Searching for the Northern Lights…..

…a 12 day round trip along the Norwegian coast on the Hurtigruten ferry Lofoten.

As everyone with even the vaguest connection to us knows we headed off on an adventure to Norway at the beginning of the New Year – a cruise up and down the Norwegian coast in search of the Northern Lights.

We started off at Bergen – a lovely city that we only had a couple of hours to explore ….

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The Bryggen – Bergen

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DSCF1707…where we joined the Lofoten.

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It’s the oldest and least well equipped of Hurtigruten’s ships. They’re all coastal ferries that deal with post, local passengers and freight as well as leaving some space aside for cruise passengers like us. One of them leaves Bergen each day to make the 12 day return trip, calling in at ports along the way and providing the local population with a life line in areas where other transport is problematic. We chose Lofoten mainly because it was the cheapest option but also because it offered us the least ‘cruisy’ trip available. No cheesy entertainment, no dressing for dinner etc – mind you it also had no stabilisers so when it started to blow it did get a trifle rocky.  If you’re interested in doing the journey and want a blow by blow description try this blog http://patandpaulharvey.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/12-days-with-hurtigruten-day-0.html. They did the 12 day coastal voyage on the Lofoten and I reckon they must have photographed the ship, the food & the destinations (along with a fair few manhole covers) from every conceivable angle.

The one thing this trip doesn’t do is give you any time to explore places in any depth. The most time you spend anywhere is 3 hours – and that’s often in the dark! It does give you a chance to get a flavour of the places you pass through.

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Alesund from the Aksla mountain view point – well worth climbing the 418 steps.

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Tromso at night

The light in the Arctic Light is amazing and we spent a lot of time on deck just watching the world go by.

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We got iced water poured down our necks when we crossed into the Arctic Circle

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…..and got to drink yummy cod liver oil when we crossed back again.

DSCF1462We went sledging with huskies

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And met some great new people.

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Sue & Greg – our partners in all things silly and fun

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Sue and Hugh

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Ruth

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Aussies Peter and Meg

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Anne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

..and yes, we did manage to see the Northern Lights – although by that time we’d already enjoyed ourselves so much that it had ceased to be the central focus of the trip…but it was amazing.

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