Bespolka Home Page Norway 2004 Home Northern European Circuit 2004
Previous Day   Next Day


The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


Norway - 6 June, 2004



Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Aboard the MS Narvik (Hurtigruten northbound from Bergen to Kirkenes - Day 4) . . 0 meters .
-  Arctic Circle N66º33.000' E012º58.940' 0 meters .
-  Bodø N60º23.117' E005º18.949' 22 meters .
-  Stamsund . . . .
-  Svolvær . . . .
-  Raftsund . . . .
-  Trollfjord . . . .
Finish Aboard the MS Narvik (Hurtigruten northbound from Bergen to Kirkenes - Day 4) . . 0 meters .

Total (BMW 330CiC)

5,486 km

Total (other):

1,870 km


7,356 km


Weather: In the morning partly cloudy, occasional sun, windy and cool/cold.  In the afternoon it is mostly clear, sunny, cool and windy.  During the evening it becomes partly cloudy again, with occasional sun, a brief rain shower, windy and cool/cold.



During our cruise, they would make public announcements about sights that may be coming up as we make our way northwards.  While that was very useful, the problem was that the public announcements could not be heard in the cabins - I guess in order to not disturb people who did not want to hear them.  But it was a bit of a pain, as we could never be sure of when we were going to come upon something interesting.  They did not even have a switch that allowed one to choose whether or not they would want to hear the announcements.  All we could hear was the slight sound from the hallway speakers.


Anyway, we were dozing in our bunks when at 7 AM Lars could hear that an announcement was being made.  The only advantage we had was that the announcement was made in three languages, so it was repeated a number of times.  This announcement was telling us that we were about to cross the Arctic Circle.  Lars dressed quickly (Jacqui preferred her beauty sleep) and raced up to the deck. The sun was shining through scattered clouds and we could see the giant sculpture that marked the point at which we crossed the line into the Arctic region and now we are in the land of the midnight sun.  No more sunsets for a while.  A loud and long blast came from the ship's siren.


Then it as back to bed, until we decided we should get up for breakfast.  After breakfast we decide that today we will hang out in the forward Nordkapp Salon.  We just read and hung out taking in the sights.  Everyone once in a while, we could go onto the forward observation deck and take some pictures.  It was very windy and cool.


We arrive in Bodø shortly after 12:30 PM, but we decide to have lunch before going ashore.  At least the dining room is not too crowded - before we had arrived it was packed with all the people who wanted to rush ashore.


We spend about an hour and a half wandering through the plain town.  Nothing special about the place, other than the beautiful location on the water.  After checking out the information office to gather some information for our drive down, we head out to the pier for a walk.  It is very nice out there.  Then it is time to start heading back to the ship - we do not want to miss the boat!


The afternoon is spent in the Panorama Lounge - we relax, soak in the sun and sights and work on our journals.  The approach to Lofoten was wonderful, as the islands with their snow capped mountains jutted up from the ocean.  This was the same route taken by thousands of men for the seasonal fishing off the shores of Lofoten.  At times it could be a very dangerous crossing and they would row their way across before the introduction to this region of the outboard motor.


At 7 PM we arrive in Lofoten at Stamsund, one of the many fishing villages that sprung up over the years.  Today it is one of the largest villages.  But there was nothing special for us to see on our short visit.  Soon it is time for dinner and we arrive in Svolvær while we are wrapping up our meal.  After dinner we take a quick look, stretching our legs, but soon we retire to the forward Nordkapp Salon.


We are getting a spot for one of the more exciting parts of the voyage - passing through Raftsund and making a short detour into Trollfjord.  This is a wonderful place, with narrow passageways through the islands with the rock faces forming cliffs on all sides.  As we enter Raftsund, the weather changes for the worse, the wind picks up and the rain begins to fall.


But just as we are about to turn into the Trollfjord, the rain stops and we can go out onto the observation deck to enjoy the view as we pass into the fjord.  It is an amazing fjord,  two kilometers long, narrow and straight with sheer cliff walls that reach high above the ship's mast. At it's mouth, the passage is only 100 meters wide.  We make our way slowly down to the end of the fjord, slowing to a halt at the very end.


And the captain now begins the three point turn maneuver.  It is all done very slowly, like in slow motion.  We turn slowly to the right and we inch up to the cliff face - it seems like we almost touch the wall, before the ship is put in reverse and backs up to the cliff face on the other side.  And then, again, very slowly we turn around and make our way out of the fjord.  What a magical place to head into - just too bad that we could not hang out in there for longer.


We decide to stay up a bit later and hang out in the forward lounge to watch as we pass through the narrow channels between the many islands that from the Lofoten chain.  The light has become dim and gray as the sun approaches the horizon behind the cloud cover.  It is a fantastic experience.


Previous Day   Next Day
Bespolka Home Page Norway 2004 Home Northern European Circuit 2004

Copyright ©2004