Last Monday we read and saw Wendy Nowak’s trip to Norway last November. Here she concludes her tale of searching for the Northern Lights.
The fun started as we were about to dock in Leknes, a town in the gorgeous Lofoten Islands. We were told that due to the adverse weather conditions we would be unable to dock so they’d have to take us ashore by tender. What we found out a little later was that we had actually run aground. This was picked up by the Norwegian press, and thanks to photos posted on the internet it even reached the British press. According to one tabloid we’d been ‘stranded’!! Not quite true. They sent divers down to inspect for any damage, which, thankfully there wasn’t, and we re-floated when the tide came in. Our excursion through this scenic part of Norway went ahead, even if it was slightly curtailed due to a late start.
I must say that Cruise and Maritime Voyages were fantastic through all of this. They managed to keep all the excursions running despite having to re-arrange our itinerary when we had to stop in Tromso (which should have been the following day) in order for a full inspection of the ship to be carried out. This was my chance to visit the Polaria Arctic Experience and to meet some adorable huskies.
Our next stop was Honningsvåg, the gateway to the North Cape. It would have been a wonderful excursion. We set off in the bus but had to turn back before we got there because the snow just got worse. We were now half way through the cruise.
Then on to Alta and a chance to meet some more adorable huskies. I didn’t book the very expensive ‘Northern Lights Hunt’ excursion, and that turned out to be the right decision. The participants spent half the night looking for the lights in the middle of a huge blizzard! No money back either! And guess what happened the next night???? A lovely display of Northern Lights!!
More animals in Narvik when we visited the Polar Park and Zoo. Got some wonderful shots of moose, arctic foxes, wolves, musk ox and deer. It was a pity that I had to shoot them through fencing.
Our penultimate stop was Åndalsnes. Back in fjord country the mountain scenery is stunning, particularly the Troll Wall and Trollstigen Road. We were lucky to get up this stunning mountain road because it’s normally closed by November. It was a change to the original excursion by rail because the heavy rain had damaged the railway and they’d evacuated the valley because they were expecting a huge landslide.
There’s really only one thing to say about the Hanseatic port of Bergen. It never stops raining. It’s Norway’s answer to Manchester, but the old quarter of Bryggen with its wooden houses is fantastic, and when the mist/rain clears there’s a lovely view from the cable car.
It was a great cruise, such a shame we had to go back to Tilbury!
For anyone who’s interested my photos are on Flickr at https://www.flickr.com/photos/wendyn/sets/72157649241923492/
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