The spectacular coastline of Norway was the subject of an illustrated talk given recently to the Bakewell and District Probus Club by Gillian Dengel.
Showing a selection from the hundreds of photographs taken on the journey, Gill described a return voyage which they had made between Bergen and Kirkenes – on the Norway/Russia border, via the North Cape.
They had travelled on board one of the Hurtigruten fleet of Norwegian ferries and cargo ships which operate on this route. Hurtigruten, meaning ‘Fast Route’, was founded in 1893 and now has a fleet of a dozen vessels.
Originally providing the only direct means of communication between many of the isolated settlements along the Norwegian coast, and the fastest between the major towns, the ships were an important life-line.
However, more recently, as the road network on the mainland has been improved, the Hurtigruten role has changed to some extent and the later ships have been built to accommodate the cruise market as well as the existing ferry service.
The voyage made by Gill and Theo covered 2,500 nautical miles and the ship called at thirty four ports, of which twenty two were within the Arctic Circle. It being September, they were too late in the year to witness the midnight sun and too early for the Aurora Borealis but they saw many interesting and attractive sights en route.
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