The Hurtigruten ferry/cruise has some great attractions to it from the stunning landscapes seen from the ferry to the possibility of seeing the dancing Northern Lights, however for us one of the biggest is the fact that you can visit several towns and cities on the Norwegian coast in one trip. Why they don’t tell you is that you will stop at these places at most unusual hours or that the you will stop there, everything will be shut. Welcome to Norway and the Hurtiguren Cruise, where it doesn’t revolve around you, the tourist (But please give us your money!!). So in this post I will simply give a quick recap on the main towns and cities we stopped at, however I’ll hope the photos do the talking.
Raquel and I boarded the ferry late on the 30thof December. The day before New Year’s Eve. You imagine places to be buzzing with excitement: The current dawning to a close, the new one approaching. Well, maybe elsewhere, because in Norway, they don’t really look like they care much for the changing the year. Why you ask?
On the 31stof December our first stop was the town of Alesund. To be fair Alesund was definitely not the worst culprits of the “I couldn’t give a damn about the New Year” brigade as you saw people walking around a mostly shut town. Though, despite Alesund being in shutdown, it was still a very pleasant and pretty town and as it wasn’t brimming with people, you could actually appreciate it more. Also, some shops were open, so there was always hot chocolate available after a couple of minute in the freezing temperatures.
Our second stop for the day, Kristiansund, turned out to be the low point. Not in beauty, travel experience or any other meaningful travel quantifier, but in terms of human activity. This was New Year’s Eve and the town was virtually deserted. Worst of all was that Raquel and I were in no mood to pay the randsom fee of 60 of Queen Lizzie’s pounds for the NYE buffet, so when the ship docked we got off in search of reasonably priced nourishment. That my friends, is not an easy task in Kristiansund, Norway on NYE as the only open establishment we found, was a bar, with no more than 5 people in it (including ourselves) which served some food. Not the best way to end the year, but hey at least we can tell our children about the time we spent NYE in the least excited town in Norway!
We also spend the changing of the year in the town, but I will write a separate post about as there is no place for such excitement here (note the sarcasm if you will).
New Year’s day is the day Raquel and I felt like we were in the film “30 days later” whilst walking the streets of Norway third biggest city, Trondheim. If Kristiansund felt desert, then Trondheim was on a whole different level as you wouldn’t even see other footprints in the snow. At times it felt like a post-apocalyptic town in which only Raquel and I (and the other ferry passengers) were the only survivors. To be honest though, I loved it. There’s nothing better than an abandoned city to photo’s in (I’m not too good with people yet, when it come to photography) and Trondheim certainly made up for in charm beauty what it lacked in human activity.
January 2nd was the day Norwegians came out of their lairs and play and this was clearly visible in Bodo. Bodo itself is definitely not the prettiest of the cities we visited but at that point we didn’t really care, we were simply looking for cheap food and supplies for our last days on the ferry.
Our final stop before Tromso was the town of Svolvaer on the Lofoten Islands which is considered one of the more beautiful regions in Norway but in keeping with the cruise which doesn’t revolve around the tourist, we stopped in the middle of the night when, well, not much could be seen apart from codfish being dried out on great wooden racks.
Too be fair to Hurtigruten, I loved the cruise and the fact that didn’t really make the cruise about you the tourist. Also, you get to see s much of the coastal region for far less if you were doing it by any other means of transport.
For more photos from Bergen check out the album on my Facebook page.