot in Norway from north to south, and there is a stone proclaiming it.
Will finish the day’s account after dinner. It is the second last night, but they are having a special farewell one, probably as tomorrow they will be getting all ready for the big departure of everyone and the turnaround or the ship at Bergen. We hear it has been raining all week at Bergen! Our luck continues.
...Just back from dinner. Dinners are always special, almost fine dining of special Norwegian ingredients, delicate portions - which is just as well after buffet breakfast and lunch. Tonight we had a pea soup, cod with fried kale, beetroot risotto and cloudberries, and an ice cream cake with meringue. All the staff lined up and they made a speech in Norwegian, English and German, a complimentary glass of bubbly (that is special, very little is complimentary in Norway!) and it was lovely. We have got very fond of these people...they are a team who work and live together - the same people make up the rooms (if you put a sign that you would like it done), wait on tables, and generally do many things, and the expedition team not only lead excursions but do a lot of entertainment and talks and general factotum stuff. This will be the end of a wonderful 12 days (but we still have one full day left!).Read more