Day 9 – Svolvær – Crampons, crampoff!

We are embarking on a bus excursion today from Harstad to Sortland in the Vesterålen Archipelago and will travel around mountains and fjords just north of the Lofoten. The ship will continue on without us and we will rejoin them in Svolvær in 3 hours time.

It is 0C this morning and guess what, it is dark. The first stop is a Lutheran church where a Roman Catholic priest gave everyone a tour and a short 10 minute service. I couldn’t go in unless I removed my crampons which is an ordeal for me so I walked around the outside and too photos.

Back on the bus, we headed to a little museum that had relics from the Bronze Age and WW2. Once again I had to remove the crampons but this time they were sweet to provide knitted slippers. I tried not to think if anyone else had worn them.

By the time I removed my boots, I had enough time for the Bronze Age floor and had to head back to put on my boots. Dressed and ready, we walked up a hill to a Viking home for a talk about the Viking home life. The wooden home we visited was considered large and elaborate and was likely for a wealthy family. The guide explained how they wove straw into linen and a dress could take 3 months to make. I was surprised how well the sod roof insulated the home. It was quite comfortable inside.

Back on the bus we drove through amazing terrain with a photo stop. It was fun observing people jump in the snow and make snow angels. Pure delight! Funny how we take for granted what we have back in Canada. We are so fortunate. Travelling does that to you; makes you appreciate what you do have. Norway has taken my breath away with its spectacular mountains and fjords.

In order to cross over to the mainland we had to take a ferry where we would be given coffee/tea and some cakes. The bus drove on to the ferry and walked up 2 steel flights of steel stairs in ice cleats. When I was at the entrance of the restaurant. I had to remove the crampons again however there was nowhere to sit to do this. By the time I found a seat the cakes had been picked through and the coffee carafe was empty. Not that I needed a pastry. Funny how the word FREE to seniors creates a frenzy. Oh geesh, I’m a senior now! I told Yordie to shoot me if I get like that. LOL

Posing in front of a fjord and mountain

Svolvær – this town has painted their homes in blue as part of an initiative. As our bus crossed over the bridge that joined the island to the mainland, our ship, the MS Nord Norge was sailing to meet us. To our surprise, the bus started honking its horn and we saw that the ship’s passengers came out on Deck 5 waving Norwegian flags while the ship’s air horn bellowed a greeting to us on the bus. It was a lovely touch.

MS Nord Norge greeting us before we rejoined. Yordie captured this video.

At 4:00-4:30 we gathered outside on Deck 7 to see the Trollfjord again. This time it is a little bit brighter than it was on the sail northbound. The energy on deck is electric. The fjord is 2.5 kilometres long and has a 100 metre wide entrance that can only be reached by boat. The crew uses the spotlight to highlight the entrance and this time we got some lovely photos care of Yordie and Astrid’s camera. We drank a warm milk with an herbal tonic mixture contained in a souvenir troll cup while listening to Norwegian music as we approached the fjord entrance. The light in the distance is a power plant 2.5 km away.

Trollfjord mug

Dinner was buffet tonight. Astrid and Paul joined us for dessert and we hung around the table finishing our wine and having a few laughs. Yordie headed back to the lounge to have a call back home and I went to our room to work on my blog.

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