Going into Hammerfest was a last a minute decision as we wanted to grab some fresh air and walk around for a while. The ship had to dock a little way from its usual place so Yordie organized a taxi with reception to pick us up. Astrid decided to join us today.
Our driver was waiting for us at the pier when we stepped off the gangway and he drove us to one end of town with plans of where to meet him at the agreed upon time. Getting fresh air every day has become a habit for us even if it is only for an hour. We strap on the cleats and do some exploring. Not every day or location requires a paid excursion. The time in port also determines what we can do.
Walking along the street at the location we were dropped off didn’t offer much. Actually many locations we visited didn’t have a lot happening. It looked almost abandoned but across the water, the lights twinkled. We are all searching for a hand knitted cardigan or sweater from a local shop. Surprisingly we have not found a store except those where sweaters are commercially made.
Astrid spotted the Polar Bear Society and we dropped in to see what it was about. As you can see in the photo below it was founded in 1963. Only those who have visited the City of Hammerfest are permitted to join the Polar Bear Society. Members are given a pin and a certificate. The polar bear is on the City of Hammerfest coat of arms and reflects what survival skills necessary to survive in the Arctic. The funds don’t go to saving or educating about polar bears. In fact, there are no polar bears in Hammerfest. Astrid joined the society and proudly displayed bear pin on her lapel. Trivia – As mentioned above you must visit to become eligible for a membership. Elvis Presley’s request for membership was turned down as he never visited Hammerfest.
We walked up the street and uphill against a very cold, strong wind. The streets were extremely icy and I was thankful for the cleats. We made it to the top of the hill where there was a beautiful church designed by the same architect who created the Arctic Cathedral in Tromsø. We stepped inside and snapped a few photos while taking refuge from the wind. We were only in port for a short while and before you knew it, we had to make our way back to the meeting spot by the polar bears in a park.
The food on the ship has been spectacular. Breakfast is a buffet with the standard English brekkie selections of eggs, bacon, sausages, and hash browns. There is the yogurt, fruit and toppings section. Freshly baked sweet goods and breads, pancakes/waffles and then the cheeses and deli section. Every morning there are different ginger shots which we found all over Norway. Love them!
I’m not sure what port it was that Yordie was scolded by the breakfast sous chef for turning up the toaster temperature. After a couple of scoldings, he taped the knobs. We had a howl about that. What a rebel she is.
Lunch is also a buffet with a feature fish, meat and soup. Fresh greens for salads and meat/cheese, breads, vegetables and smoked salmon until you are full!
Dinner is a sit down with a menu and here are examples of the menu with how it is presented. All ingredients for dinner menus are locally sourced from the port we just visited.
Tonight I vowed to stay up later. I didn’t sleep well the night before. I am so relaxed that hitting the sack early is nice, but tonight there is a movie music trivia contest happening in the lounge at 9:30 pm. Yordie, Astrid and I formed a team and did well. Not enough to win but a respectable score for certain. The result only proved that I watch too many movies and I need to get a life! It was fun watching Robin (Expedition team) act out the movie titles. Laughter is good for the soul.