Hurtigruten: Thursday (Day 8 – Day 2 for us) – Hammerfest & Tromso

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We had a great night’s sleep on the Hurtigruten – stopping 5 times, but we slept right through it!

There are 8 stops today, ranging from 5 minutes to 2 hours.

People continue to cycle on and off.

Seating

Those who are staying onboard a short time can either book a cabin (even for 1 night) or just hang out in the lounges.

Seating 3

There are all kinds of places to sit – with great views –  although it can get a bit crowded between popular stops.

Seating 2

Seating 4

Some seating areas are even outside with heat lamps.

Seat Outside

Docking is pretty interesting.  We usually have to enter a pretty narrow basin and then spin around to dock on our port side.  From the Promenade Deck, you can watch the maneuverings of the bridge:

Bridge

And also watch as they lower the gangway (for people and cars).

Docking

Our first outing off the ship was in Hammerfest (2 hours), which claims to be the most northern city (of any real size) in the world.   We disembarked to explore.Hammerfest Gangway

Hammerfest is also is the home to the Ancient Polar Bear Society and museum.

Hammerfest Polar Bear

It was traditionally a jumping-off point for expeditions to the Arctic to hunt polar bears, and polar bears had been known to roam the streets back in the day.  They are mad about polar bears!

Hammerfest Us

Midnight Sun

Then we had to keep ourselves awake because our next outing wasn’t until MIDNIGHT!

At 11:45 pm, we docked at Tromso, where they have a famous Arctic Cathedral with a magnificent wall of stained glass. During the summer, the Midnight Sun steams through, and they hold concerts to celebrate the light.

Midnight Concert 3

We filed in, and a solo baritone voice from the balcony started with a Norwegian folk song – then joined by cello and organ.  It was almost spooky hearing these words of my ancestors in such a special place.

Midnight Concert 2

They played/sang traditional and classical pieces with a Norwegian connection and then ended very quietly with “Amazing Grace,” which swelled with the cello on the last verse. I was in tears and could feel my family – one by one (from both sides) – all around me whispering.  I was so moved that couldn’t talk the whole way back.  What a night.

Midnight Concert

Today’s Menu:

Salmon Pastrami

Local Beef

DUGA Bygg Crème – similar to rice pudding, made with cereal from 12 select farmers

Day 8 - front

Day 8

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