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Gravdal, Lofoten Islands

Monday, 10 July 2017


View 2017 UK & Artic Cruise on greynomadm's travel map.

Our route into the harbour passed many spectacular mountains, all shrouded in clouds. The weather is deteriorating and we look to be in for a wet day. It is difficult to distinguish a town but there is a spectacular church. A brief view of the church at extreme zoom could well be the shot of the day.

There are two other ships here, alongside the pier is the "Berlin" of the "ILT" line and anchored out in the bay the "Costa Pacifica" who will need to tender their passengers into the jetty.

The "Berlin" is a small ship and according to a fellow passenger was built in England about 1946. She saw service as a liner on the transatlantic run from Liverpool to Montreal. If my informant is correct that makes the ship over 70 years old. I should look that good.

We went ashore soon after we were cleared and browsed around the small shop at the end of the pier. Made some enquiries and found that the distance to "town" was something like 4.5 kilometres. Certainly too far given the nature of the weather, to be honest, too far under any conditions. They were selling shuttle tickets at 10 Euro each for a round trip. We bought two although the first shuttle was still an hour from now. Went back aboard for a while and ventured out again better informed.

By this time there was quite a crowd, Germans from the Berlin and Italians from the Pacifica mixed with our multicultural lot trying to find out how to get to town. We knew and had tickets so we started a queue. When the bus pulled up there were over 40 in the line. Then the fun started; some had bought tickets for a "bus tour" and went off to form a new queue others thought they could pay the driver and were politely told to buy the tickets at the shop. Even though quite a number were redirected the bus filled and left with people still waiting.

As we drove into town we passed many who had decided to walk. There wasn't a footpath and not even a verge so the bus had to frequently stop to allow for them being on the road. Glad we were not part of that. Town drop-off is at a regular bus stop providing some shelter, not required at this stage but we could be standing there for a while on the return trip. Town consisted of one mail street, some speciality shops and a large car-park at the rear. At the end of the street was a three-story shopping mall including two huge supermarkets. The retail capacity must service a large area although today there were were few people about. Opening times were very generous 10:00 to 23:00.

It was interesting to browse the supermarket shelves, taking in the variety of products and trying to calculate the prices in Australian Dollars. Especially in the clothing shops the numbers look pretty big to start with - something like DNK 799. Rounded up that's 800, divide by 100 that's 8 and multiply by 16 and we're looking at AUD 128 for a lovely lamb's wool jumper. Not mental arithmetic when the numbers are smaller and not so conveniently rounded. Norway is an expensive place to live.

On our way out a passing shower had us digging out the raincoats and heading for the shuttle bus stop. As luck would have it the last passengers were just getting off. We were aboard before we got really wet and were soon on our way. On arrival at the pier the queue of people heading into town was still over 50 as there were 15 or 20 still there when the bus left. We returned to the ship for the second time just before 12:00 intending to go ashore again if the weather improved.

After lunch the rain had intensified if anything and we decided to stay aboard. I went off to see the afternoon movie - The Lego Batman Movie. I had no idea what to expect and was hard put to last the first 10 minutes. Not my favourite genre and when I left there was no one else remaining. Started to write this before heading up to deck 9 for dinner.

At about 17:15 the Berlin slipped her lines and left her berth. A small cargo vessel, described by another passenger as "the pickup truck of the sea" moved into the space, was tied up and discharging pallets of cargo in just 10 minutes. This utility craft carried some shipping containers and general cargo on the open deck in addition to the pallets unloaded through a large hatch in the side of the ship. She didn't waste any time and was all done and on her way in just 40 minutes.

After dinner we staked out some seats for the second performance by George Casey the immaculately dress diminutive Irishman from the USA who had us laughing for almost an hour. He didn't repeat a joke from his previous show last Thursday.

I thought it amusing when two of the ships have Pacific in their names but couldn't be further from the ocean they are named after.

Tomorrow is a Sea Day on our way to Hellesylt.

The satellite link is still flaky but I should be able to update my postings.

Today's temperatures were a high of 12 °C and a low of 10 °C. We're finally expecting a sunset at 23:30 !!
Until next time. Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony

Posted by greynomadm 21:40 Archived in Norway

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