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Snow and scenery inside the Arctic Circle

Norway VT Euromeet day three

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Monument marking the Arctic Circle

There were apparently no more choppy seas overnight, but I didn’t sleep as well as I’d hoped, woken from time to time by the ship stopping and starting or changing direction. Nevertheless I felt quite ready to get up around 6.30 so was dressed and able to go up on deck when they announced that we would soon be crossing the Arctic Circle. A small monument on a rocky island marked the spot and I took a few photos before heading to breakfast.

Monument marking the Arctic Circle

I enjoyed sitting over that meal for some time chatting with VT friends and watching the passing scenery, then went to the lounge to do more of the latter! But it was too beautiful not to be out on deck taking photos, so I wrapped up warmly and braved what was a pretty icy wind.

View from the stern


Coastal scenery

Talking of ice, mid-morning there was a ceremony on deck to mark our arrival in the Arctic. The Norse God of the sea, Njord, was summoned to blow his horn. He then proceeded to tip icy water down the back of anyone crazy enough to volunteer, in return for a shot of something warming! Our friend Rich was among the volunteers while I took his photo for him.



Arctic Circle crossing ceremony

A brief break in Bodø

Ceremony over we all needed to warm up. so we went inside for a hot chocolate. Around 1.00 pm the ship docked in Bodø where it stayed for a couple of hours, long enough for us to get off and look around. To be honest, Bodø doesn’t have a lot to offer the tourist. Most of the town was destroyed during a Luftwaffe attack on 27th May 1940, with 3,500 people losing their homes and fifteen their lives. The town was rebuilt rather rapidly during the late 1940s and the 1950s, with little of architectural merit. But it was a chance to stretch our legs, and of course to see something other than the ship for a couple of hours.

Disembarking from MS Nordlys in Bodø

Having disembarked we followed a road up into the town centre, passing an intriguing bit of street art and a rather moving (but unlabelled) sculpture. But there was a sharp wind blowing so with relatively little to see in the town we were keen to find coffee and a snack. And find it we did, in a large and very appealing bakery/café Berbusmel. The espresso was excellent, as were the cinnamon rolls!

In Berbusmel, Bodø

Eventually some of us decided we really should see a little more of Bodø, while others preferred to return directly to the ship. So Sheila, Isa and I headed in the direction of the cathedral which we had read was of some interest. However with time being short (we had a deadline to make for our return) we weren’t able to go inside. Its stark modern design fits well with the overall architecture and appearance of the town.

The cathedral

From here we chose a different route back to the ship and were very glad we did, as we found some great street art on our way.

Street art in Bodø

Some of the other pieces were in the rather cramped forecourt of a bar so there are a few objects cluttering up the foreground. But on the whole I was pleased to get these shots as a record of our short stop here.




Street art in Bodø

Back on board

The afternoon lecture was an entertaining brief history of the Vikings delivered by the same guy who had told us about Norwegian geology yesterday. He had a real knack for mixing facts with humour and I would have enjoyed a longer talk.

Small coastal town where we stopped briefly

By the time he had finished the seas were lively again, although less so than yesterday. I went back to the cabin to drop off some things and sat for a while enjoying the motion and catching up on emails and messages. Then it was time for an early dinner as five of us had booked an evening excursion. The meal was served as buffet this evening with open seating, because of the excursions, and there was lots of choice.

Lofoten Islands excursion

As we left the boat at 7.15 to board the bus in Stamsund there were few flakes of snow in the air, and for most of the drive snow was falling. The scenery was bleak but lovely, hard though to photograph from the bus.


On the road on Vestvågøya, one of the Lofoten Islands

And when we stopped at a viewpoint, clouds soon descended to hide that view.

At the viewpoint, just before the clouds hid the view!


On Austvagoy Island

Our main stop was by an art gallery and museum. The former, the Espolin Gallery, displays the work of a local artist, Kaare Espolin Johnson, illustrating mainly the tough lives of local fishermen. The paintings were dark but quite haunting.

My favourite of the works by Kaare Espolin Johnson

We then walked over to the open-air Lofoten Museum with its fishermen’s huts and the home of the local landowner who lived a privileged life at their expense. Despite the snow the setting was lovely and I enjoyed taking photos there.

Manor House, Lofoten Museum

Fishermen's hut




The Lofoten Museum in the snow

According to the Museum Nord website:

The impressive manor house was completed in 1815, when Caspar Lorch was the owner of the fishing village. Here he traded and exported fish, as well as renting out cabins to many of those who came to join the Lofoten fisheries in the harsh winter season.

On the drive back to the ship, which we were to pick up in Svolvær, the next port along, the snow got heavier, settling even on the road.

On the road to Svolvær

Midnight sun and snow

Back on board we had a drink in the bar, staying until midnight when we hoped to be entering Trollfjord which were told would be dramatically narrow. But, perhaps unexpectedly, it was decided the conditions weren’t good enough.

Near Trollfjord



The entrance to Trollfjord

However it didn’t matter as the scenery grew increasingly dramatic in any case, and beautiful in the snow. Several of us spent quite some time on deck taking photos.

Waterfall near Trollfjord

Midnight sun hidden behind the mountains

Spot the sheep!

Despite the cold it was really hard to tear myself away to go to bed, and of course it didn’t get dark. But I went eventually, marvelling at this strange start to the meteorological summer!

One last photo as we left Trollfjord

Posted by ToonSarah 13:45 Archived in Norway Tagged landscapes art snow islands fishing museum ships norway seas street_art arctic

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Thankyou, once again Sarah, for helping to revive memories of that amazing trip. I only had slight regrets at missing the Lofoten trip but now, thanks to you, I have experienced it second hand.

by yvonne Dumsday

To be honest Yvonne, although I liked the museum and was glad of the chance to see a place I'll probably never visit again, I don't think the excursion was great value. We didn't see as much as I'd hoped, although I'm sure the poor weather played a part in that!

by ToonSarah

The snow is beautiful. What a fabulous trip.

by Beausoleil

Beautiful scenery. It's cooling me down here just looking at that snow.

by irenevt

Thank you Sally and Irene - yes, beautiful scenery but so cold for June!

by ToonSarah

Thank you for your great story well illustrated by your amazing photographs! You had a wonderful excursion!

by Vic_IV

Thank you Victor, we all had a great time on the ship :D

by ToonSarah

I am again marvelling your photos, they are awesome! My favorite is the Lofoten Museum Manor house, I like how the tree makes it somehow very dramatic! :)

by hennaonthetrek

Thank you Henna - I loved that tree and like you felt it really added to the photos I took there :)

by ToonSarah

beautiful pictures Sarah, for a second I even thought seeing a troll in your pictures of the waterfall with open mouth and nose and eyes ... what can I do, I have a big imagination and after all, you are in the land of trolls!

by Ils1976

Oh gosh yes, I can see that now Ils - well spotted!

by ToonSarah

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