Norway called a land of Vikings, islands, polar day and dried cod. What else can be found on the edge of the world?
On the plane to Oslo as I was worried before the first date. My head is spinning a single phrase of three years of Norwegian: “Unnskyld, er det en minibank her?” (“I’m sorry if there’s an ATM?”) Everything else seemed erased from memory. Nervousness neighbor added: purebred Viking Scandinavian sagas, six-foot, with platinum hair and icy blue eyes. I would flirt with him, but did not attract him to search for the same ATM on the plane! At the airport viking smiled at me and walked to the exit. And I ran a flight to Tromso – the town, about 400 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle. There from December to March in the sky visible green light flashes – the famous Northern Lights, for which crowds of tourists arrive. Somewhere in the middle of November to the Arctic city long night descends in two months.
I certainly would not have withstood so much without the sun, but the locals all uneasy – drink fish oil and dancing in nightclubs. Merry hibernation! However, in the summer – and we got here in early June, at the height of the polar day, – bars Tromso also fun. Until midnight walks along the central streets youth, couples walk their dogs, ride bicycles, and verandas cafe severe sailors moored nearby NATO ships sipping beer the world’s northernmost brewery.
Me all clothes
Night in the city’s harbor cruise liner came from Hurtigruten fleet. Handsome man of gigantic proportions! After receiving the keys, I take the elevator to the right deck, having strayed from the long corridors, and finally found his cabin. Outside the window was still light, and sleep was not easy.
In the morning we met with the group for breakfast in the restaurant. Besides us and the staff all around looked no younger than sixty. Right at the table – a circle of German pensioners left – English. Cruises for the elderly – the most convenient form of travel. In the port of those who have no strength or desire to walk, take the air baths remain in beach chairs and cheerful and energetic go sightseeing.
We certainly craved new experiences. And get the desired – were ahead Lofoten.
While we were transplanted to a small, more maneuverable craft, the weather deteriorated: blowing wind penetrating to the bone, and the rain poured down. But there is no bad weather, only bad clothing there. To my joy, good quickly found in the hold. And let the windproof and waterproof overalls, I had become the Teletubbies, but once it became warm and comfortable. Now if you could not take pictures (camera gets wet), then watch the stunning nature. We entered the bay, surrounded on three sides by high cliffs. Proudly sat on the tops of sea eagles. Norwegian in the same shapeless overalls, like me, got a bucket full of fish. She was immediately surrounded vociferous seagulls. But they had in store for bread, and she threw the fish far out to sea. Immediately stone fell from the sky eagle, caught on the fly fairing and disappeared behind the rocks. The girl threw the fish until the bucket was empty, and the Eagles still deftly caught it.
In the port of our group put on a narrow rubber banana boats. Bobbing on the waves, we went to a secluded wild white sand beach – admire from afar. About to go swimming in the icy water, there was no question. On the way back, landed on a tiny rocky island, where we prepared sandwiches with salmon and grog – what you need after a hard day on the sea air.
The next day the ship invisible to us crossed the Arctic Circle. There were several stops in small towns, compared to which at least seems to Tromso Paris. One of these I walked for half an hour, looking for the proverbial ATM. On the streets – not a soul, silence, machines are not visible, and only in stores vetroneproduvaemoy clothing observed some movement. Then it turned out that it is the tourists bought Norwegian outfit.
I came to a deserted area and sat on a bench. Near cyclist stopped. “Hey – he greeted the Norwegian. – How you doing? Where are you from? “Delighted that all understand smartly answer him. And very handy screw up his crown – about ATM. Alas, he is, but at the bank, which is now closed. On this, our peoples and friendship is over, but I, at least, in the Norwegian practice.
On the third day we landed in Trondheim, the third largest city of the kingdom. It was founded by the Viking-king Olaf in 997. Wide streets, old stone buildings, monumental church – here was the first capital of Norway, so in the Cathedral Nidaras still crowned monarchs.
Impressed by the grandeur of the ancient cathedral, we headed back to the ship. After lunch, left the track 64, it is known as Atlantic road. According to the newspaper The Guardian, is the most picturesque freeway in the world. All the way I looked hard then right, then left the bus window, afraid to miss something important. On both sides of us glittering Atlantic Ocean, between two islands in front of intricately twisted bridge. “Come on, feel the rapture” – persuaded myself. However, there was no bright emotions. Yes, beautiful – blue water, green grass, landscapes reminiscent Baikal, but no more.
On the way back we stopped at a restaurant, beer and tried Norwegian cod, which is first dried in the wind for a long time, and then soaked in lye. Dish on the fan, but I liked it.
Evening was the gala dinner captain. Dressed waiters and chefs lined up and the choir sang, and the captain clinked glasses with everyone – wishing it was a lot. European old men in ironed shirts and grandmother in diamond necklaces fun till you drop. I also had the chance to just get out of a suitcase cocktail dress. Rest of the time I walked in two sweatshirts, jackets and plaid on top of everything – so cold the sea!
After dinner, we took the chance to swim in the outdoor pool on the deck. Water is heated in it, and swim was comfortable, but the wind go wet – then still a test. I had to get warm in the sauna and bar.
The next day, almost all the passengers left in the port of Bergen, and with new liner tourists sailed further south.
If I had the opportunity to live in Norway, I would have settled in Bergen. This is the most colorful and cheerful Norwegian town where students live, artists and musicians. There are many museums, theaters and concert venues, held every year large-scale theater, jazz, ballet festivals. But provincial mustiness from which languished once Henrik Ibsen, is long gone. The theater is a monument meanwhile playwright.
On the old Hanseatic Bryggen with colorful wooden houses walks idle public. On the first floor shops with designer bagatelles.
I accidentally came across a boutique jewelry in the Sami style. They can enjoy for hours, but time was running out, and specifying the website address, I ran on – by swinging boats on the water, past the stalls with knitted hats and antlers, past fish delicacies. I hurried to the funicular, more like a tram. He lifted me up on Mount Fløyen, which overlooks the city and the fjord.
Bergen is called the gateway to the kingdom of fjords. If we had not sailed from the north and from the south, would see the breathtaking Norwegian scenery, which is decorated with each guide. But our journey ends here. As the series – the most interesting place! So, to be continued, because I’m still in love with Norway.