Hurtigruten cruise

Monday, 7 July 2008

Today we are really excited. We can’t miss the cruise! We buy some beautiful postcards, and I send one to my sister, just to show her the cruise we are about to start (she enjoys traveling by boat). I admit, I want to make her feel jealous. 😛

We have enough time, but still. Better take the ferry again. We drive via small roads, to have some new views.

Norway coast - beach

We arrive to Fiskebol early, so we can take a look at the beach. A lot of living mussels are there. Toni is quite surprised nobody takes them. We take our usual group photo, and prepare all the things we want to take with us on the cruise. Food, water, maps, books, playing cards… Everything should be at hand. In Stokmarknes, we still have to wait for the cruise boat. We make a tour on the harbor, and enter a souvenir shop. Is our last chance to buy something typical. This time, however, prices are really expensive. I know, we should have bought our souvenirs before. We’ve had a lot of opportunities in the multiple places where we stopped on previous days. But we always wanted to find a better bargain. Helaas… The good side is (because there is always a good side in everything, don’t forget it) that we have a perfect excuse to come back. 😉

Our boat, the MS Finnmarken, finally arrives. It’s big, and its “Tuuuu… Tuuuu….” sound is impressive.

Arriba el nostre Hurtigruten 2

A guy from the staff asks us where are we going. We tell him that until NEsna. We ask him whether we shoudl pay first. “Later”, he answers. Ok, then. We drive our car on the platform to enter in the ship. In the parking place there are already a lot of cars. We drive carefully, and follow the instructions we are given. We take all the stuff we need for the cruise out, and leave the keys on the front window. The guy puts a Nesna sticker on our car. We take a picture just in case.

On board, it seems an excursion of the “Inserso”. There are plenty of people on their sixties (to not say seventies). We seem to be the youngest on deck. We feel a bit embarrassed with our thermos, “bocadillos” and bags. People are seated comfortably, drinking their coffee or tea, and looking through the window. All armchairs in front of the windows are taken. It’s prime time, but everybody seem very relaxed. Our cruise has just began!

Leaving Stokmarknes

When I go to the toilets, I understand what all those people were putting on their hands. It was a disinfectant. Hand hygiene is taken VERY seriously inside. You have written instructions on how to wash your hands and how often (that means every five minutes). I took a picture for the unbelievers.

A la fi respiram una mica tranquils, sense es coet a ne’s cul. Es respira una gran calma.

Marga and Toni go outside to take pictures, while I’m taking care of our things and “our” chairs. I’m sleepy, so I close my eyes and have a pleasant dream. When I wake up, both chairs have disappeared. Ummm… Oh, we are arriving to the famous Trollfjord. Prepare your camera!

Trollfjord

Once back, we update our map of Sweden, taking notes of what we have visited and which road did we take. We enjoy talking about our trip. We are so proud of ourselves. We have been very lucky. Good weather every day, no accidents, wonderful sights, good accommodation… 🙂

Lofoten coast

After some hours cruising, we realize that, apart looking at the coast, there is no much to do inside the Hurtigruten boat. I guess that cruising several days can become boring. But then, suddenly, I understand that the sole purpose of a cruise is precisely to do nothing. Just relax. Look through the window. Drink a tea. Read a book. Go to the restaurant. Come back to your seat. Eventually, visit some village on earth. At dinner time, around 19h, armchairs are free. Everybody leaves to eat.

Looking at fish drying system

I go away to make an “inspection”. I see a board of activities. There are a lot of excursions you can book. Ok, so it’s not so boring after all. Oh, now I also understand why a boat has approached us this afternoon. They were certainly some passengers that went for a planned excursion, and then came back to the mother ship. When I come back, Marga has found a pool and a jacuzzi with hot water. It’s behind (I never know if that’s “popa” or “proa”). We’ll have to check. I hope we are allowed to swim… Ok, we can use it, but today it’s too late. It closes at 22h and it’s already midnight. Oh, perhaps we should have dinner! Time flies on board! 😀

Marga looking at midnight sun

After dinner (“uns bocadillets, no vos penseu”), we take some pictures of the midnight sun. It’s so beautiful… 🙂

Bodø

Before arriving to Bodø, Marga and Toni try to sleep on the sofas that we have on our deck. They are comfortable, but I cannot sleep. I want to keep watching. I install myself on an armchair, and look outside. Then, I go out. Near the door, someone is snoring. Wow, not even my father snores so hard!

Bodo

The air is fresh, but I am wearing my lovely wool pullover. I feel protected. Two people are also on deck, inside their winter sleeping bags. I breathe deep. I feel happy. Inside, I take some notes:

1h51
“Arribam a Bodo. A bord gairebé tothom dorm o somnambuleja com jo. Hem deixat enrera les illes Lofoten i ara bordejam la costa Noruega. En Toni i na Marga intenten dormir. El barco va poc a poquet, però avança. Crec que aj veig el port. Avui dormiré poc altra vegada, ja m’ho veig venir…”

Ørnes

6h29
“He dormit una mica, però els aspiradors m’han despertat. I ja arribam a Ørnes. Vaig a fer fotos.”

The cleaning staff is working hard. They take all glasses, and pass the dust cleaner for every little corner. I could still sleep a bit more, but the idea to “steal” Marga’s camera and take some nice pictures is more appealing. I can sleep later. Later, I’ll pay for that decision, but who cares now? 😛

Sights Ornes

After my early walk, I go down to reception to ask for some towels. I explain to her that we want to swim, but we forgot our towels in the car. The girl is very nice and gives me two white towels. Let’s surprise my friends with the good news. When I arrive, Marga is happy to see her camera again. She thought she had lost it forever! We take our swimming clothes and go to the jacuzzi/pool area. Nobody is using any of the two jacuzzi. Only a woman is swimming. Upstairs, there are showers and a change room. Even a sauna! Seems very common in Scandinavia to have saunas and take warm baths.

Swimming on the cruise pool

The air is cold, but the water of the jacuzzi is hot. Wow! Too hot for me. After a while, the jacuzzi stops, and I decide to try the swimming pool. I like it! It’s full of salty water, so is just like swimming in the sea. Only the water is warmer! I start swimming from side to side, again and again. It has been a long time I haven’t swum. I enjoy it, and invite the other two. A child looks at me playing in the pool. I go out and dry in the sun. I look at the pool, and I jump again. Yuppie!

Outside, I even start training Empi. Without jumping (just in case I fall). I like to feel my feet into the water on every movement. I feel free! Marga and Toni go for a shower, but I prefer to sunbath, resting on the wooden floor. I feel so great. Together with the lunch at the river, it’s one of my favorite moments. 😀

Arctic circle monument

We cross the Arctic circle again. No midnight sun anymore.

Crossing the Arctic Circle (back)

After that, I get dressed, and we go to the cafeteria for breakfast. The first time we visit a cafeteria during our trip! We order a coffee and a wafer with yogurt and wild berries. 39NOK each. When we are finished, our table neighbors, some nice “abuelitas”, ask us where we came from. They heard us talking in Catalan, and they are curious. We talk a little bit. They are from Trondheim, and we tell them we are going there. Aged people are so happy when you talk with them. It’s amazing. 😉

Nesna

Oh, we are already in Nesna! Our cruise has finished, and we are totally renewed. Well, I’m just a bit sleepy.

To be continued…

Map

I still don’t know how to combine road routes with my maps in Google Maps. If some fan knows, please help with a comment. I’ll try to put a link to my handmade map:

Hurtigruten route

And the usual roadtrip map:

I hope it works! 🙂

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One Response to Hurtigruten cruise

  1. Jeff Paulett says:

    Having travelled on the MS Finnmarken along this route, I can testify to what a great ship she is and what superb scenery can be enjoyed along this beautiful coastline.

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