During my trip in early September 1998 I now and then wondered how the landscape looks early in the year, with more snow. And during late winter 2001 I really longed for a vacation. So, when I noticed an offer to subscribers in my daily newspaper - I just thought: yes, thank you.
Here I hastily tell a little about this trip, made in early April 2001.
M/S Nordlys in sunny Bergen April 7, 2001. ('Nordlys' is norwegian for 'northern light'.)
This summer season more Hurtigruten ships visit the beautiful Geiranger fjord. Here I left M/S Nordlys by a smaller boat, to make a bus trip back to Ålesund. (In summer, normally from June to September, the bus goes via Trollstigen to Molde.)
The bus trip began with Ørneveien (Eagles road), winding up a steep mountainside.
A nice view point along the road. In the background M/S Nordlys sails on, visible on the photo as a small dot in front of the distant mountains.
The ship arrives to Ålesund in pouring rain. The bus travellers can get aboard and get dried, while the cute girl who overslept the morning visit in Ålesund will get very wet on her way home. (When I saw her on the deck on the way to Geiranger, standing in the chilly wind with a thin short jacket and her waist naked, I thought something like: 'What a nice sight to see for a boy like me, and a bit tempting for a close encounter of the third degree (or maybe fourth). But dear little girl, please take good care of you. You are worth to be a healthy human, also a healthy woman, for many many years.') (Oh no, I'm not any kind of a Don Juan. But I like to talk with and watch people. Didn't even hug a girl during the trip. What I write is one thing - but only one girl I met got a piece of my heart.)
When we came to Molde, the old M/S Lofoten hadn't left. A few of us made a short visit aboard.
If you shall move from one coastal norwegian city to another, why not use Hurtigruten to carry your things? This girl did, but had to wait on the quay while her meeting friend drove the first car load home. And Molde was enriched with yet another nice inhabitant.
Other things to do along the way, is to take care of the ships equipment. This repair was fixed swiftly by two handy sailors.
Once again I passed the Arctic Cricle in good weather.
Sometimes you have dramatic sights along the way. (Sometimes you don't see them until you've got home, and got the photos. This photo was taken in the early morning, shortly after the photo above, with my small automatic camera.)
Jan, one of my nice neighbours at table, and other tourists change to the boat for the trip to the glacier Svartisen. This time I stayed on Hurtigruten, and visited the Norwegian Aviation Museum in Bodø instead. Larger and more interesting than I thought it would be, and well worth a longer visit than I had time for.
Meeting M/S Narvik.
During this trip a number of more cultural events took place. Among them norwegian actress Rut Tellefsen reading excerpts from norwegian books.
In Harstad we met the winter. Snow that fell during the night was plowed off the quay.
In the afternoon we were invited by the ships guide, Iril, to the sun deck on 7th floor. Many of us came there, but the sun didn't.
Here we were introduced to Njord, God of all the Seas.
Obviously a pleasant meeting.
I managed to get a photo illustrating the quick weather changes. Really amazing how fast it could change from sunny to snowfall and back to sunny again.
Other swift changes were made by among others these nice girls, cleaning our cabins. (Unfortunately this hard-to-get photo got 'too yellow' in the corridor. But, believe it or not, they didn't want to pose for another photo! Oh dear! Dear me!)
One of several narrow places we passed.
Leaving a sunny Tromsø.
Approaching another narrow place, this time during a misty part of a late evening. (Neither I nor nearby standing passengers thought this would become a photo.)
Another example of local weather. Passing through that cloud, we'll get snowed on.
M/S Harald Jarl, one of the two elder ships in Hurtigruten.
When she gets further away, it's easier to see the size of the cliffs.
No jerseys (Lusekofter) for sale hanging on the fence this time, as they were the late summer day I passed a couple of years ago.
The day after the storm, still windy and chilly - and no passengers on the sun deck.
Winter sun in Honningsvåg. Nice to see the top of it too. Last time I was here, I couldn't even see the snow barriers on the mountain side. I didn't even know there was a mountain behind the few rows of houses I could see through the mist.
Midnight sun in Honningsvåg. I mean M/S Midnatsol (whose name is norwegian for midnight sun). A fierce storm during the night made her captain decide to stay in the harbour, instead of going to Kirkenes. She could have done it, but it wouldn't have been comfortable for her passengers...
A rare occasion. Midnight sun and northern light at the same time in Honningsvåg.
What's happening over there, then? Better take a closer look.
Ah, passengers returning from the excursion to the North Cape. (I didn't go there this time, so it was sunny up there now...)
Some probably taking photos of the ships, while others... do other things...
A view from the bridge. About 3 metre high waves at the time. The night before they were 8-10 metres high.
A snowy Kjøllefjord.
Quite a few passengers left here. Coming home or visiting for the easter holidays, maybe?
Is this Kinnarodden, to the left? If so, it's the northernmost point of the european mainland. (It was a bit wavy here, as you see. But, I also tipped the camera to get a wider view...)
And suddenly that night I got the idea to take a photo of a place most passengers pass several times. However, at this late hour most of those few awake sit in the bar nearby.
Fishing boats on cold snow, in Vadsø harbour. Doesn't make me long for an ice cold fishing trip now.
Soft drink bottles on cold ice, nearby the boats on cold snow. Doesn't make me long for an ice cold refreshing now.
Tourists in sunshine on cold snowcovered sun deck, also in Vadsø harbour. I enjoyed it too.
The last distance for me on this trip, to Kirkenes. Here the landscape has yet another character.
What a difference a day made - from yesterdays stormy weather to the calm sea now. But, what funny waves close to the ship. Better take a closer look.
A normal abnormal wave? Looks a bit like a hand, or...?
As I was saying, here the landscape has yet another character. More smoothly rounded cliffs.
No reaction from other passengers on the sun deck. Well, I guess it's just a winterbathing norwegian troll.
The landscape, yes. More rounded. Still pretty high, though. Do you see the houses on the shore to the left?
Approaching Kirkenes. Too far away from the warming Gulf Stream to have a completely ice free harbour. My last port on this trip. Sad but true.
All passengers leaving the ship was greeted by sunshine, but a very icy slippery quay.
Relaxing in the bus, on the way to the airport, I was pleased to see that the guide Iril was working hard helping tourists finding the right buses for their various excursions and other transports. While I enjoy the rest of my Easter vacation, Iril and others in the crew will keep on working well to please passengers. Probably as well as they took care of me during the trip. That also goes for the girl in the left side of this photo, a nice special kind of a helping hand for guiding.
Thanks to all that made my trip with Hurtigruten so interesting and such a pleasure.
For you who travelled back south with M/S Nordlys, I just want to tell that we who took to the sky had a beautiful weather with clear view over Norway and parts of Sweden all the way to Oslo.
Tomorrow the Easter holiday is over, and I'll be back at my work...
2002-05-19. www.konditori100.se. Text/pictures: Arne Granfoss ©. Prod: AG Informice