Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Norway - Trondheim


We went on the Hurtigruten cruise (which stopped at Svolvaer) and checked in with an inside cabin for 2 nights to Trondheim, NOK746 x 2 persons x 2 nights = NOK2984. And the breakfast is NOK150 per person.
I was ready to hunt the Aurora.
晚上十點半坐在艙外吹寒風等着看北極光,終於在十一至十二點左右時出現幾次,但只是白色,有一次很快流動的波浪形像,根本來不及拍照。
We saw the lights again on the coastal cruise from Lofoten islands to Bodo. The lights were just white color, and one of them moved in fast waves.


The cruise sailed out of the Arctic Circle. Just off of the Helgeland coast, there is a beautiful mountain range - The Seven Sisters.


While I was taking scenic pictures, a traveler seemed interested to take a picture of my footwear. When I turned back to him, he put away his big camera immediately.
Haha... I am not sure if he got it or not, but I should take a picture for myself.


The cruise stopped at Bronnoysund for 1.25 hours. We had a little walk along the coast.


Beautiful corals and sea plants growing around...


After departing again, we passed Torghatten mountain on Torget island in Bronnoy municipality in Nordland county.


"According to legend, the hole was made by the troll Hestmannen while he was chasing the beautiful girl Lekamøya. As the troll realized he would not get the girl, he released an arrow to kill her, but the troll-king of Sømna threw his hat into the arrow's path to save her. The hat turned into the mountain with a hole in the middle.
The tunnel is 160 metres (520 ft) long, 35 metres (115 ft) wide, and 20 metres (66 ft) high. It was formed during the Scandinavian ice age. Ice and water eroded the looser rocks, while the harder ones in the mountain top have resisted erosion."


When the ship stopped at Rorvik for a half hour, our southbound ship met one of their northbound ships. They allowed the guests to visit each other's ship.


This trip I just saw light green and white colors in the Aurora, not the colorful Aurora which I saw in other people's photos. I felt I didn't see enough of the Aurora, because I didn't research much for the trip.
Oh well, we need to go search for it again in another place next time.
雖然這次遊走有看到一些淺青及白色北極光,沒看到很深多顏色的光,意猶未盡。我之前沒做很多功課,所以行程不是很理想。。已行向南方。
只能下次旅行再去其它地方尋光。


We walked to the hotel, not far from the cruise stop in Trondheim.


I found many places have full and half flush toilets, this one has a big button that means full flush and small button means half flush.
Save water, save money, save earth.
I told Steve to install this in our house toilet months ago, but he still hasn't done it yet.


We did a little sightseeing, though many places were closed on Sunday, including the tourist information office where we had hoped to get sightseeing and travel information for the next part of our trip. We decided book a last minute flight to Bergen for the next day.


I like this house set up, from the picture I just noticed the little basket hanging on the door.


Nidarosdomen - "Nidaros Cathedral, Norway's national shrine, was built as a grave church for St. Olav. The  Cathedral is the most important landmark in Trondheim, and has influenced its development through centuries. It took around 250 years to complete the cathedral."


Riksregaliene - The Crown Regalia
Erkebispegarden - The Archbishop's Palace Museum is situated next to the Cathedral.


Trondheim Kunstmuseum, exhibitions of contemporary art and collection.


Gamle Bybro - Old Town Bridge.


We walked to a steep path, where there is a free bicycle lift for those biking to encourage more people to use bikes instead of cars.  The rider firmly places one foot on a small step on the track on the curb, then pushes a button.  The step then moves up the hill, pushing the rider & bike.  After watching 2 tourists trying to use it with their bikes, it seems to be much harder than it looks.


To the Kristiansten festning, the Fortress is located on a hill east of the city.


Stiftsgarden - The Royal Residence.


Vitensenteret - Science Museum.


Trondheim Sjofartsmuseum.  World War II museums are easily identifiable, as they all seem to have a mine sitting in front of them.


Next day, we walked to Var Frue Kirke - Church.


Munkholmen - The Monks Island.  I zoomed in with my camera to take this picture while we were at the beach side.


Then we went back to the hotel to take our luggage. Took a Flybussen shuttle NOK130 per person to the airport.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Norway - Svolvaer

 

The next morning, we heard the announcement about the port...
We realized Hurtigruten has several cruises constantly going both northbound and southbound, and sometimes they meet each other in ports.


And we found their schedule sheet, the cruise stops at 33 ports.


When we got on the ship at midnight, we were tired.
That staff booked the cruise for us without a cabin, she said they have many sofas that we could lay on. But it was a 17 hours trip, and not booking a cabin was rather a poor choice.

For the duration of the trip, we used our luggage to build a small, fortified nest on one of the sofas in the lounge. Fortunately, this is off-season, so it wasn't a problem.
Since we didn't have a cabin, Steve 'worried' about just leaving our bags unattended in the lounge area.


The cruise stopped at Stokmarknes for one hour.


Here the guests can visit the Hurtigruten museum - free entry for people on the cruise ship.
After that, the cruise sailed through the passage of Raftsundet.


As the weather permitted, the cruise made a detour, sailing into Trollfjord.
"The Arctic Trollfjord is a 2 km long sidearm of Raftsund between Lofoten islands and Vesteralen archipelago. With its narrow entrance and steep mountain sides, the Trollfjord is really exotic and spectacular."


The cruise managed to make a U-turn here, at the end of the fjord.

"The entrance is so narrow it looks like it is not possible for such a large ship to enter, and it looks even more impossible to to turn the large ship at the end of the fjord. The steep mountain sides add to this amazing experience, and Sea eagles circling around the mountain peaks are quite a common sigh"


"The mouth of the Trollfjord is only 100 meters wide, and widens to a maximum width of 800 meters. The steep mountains surrounding the fjord are between 600 and 1100 meters high."


We arrived Svolvaer, where we crossed a short bridge to a tiny island to the Rica hotel we booked.


Because Steve didn't have a good sleep on the cruise's sofa, he was exhausted and we went bed early. So, we missed a night of hunting Aurora again.
Oh well, we enjoyed the breakfast in the hotel dining room with a beautiful view.


我們乘 Hurtigruten 郵輪,抵達 Lofoten islands 的 Svolvaer,很小的鎮,問了一些去其它城市的交通資料,因為不是旺季了,只有一班6.50am的渡輪,所以又選擇8.30pm的 Hurtigruten 郵輪。
The tourist center in Svolvaer was already closed when we first arrived, but the hotel staff gave us some information. So, we decided take Hurtigruten cruise again to our next destination.  The next morning, we went to the tourist center for more information.


We spent the day wandering around.


We walked closer to Svolvaergeita mountain, the Goat's Horns.


After that, we walked across the bridge to the small island of Svinoya.


Here we got another view of the Goat's Horns. The rocks looked like a love couple to me, before I knew the name.

"There are two spiky rocks which only the most experienced rock climbers can (safely) reach."
"Svolvaergeita has many routes, but all end at the Storhorn (big horn) with the following jump to the Lillehorn (little horn). The jump is 1.5 meters across, and about a meter down. It's the perfect climbing stunt, because it is just possible, but hard enough to give one pause."


Let's receive all the good and positive energy. 吸收所有好、善、正面的能量。


During winter, the fishermen in Svinoya use these wooden racks to dry fish.


The unique little wooden houses on the sea.


Walk to the tip of the island - Fiskerkona (Fisherman's wife) statue, says goodbye to fishermen in the harbor and waits for their safe return. 


The statue stands atop the light house.


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Norway - Tromso


My plan to visit Norway was to see the Northern Lights, so we flew from Oslo to Tromso, above the Arctic Circle. We didn't see the information counter when we arrived at Tromso airport, but we saw the Airport Express Coach counter. The fare was NOK70 per person (city bus is cheaper a little bit or take a taxi if more than 2 persons), the Express Coach will stop in front of your hotel. 



飛到 Arctic 的範圍北部城市Tromso,到了hotel,老板問了我是那裡人,我說原本是馬來西亞,她說有8位馬來西正人住了一星期,最后一天即在上星期六晚終於看到北極光。我真高興。
The hotel's owner showed us her beautiful Northern Lights pictures which she took the week before. 



We walked around the city, this is the town's library.



The Art Museum of Northern Norway.  Elephants with different types of faucets for heads.



We went to Prestvannet lake around 5.30 pm and had a walk round the lake. It was cold and had a little rain, 8.30 pm we gave up waiting for the Aurora.
The next day, we chatted with the hotel's owner again, and she said the chances to see the Aurora are best between 10 pm - 2 am. Good to know.



We got information at the tourist center, then bought a one day Tromskortet (NOK70), good for public transport within Troms county and decided let them book the Hurtigruten coastal cruise without cabin (NOK616 per person) for us to Svolvaer, 1.30 am - 6 pm. (If by bus, the fare is NOK620, 10 am - 8 pm). The staff gave us a link about the Aurora chart, and Steve found another useful link after that one.



We took bus to the mainland to see the Arctic Cathedral. 



Then took the cable car to see the view of Tromso from the mountaintop, the fare is NOK130 per person.



"The upper station is located at Storsteinen (English: The big rock), a mountain ledge about 420 m (1,378 ft) above sea-level. "



"The four minute trip to the upper station is a popular destination in itself, offering visitors a commanding view of the city and the surrounding islands and fjords from an outdoor viewing deck."


Then we took the bus back to the island to the Science Centre of Northern Norway.



And beside it, the Botanic Garden, which seemed to be mostly rock samples.


My view of Norwegians, they are healthy. The food mostly seems healthy, and we saw many people walking dogs, jogging, and cycling, even late at night. We were told by people in two different places, it's very safe. Living in safety is very important, and they seem very proud of it.
Most of them didn't simply talk/chat with strangers or tourists, unless you asked a question. They answered what you asked and made the conversation as short as possible, with no side talk.
When we were waiting for a bus, there was a boy with a lady (must be his mom), I asked the boy: "Do you learn English in school?" He said yes... And he continued telling us the places he had been... The lady said to him: "You talk too much."
Seems like this is their family education: don't talk too much.




We went out 9 pm, we took bus to Telegrafbukta beach.
Most of the pictures came out black, but MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!! We got back to the hotel about 12:30am, after spending several hours alone, on a cold beach with a strong wind. It was worth it!

挪威人都會講英語,我們幾次找不到地方都是問人。有两次我們有較多的談話時,挪威人說:這裡很完全。
我們去較暗的地方要看北極光,半夜十二點,還看到有三人一起走狗,噢不,是walking dog。是的,居住的很完全,真是他們值得驕傲的地方。
挪威人跟丹麥人的快樂指數,我想不會差很大。




 The next day, we walked around the city again. This is Polaria - "Its striking design represents ice floes that have been pressed up on land by the rough seas of the Arctic." 



 M/S Polstjerna - Seal hunting vessel museum. 



Tromso Gallery Of Contemporary Art.



Perspektivet Museum.



The Polar Museum.
Mostly we went in the attractions with free entry only, and seeing the outsides of the buildings for those with price.  We didn't know about the City Passes, available in many cities, that include admission to attractions.
  

Waiting in the Rica Hotel lobby for the next phase of our journey - a 17 hour ferry ride to Svolvaer that starts at 1:30 a.m. Most places in town, other than restaurants & convenience stores closed at 5:00 p.m., so there isn't a lot to do, except wait.
We're hoping to see the lights again tonight from the ship, away from so much artificial light, and looking forward to some great scenery along the coast during the daylight part of the cruise.



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