Wednesday, 5 July 2017
05.07.2017 - 05.07.2017
Our luck still holds. Cold and overcast but little wind and no rain so far. Our berth is within a city block of the city. After breakfast we ventured ashore and wandered around the town. We're not looking for anything specific but picked up a 10-pack of Coke for Jenny at a supermarket. We also found a souvenir shop where they had an impressive range of Trolls, we bought one, carefully wrapped by the charming attendant.
Returned to the ship and had a light lunch before joining our group on the pier for today's Shore Excursion. The coach leaves the pier an a convoluted route with many roads under repair after the recent winter. An unusual feature is that electrical heating is installed under the surface to assist snow removal. Our first stop is the Polar Museum a rather unimposing wooden building on the water's edge. The displays are magnificent and are set up in various rooms. With lifelike manikins and stuffed animals the various scenes are realistically recreated. The uneven wooden floor and rustic stairs all add to the impressive atmosphere.
Once back on the coach we head for the base station of the cable car. The ride up the mountain was quick and well organised. The view from the mountain down to the city was incredible. Fortunately the weather was clear enough to capture some spectacular images. Back down the mountain and the coach takes us to the most recognisable building in the city. Dubbed the Arctic Cathedral, it is in fact a parish church as there is no bishop in residence. This amazing building is constructed from eleven concrete arches with the Eastern end consisting of a massive stained glass wall. The Western end houses the gleaming pipe organ.
Back on the coach our guide offers us an extended city tour as we are well ahead of schedule. The ride takes us over the 1200 metre bridge and then into a section of the tunnels that total some 12 Km. The unique feature is that there are 'round abouts' to cater for the intersection of the five different exits. We drive past the hospital that services much of Northern Norway including the oil rigs. The hospital is the largest single employer in the city. An interesting fact is that all sections of the hospital are connected by tunnels.
We finally head back to the ship passing through the university campus where 16,000 students, both local and foreign, study topics focused on the Polar Region and the seas. All through this trip there were glimpses of the fjord and the ever-present snow capped mountains. Back to the pier and it is almost time for dinner as we board the ship. We were up on Deck 9 when the ship slipped her lines and we made our way out to sea for our next port.
Tomorrow is a day at sea as we travel to Murmansk in Russia. Clocks are put forward another hour as we sail in a NorthEast direction.
The satellite link is still problematic so I have no idea when I can post this.
Today's temperatures were a high of 8 °C and a low of 5 °C. No sunrise and no sunset, we are still in unbelievable 24 hour daylight.
Until next time. Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony