Showing posts from July, 2018

Running Norway - above 59° 54' 52" N east of 05° 19' 24" E

With Susan in training for a half marathon, running became part of our sightseeing plans! A fabulous way to see the cities of Oslo and Bergen in the quiet of the mornings before the hoards of tour buses arrived.  Running on our Hurtigruten stops helped burn off some of the food we were eating and allowed us greater range in the short time frames of the stops.  And, of course, running under the midnight sun (and the blood moon) at 12:30am in Trømso was very cool! Add caption Oslo - between 5-7km each morning exploring different parts of the city Bergen - 5km most mornings with a hike up the hill one day Ålesund - a speedy 5km along the river Trondheim - 10km under picture perfect blue sky Svolvær - 5km, or was that 3km?! Kirkenes - 5km in the pouring rain.  Our only true rain day! Trømso - 10km under the midnight sun and the blood moon (very cool!) Brønnøysund - 5km with lots of groaning Trondheim - 10km with aching legs  Florø - short, gotta get off the boat an

Nordkapp (North Cape) - 71°10′21″N 25°47′04″E

Well this is a long way north... The most northern point in Europe!  ...well, not quite. That would be an island well north of here. The most northern point of mainland Europe? Nope, as it is on an island it cannot be!  That honour goes to Kinnarodden ( Cape Nordkinn) a little further to the east.  (We did sail around this so we can claim to have passed the northernmost point of mainland Europe!).  Kinnarodden is remote and difficult to get to, requiring a full day's hike each way over some fairly gnarly terrain The most northern point of Europe accessible by road (read tourist bus)? YES!! So we intrepidly rode the bus to the over touristy Nordkapp - the northernmost point of Europe accessible by road!  We were fortunate to arrive at a time when the weather was clear and the tourist buses few... At 'The Top Of Europe' We can almost see the North Pole from here! Wild and windy The Most Northermost Point in Europe (that can be accessed by road)

Polarserkel (The Arctic Circle) - 66 33' 00" N 13' 02.196" E

The Arctic Circle, that circle of latitude that marks the southern most point of the polar night of the winter solstice and the polar day of the summer.  Its actual latitude does vary due to the Earth's wobble but it is at roughly 66 33' N.  And we crossed it! We are close enough to the summer solstice to experience the 'midnight sun', the endless day that the Arctic enjoys. Yay for our windowless cabins! Crossing the Arctic Circle Yep, midnight and it's still light And the certificate to prove it! The midnight sun 'Sunrise' in Trømso Running at 1am!

Aboard the MS Lofoten - 66 04' 48" N 12 40' 44" E

The next leg of our trip is a voyage on the Hurtigrtuen Coastal Ferry, the MS Lofoten, from Bergen to Kirkenes and back to Bergen. Travelling through the famed fjords, across the Arctic Circle and over the top of Europe to the end of Norway and back! MS Lofoten is a grand old girl, the oldest and the smallest ferry in the Hurtigruten fleet. Along with the 100 'cruising' passengers, the ferry carries cargo and up to 300 day passengers stopping at 36 ports, towns and villages along the 2500nm journey. Ruteplan - Bergen to Kirkenes and back! Our cabins are on C-deck, in the bowels of the ship well away from the engine noise, the flushing of the shared toilets and the clatter of day passengers. Our inside cabins are wonderfully dark for sound sleeping during the endless daytime of the Arctic north. Cabin 103 - remarkably roomy The meals on board are plentiful and delicious. Breakfast and lunch are a buffet and, with a nod to its 1960s heritage, dinner is a set menu with

Bergen - 60 23' 33" N 05 19' 24" E

After catching the early morning train across the stunning Hardangervidda plateau and through Finse with Norway's highest train station, we arrived in Bergen.  The railway is an engineering feat. Starting in the 1870s,  it took 34 years to construct, battling freezing winters, deep snow - and all with a slide rule and hemp rope!  It is 484km long with 17.7 km of tunnels  (182 tunnels in total). The Girls on the train... Hardangervidda plateau Hardangervidda plateau Finse - Norway's highest train station at 1222m - somewhat of a mecca for cycling Arriving to sparkling sunshine and a cloudless sky, we topped the day off with a beer on the patio at Fløyen - at the top of the Fløibanen Funicular... Fløyen - overlooking Bergen and the Byfjorden Now that's pretty nice! Only 3304km to The North Pole Again, our morning runs took us around Bergen checking out the sights without the hoards of tourists.  The tourists (of course, we do not fall into