Norway Day 5

Micha set his alarm early to witness crossing over into the Arctic Circle. Despite this he nearly missed it, as he estimated the time nearly half an hour later. It turns out that the ship’s crossing time is taken at a monument marking the spot at 66°32″00′, whereas officially the Arctic Circle lies at 66°33″44’N, so little wonder he was out a bit. Nevertheless Micha made it out on deck in time and saw the ship pass the Globe, although it was too dark to take pictures. He then waited for the real crossing as well, which occurred at 07:17, only 4 minutes earlier than he had predicted.

There followed a lazy morning on the ship, with absolutely gorgeous weather. There was next to no wind and for a change only light cloud cover so even the sun came out. The ship stopped briefly at Ørnes before continuing up the rather spectacular coastline towards Bodø.

Now was also the time for the baptising ceremony by King Neptune outside on Deck 7. Quite a crowd gathered and eventually King Neptune appeared, looking like a cross between a Norwegian Troll and the classical Neptune with a trident. The baptising consisted of a ladle of ice-cube-filled water down the brave souls necks. Micha went for it (of course!) whereas Dana wisely opted to stay warm and dry.

Just after lunchtime the ship docked at Bodø, where it stopped for 3 hours. The city itself is quite uninspiring – it’s just a small modern city. We went up to see the cathedral which is just an ugly modern concrete monstrosity on the outside. On the inside it’s modern architecture without any pillars or decorations. It is an interesting contrast to the lovely old churches and cathedrals, but nothing to really go out of your way to visit.

After the cathedral we wandered over to the marina as it seemed to be the only other place of interest in town apart from the aviation museum, the latter of which was a bit far to walk. Then it was back onboard to await our departure. Unfortunately we also didn’t see any sea eagles for which the area around Bodø is renowned – perhaps they migrate south for winter..

From Bodø the ship headed northwards again, navigating past the fantastic Norwegian coastline into the growing twilight. Soon it will be dinnertime again! And there’s the promise of a chance to see the northern lights tonight when we pass through the Lofoten islands.