Svolvaer to Trondheim
Day 10 continued
Back on MS Lofoten
"Our ship" MS Lofoten sails into Svolvaer harbour on time having been to Kirkenes and back since we left her at Trondheim.
It might be Saturday evening but cargo needs unloading. We're greeted by the tour leader who has remembered our names. We have a different cabin, 115, which is quieter than the last one with no noise from the toilets above. Meanwhile most of the passengers seem to have gone on one of the excursions.
We sailed on time on a beautiful evening with high hopes of finally seeing the midnight sun.
The fast ferry from Bødo hurries past us.
Dinner was served later this evening in the restaurant because of the shore excursions. We listened to the stories of the Australians we'd met earlier in the voyage north about their time on the way to and from Kirkenes. The sea had been rough with quite a few passengers being sick and it had been cold with snow.
Whilst we were eating dinner - various types of fish from the Lofoten isles - the Polarlys (Polar Lights) swept past and I took a photo through the window.
The arrival at Stamsund was a very low key affair with few passengers leaving or boarding and no cargo handling. We sailed at 22:30 for the long crossing to Bødo.
As the Lofoten islands receded into the distance the sun appeared over the mountains.
MS Lofoten heads across the open sea...
...whilst looking west the sun gradually sinks towards its lowest point...
....and finally we get to sea the midnight sun from the stern of the ship.
Day 11 - on board MS Lofoten between Ørnes and Rørvik
During the night the ship had called at Bødo (02:30-04:15) and shortly after seven at Ørnes (O7:00-07:15) but, having been up very late, we missed that port and it wasn't until after breakfast that I ventured up on deck.
The route from Ørnes to Nesna
The ship is now in the Rødøyfjorden with the Svartisen glacier over to the east - this is Norway's second largest glacier and covers 221 square kilometres.
Looking back north along the Rødøyfjorden.
The northbound Hurtigruten, today with the Vesteralen approaches ....
...our ship moves slightly and I hesitate when to press the shutter. Disaster!!
At least I can take a going away shot but I'm not pleased with myself.
The island of Rødøya on the starboard side rises to 443m and is supposed to look like a lion lying down or an Egyptian sphinx.
A somewhat bizarre piece of modern art - toilet, shower and bath announced over the loudspeakers by the tour leader!
The ship sales surprisingly close to the mainland in places.
We pass the Arctic Circle globe on the islet of Vikingen, although the actual point isn't exactly here.
On the starboard side is the island of Hestmona (246m).
The ship is now in the Måsvaerfjorden.
We pass a small cargo ship heading north.
On the port side is the Tonnefjellet (471m) with the ferry to Hestmona alongside.
The island of Hestmona is passed on the starboard side. The mountain is Ambotá (servant woman). Local legend says that she is looking north with her long hair flowing south.
The southbound Hurtigruten has a ceremony after crossing the Arctic Circle - a spoonful of cod liver oil served on a special spoon.
The northbound sailing has the traditional ice cubes down the neck....
We DID NOT take part!
Over on the starboard side, as we approached our next port of call at Nesna, the enormous sloping rock slabs over on the mainland can be seen with another glacier high up in the distance.
The Lofoten approaches the quay at Nesna for its stop from 11:00 to 11:15. There wasn't much activity on this Sunday morning.
The route from Nesna to Sandnessjøen
The ship now sails out into the Ransfjorden
Suddenly, over to starboard a cruise liner, the Ocena Majesty, appears from behind one of the islands...
...and we follow it at a steady 15 knots as it overtakes us.
As we approach Sandnessjøen over to the east is the Helgelandsbroen which is one of the largest cable stayed bridges in the world with a span of 425m and a total length of 1131m.
The ship is approaching Sandnessjøen on the island of the island of Alsta...
...where we passed the car ferry Møysalen awaiting its next trip.
The ship is coming alongside at Sandnessjøen, where two Norwegian walkers I'd chatted to, were going walking along the Seven Sisters ridge near the town. I was assured that I was welcome to join them and was told they weren't as hard to climb as many of the Scottish mountains - they knew all about Munros! Sadly I had no hiking boots and Fran wouldn't have let me join them anyway....
No mistaking where we are now.
The route from Sandnessjøen to Brønnøysund
On leaving Sandnessjøen the Seven Sisters range come into view.
Further south there's a much better view of the long ridge.
From north to south the Sisters are Botnkrona at 1,072 metres (3,517 ft), Grytfoten at 1,019 metres (3,343 ft), Skjæringen at 1,037 metres (3,402 ft), Tvillingene (The Twins) at 945 and 980 metres (3,100 ft and 32,15 ft), Kvasstinden at 1,010 metres (3,313 ft) and Breitinden at 910 metres (2,985 ft).
They look pretty tough to me!
The next hour or so of the voyage is through a series of small islands and skerries and because of this I didn't take any photos until....
...we arrived at Brønnøysund. The ship was due here at 15:45 and was scheduled to sail at 17:00.
We had a walk around Bronnoysund which was very quiet as it was Sunday.
There wasn't a lot to see - as in most Norwegian towns the shops didn't seem to have window displays and it all felt very "inward looking", but there was a pleasant view over the river and lake.
We visited the church and stayed for a while to listen to organist in the church playing Bach. Outside the church were several memorials to sailors lost at sea over the years
The Lofoten at rest.
The route from Bronnoysund to Rørvik.
Soon after leaving Brønnøysund it began to rain. This is the view looking back to the Brønnøysundbrua bridge.
It was constructed in 1979 and it connects the small island of Torget with the mainland just south of Brønnøysund. The 550-metre long bridge has a maximum clearance to the sea of 30 metres. It consists of 20 spans, the longest of which is 110 metres.
One of the highlights of the day was passing the Torghatten, which is the mountain with a hole through the middle. There are, of course legends about how this came about involving a beautiful girl and a troll, but the reality is that it was formed during the ice age.
Ice and water eroded the looser rocks, while the harder ones in the mountain top have resisted erosion The tunnel is 160 metres long, 35 metres wide, and 20 metres high.
In true Hurtigruten style the ship slowed down and was steered carefully into position. The ships siren was sounded when the optimum position was reached for a good photograph.
One of the traditions of the Hurtigruten ships is the Captain's dinner on the evening before arrival at Trondheim. Even though the ship continues to Bergen many passengers on the round voyage choose to leave at Trondheim so it is held ,not on the last evening of the voyage, but the evening before.
The captain made a speech in English, whilst some of the other officers attended as well as the catering staff and tour leader (on the right). The meal started with a free alcoholic drink (sparking wine I think) followed by four (thankfully small) courses. The starter was scampi and crab, then steak for a main course, a sorbet and a pear and chocolate desert.
The sunny weather had disappeared, although it stayed dry. The scenery became considerably less interesting as we headed south with relatively low hills and islands.
We arrived at Rørvik on the island of Inner Vikna on time at 20:30. The ship took a long time to come alongside due to a cross wind and the ship's anchor was dropped to allow this manoeuvre.
This photo gives an impression of the town. We went for a brief walk into the town centre which, once again didn't feel as welcoming or attractive as might be expected.
It was perhaps appropriate that the last of the Hurtigruten ships that I was able to photograph was the Richard With, named after the captain who started off the scheduled Norwegian coastal voyages.
The contrast in size between the two ships is really dramatic.
Another ship full of passengers head north. After it had sailed it was our turn to leave and, after considerable clanking from the capstan and anchor chain, we set off on the 9 hour overnight voyage to Trondheim. This is the longest section without any port calls. Much of this is out in the open sea but we were lucky and the sea was calm.
Immediately on leaving Rørvik we passed under the Nærøysundbru. It is a suspension bridge that crosses the Nærøysundet strait between the islands of Marøya and Vikna . Together with Marøysund Bridge, it connects the islands of Vikna to the mainland. Nærøysund Bridge is 701 metres long, the main span is 325 metres, and the maximum clearance to the sea is 41 metres. The bridge has 17 spans. Nærøysund Bridge was opened in 1981.
We arrived in Trondheim at 06:30 and, after breakfast, left the ship to walk to the station for the second time. Was it really only eight days since we were here?
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