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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Finnmark, Norway

May 11, 2017 - Hammerfest

We are running late with our Blog. When we have time we have no wi-fi and when we have wi-fi, we have no time. The vast sea and snow-covered mountains are awe-inspiring. We sailed west up over the top of Norway stopping at 6 small villages - 15 minutes each. On the second day of our voyage we stopped at Hammerfest (1789) Europe's most northernmost city,(World) where the midnight sun shines May to late July. We had 45minutes, so we walked up through town to the only building left standing after the German occupation. The Germans occupied...

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May 10, 2017 - Kirkenes, Norway

Today we traveled north into Norway, but this area it is still called Lapland. There are some hills but the further north we go, we see smaller and less trees. On the way to Kirkenes, our departure port, we stopped at the Norwegian-Russian border-crossing for a rest stop. The Norwegians, this far from any city, go to Russia to save money on standard food stuff and the Russians come to Norway to get products that are not available in this part of Russia. This is a well manned crossing. We boarded the Trollfjord in Kirkenes for one of the...

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Dec 25, 2016 - Hammerfest

We have started travelling back down Norway. We stop at different ports to those visited on the way up. 'Energy drink' up outside on top deck - YUK! This was with a passing look at 'Melkoya' the northern most natural gas terminal. AHammerfest - world's northern most town. We went to a Xmas service at the cathedral. Wander around town on the snowy paths. Back on board and went to learn to tie knots - 75% pass.

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Where is Shirley?

Dec 24, 2016 - Kirkenes - Husky sledge adventure - Xmas Eve

The vistas became more dramatic and just after breakfast we arrived in Kirkenes just 10km from the Russian border. We tòok a short drive to the Snow Hotel next to the Reindeer Park. On went the snow overalls then it was time to meet the dogs. The huskies were harnessed and yapping away, eagerly waiting to transport us across the frozen landscape. With our own 'mushers' we experienced the wonderful feeling of wilderness during our adrenalin filled ride. At the end of the ride we gathered around the fire for a hot drink. Then it was off to...

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Where is Shirley?

Dec 23, 2016 - Hoñnigsvag and the North Cape

Excursion to the North Cape to visit Nordkapp We travelled by bus in convoy behind a snow plow. Blizzard conditions, snowing and very windy. Little scary. Our bus was malfunctioning on the return with lights flashing. We crossed the 71st parallel to the northernmost point on the continent. Standing (or trying to stand) in gale force winds at the plateau was scarry and thought provoking. Here we were on the North Cape Plateau itself, rising 307 metres almost vertically from the ice cold Arctic Ocean. I got to hug (or hold on for dear life)...

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Where is Shirley?

Jun 27, 2016 - Northernmost Everything

In 1997 Norway passed legislation that in order to be a city you had to have a population of at least 5000 people. Hammerfest which is south of here considers itself the northern most city as Honningsvag has only 2500 people. Honningsvag declared its municipality in 1996 so it doesn't fall under this law. It's located in the Nordkapp (North Cape), on the island of Mageroya overlooking a bay of the Barents Sea. It covers an area of 1.07 square kilometers. In October 1944, Hitler ordered the town burned as he was afraid the Russians would...

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May 21, 2016 - Starting return path

This Saturday I discover again wide spaces within mountains even if altitude is only 350m.i visited a Same museum with nice show of old houses and tools. Then I found the Finland border and enter first time again in that country. The first pause was to meet a guy passionate about birds and I had a hike there in a very wild area with many birds. After a short drive I then arrived to a crossing road where I found a little park to camp.

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Follow-me_May2016

Jan 21, 2016 - Kirkenes - our terminus

Today we leave the Trollsfjord, our floating home for the past few days. We disembark in Kirkenes which is at longitude 30deg E so we are actually further east than Istanbul and St. Petersburg! The Russian border is only 3 miles away so all street signs are in both languages and there is no passport control for inhabitants and no visas required. The Hurtigruten turns back S from here. We are now in what is known locally as Borderland as three borders meet here - Norway, Russia and Finland. Although Norway is not in the EU it signed up to...

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The Hurtigruten

Jan 20, 2016 - Honningsvag and the North Cape

Through Hammerfest we arrive at Honningsvag, the gateway to the spectacular North Cape, a mere 2000 Km from the Geographical North Pole and the northernmost city in Norway. We set off by coach to the Cape and have been blessed with good weather. Our transport plus a local bus and some tourists in their own car arrive at a junction where 2 snow ploughs await us. We have to travel in convoy following one plough with the second bringing up the rear. The weather can change very rapidly and blizzards can blow in rapidly. Frequently this 'road'...

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The Hurtigruten

Jun 5, 2015 - Southbound

Friday, June 5 I felt better today, and the seas also calmed down a bit. It rained for much of the day, though. We got off at Hammerfest, and visited the Royal and Ancient Order of the Polar Bear. They had exhibits on the history of the area and on polar expeditions. We also walked around town just a little. We had less than an hour in port. Spent most of the afternoon taking a nap. Some more rough seas. I’ve found just rolling doesn’t bother me too much. Rocking is another story. And sometimes the motion just seems chaotic. Up and down...

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Scandinavia 2015

Jun 4, 2015 - Feeling Crabby

Thursday, June 4 Today we reached Kirkenes, the northern end of our trip. We took a king crab excursion. There were four of us on the tour, which was NOT well described so we weren’t certain what to expect. What happened was that we were outfitted with warm coveralls, boots, gloves, and lifevests. We then went out in a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) with a guide. (L note: We were loaded on board the RIB by crane. Not really, but we did feel like two-year olds in snowsuits.) The guide drove the boat out to a trap buoy, brought up a crab...

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Scandinavia 2015

Jun 3, 2015 - Bird Watching and Sami People

Wednesday, June 3 Slept until 8:30 today. Today’s meal schedule was messed up because of excursions. We took the bird watching trip from 11:15 am - 2:45 pm, so lunch was at 10:30 am. Which is fine, except we finished breakfast at 9:30. I made a sandwich to eat in the cabin when we got back. The bird watching trip was good. We drove by bus for about 45 minutes, then took a boat out to some islands that are a sanctuary. We circumnavigated some of the islands, and saw puffins, razorbills, guillemots, cormorants, shags, eagles, eiders, and...

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Scandinavia 2015

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