Lockdown Armchair Travel – Norway – North Cape, Honningsvag, Tromso and Bergen – June 2008

Time for another lockdown armchair travel post, and N is also for Norway, and an MSC cruise we did back in June 2008, up that country’s rugged coast to reach the North Cape on Midsummer Day, also taking in the towns of Trondheim (no photos, not sure why), Tromso and Bergen. So, what do you think of, when you think of Norway? Maybe this:

LappsLocal Lapps, or maybe this:

Midnight SunThe Midnight Sun. That’s certainly my strongest memory of Norway – we went for 96 hours without a hint of night-time. It plays havoc with your sleep patterns but you feel energised and excited by constantly being in the light. Bizarrely, perhaps, by contrast, Norwegian towns are mostly, erm… drab. Sorry if you’re Norwegian. That’s probably why I have no photos of Trondheim – maybe there was nothing much to photograph. Honningsvag is a little town a few miles from the North Cape. You wouldn’t expect it to be a hive of activity; and you’d be right.

HonningsvagWe walked down that street, and the most extraordinary thing about it was that one house had one of those Football Souvenir Street Signs in its front window, bearing allegiance to Liverpool FC and Anfield.

HonningsvagThe area relies on two things: tourism and fishing. When you reach the North Cape, first impressions are a little disappointing.

WelcomeIt’s almost as though someone else had got there first. However, there are better monuments to be found:

North CapeNorth CapeBut it’s the views that you really come for.

On the way to the North Cape

SKies of blueTromso is the most northerly city, but we found it pretty dull, I’m afraid. It does have a rather striking cathedral though.

Arctic CathedralThe most attractive place we visited – by far – was Bergen.

BergenIt’s an expensive place, of course, so you buy very little in the way of presents! But the shopping is fun.

ShoppingAgain, it has a rather attractive cathedral

Bergen CathedralAnd is probably best known for this chap, Edvard Grieg. His house is out of town, and we didn’t manage to get there, but it’s always important to have a reason to go back.

GriegThe birds obviously don’t think much of his music! If you’ve seen The Song of Norway, you’ll recognise Freddy and his Fiddle, at it in the square…

Freddy and his FiddleOK, so it’s really Ole Bull, a big 19th century violin virtuoso and celebrity. Of course, Bergen is another city that relies heavily on the fish and tourist industries, and its harbourside position is very attractive.

Bergen seafrontAnd that’s very much what you remember when you leave

Bye BergenMaybe just one last sunset….


Thanks for joining me in this little travel souvenir of Norway! Plenty of letters in the alphabet still to come!