My friend Hugo shared a link on NRK’s website which shows the Hurtigruten‘s journey along the coast of Norway – live! Hurtigruten is a well-known cruise ship in Norway and as I’m typing this blog post, she’s making her way to Tromsø, one of the most northernmost cities in the world. I was fortunate enough to take the Hurtigruten when I went to Norway in 2002, travelling along the Geirangerfjord – one of the most beautiful fjords in Norway – from Ålesund and back there again in the evening.
I have also visited Tromsø and experienced the bizarre sensation of listening to a piano recital at midnight in the Arctic Cathedral (Ishavskatedralen) with my body demanding some sleep, while my mind is still wide awake due to streaming sunlight through the church windows. Yes, I have gone beyond the Arctic Circle and experienced the midnight sun. It was the period where the sun never sets beyond the Arctic Circle with the sun merely hovers above the horizon. As an exchange, the inhabitants must be content with months of darkness during winter. I experienced my second midnight sun when I went to the Lofoten in my last major European trip in 2008. So far, I have travelled to Norway three times – 2002, 2006 and 2008. I wonder when I will head up north again …
It’s just so great to watch the live broadcast from Hurtigruten, showing the beautiful Norwegian villages that dot the rugged coastlines, as well as seeing the eager and excited locals waving their flags or sailing in their ships around the Hurtigruten, just to make things more festive for the journey – as they are also aware of the live broadcast. If you want to travel along, you can head to the following website: Hurtigruten: Minute by minute. You can even download previous sections of the journey from the website, if you are curious to see other parts of Norway. If you have the opportunity to head up north to Norway, please do – and if you can take the Hurtigruten or even any ferry that goes along and across the numerous fjords, please do. You will not be disappointed.
As I watch the live broadcast and listen to the public announcements to the passengers, I can even see myself sitting next to the window, or out at the deck, holding the railing and feeling the cold breeze on my face – smiling widely, enjoying the salty wind and the smell of the sea as the mountains chase each other around the bends of the fjords. I can picture the door leading to the corridors, the dining hall, the tourists.
For some reason, Norway makes me smile – you would know that I love this country a lot if you who have been reading my blog for a while. There’s something about the language, the nature, the coastlines, the music, the towns, and the people that resonate with me deeply. It’s a country that is quietly proud and confident, almost stoic – it’s not as gregarious as its southern brothers and sisters and not as outgoing as Sweden, nor as laidback as Denmark – its half-siblings. It suits me just fine – Norway is my kind of country.