Today we docked at Honningsvåg, Norway located on the southeast coast of the island of Magerøya.
We were up early and stepped out onto the balcony to choppy seas below and dark skies above. A quick breakfast then back down to the cabin to get ready to go ashore. But first, we took a little time to have fun with our towel animals.
We arrived in port around 11 AM and quickly got off with Sue and Doug to explore the town. The air was cold and damp even so our walk was pleasant as we passed shops, the marina, the local church which is the only pre-WWII structure on Magerøya and a museum about life in the Arctic.
Like Ålesund, we spotted the remnants of a defensive fortification on the hillside above the town. During WWII the Germans burned down the entire town except for the church.
We walked along for quite a while and then decided to find a place to stop for some hot coffee to ward off the cold. We found a very nice restaurant called the Corner Spiseri. The interior of the restaurant/bar was modern and had an eclectic variety of tables and chairs to enjoy.
The menu was very interesting including dishes like whale meat, Reindeer stew and Cajun pork chops. After looking over the menu we decided to just have something hot to drink and a slice of warm apple cake. Both were delicious.
We stopped at a souvenir shop on our way back to the ship to buy a refrigerator magnet for my daughter Kristine and, of course, take the time for a photo opportunity with the Troll.
We returned to the ship and were amazed at what we saw. The low tide had caught the crew off guard when the gangplank got wedged between the ship and the dock. By now it had started to rain but we had to wait as the crew extricated the gangway so we could board the ship. We had to practically crawl back onto the ship. For me it was not that difficult but for Sue, Doug and Randy who are all tall it was a bit difficult.
In just this one morning we experienced, cold weather, rain and snow giving us just a little taste of what it must be like for the residents of this northernmost town in beautiful Norway.
Our first stop took us to a small fishing village called Kamøyӕr with a population of 67. What a lovely place. It was so quiet. It made me wonder if anyone was there. Our first stop was to the East of Eden Art Gallery where resident artist Eva Schmutterer explained how she creates such beautiful art with scraps of paper.
Many visitors were enamored with her work and purchased quite a bit of artwork. I bought a beautiful pair of earrings and a reindeer magnet for Kristine. Even the little bags they placed my purchases in were examples of Eva’s art. Lovely!
From there we took a walk over to the fish factory just a few steps away. It was so interesting to see dried cod hanging from the rafters and the many varieties of sea birds resting on fishing nets.
Our next stop would be the fishing village of Skarsvåg. The drive to this northernmost fishing village was a treat to the eyes. We passed vast expanses of beautiful landscape dotted with snow, reindeer, fjords and a small village. I thought it was interesting to learn that female reindeer have horns in the winter while the male reindeer have horns in the summer.
Randy found it ‘amazing’ that there were no trees. According to our tour guide the tree line is about 250 miles south of where we were. As we looked out the window Randy said, “It is so desolate, but it has a beauty of its own”. He was so right; I saw beauty everywhere I looked.
As we made our way into the quaint fishing village of Skarsvåg we passed a church with the steeple sitting on the ground. Our tour guide told us that the steeple had fallen down so many times from wind that the residents decided to just leave it on the ground. Very funny.
We walked a little around this tiny village of 45 residents to the water’s edge to admire the small fishing fleet. Other than another tour bus we did not see anyone on the streets.
We went into a fisherman’s cottage that had been converted into a small Christmas shop and café for tourists. The front of the house was filled with beautiful Christmas ornaments, glass, pottery and more. The back of the house was a small, cozy area to enjoy cups of hot coffee or tea, Christmas cake or snowflake shaped waffles with sour cream and strawberry jam.
Sue and I immediately fixed our waffles and coffee and found a place to sit. Eventually, Doug and Randy joined us.
While we were still eating, Randy and Doug went outside and discovered a King Crab in a bucket just outside the store and a lone, gray cat lazily walking around the street. Doug and Randy both love cats and could not resist calling to it and petting it. Doug was a happy man after seeing the cat.
Back on the bus and rolling down the road we were treated once again to the beautiful landscape we had seen earlier in the afternoon. I just loved it. At one point the tour guide pointed to wooden structures that were lined up along the hills called snow bridges or snow fences to protect the road from an avalanche. We had seen some of these snow fences in Honningsvåg earlier in the day in the hills above the town.
We arrived back at the ship late and had to hurry to the dining room where Vilma, Jim, Betty and Mickey were waiting. It was a fun evening with everyone sharing stories about what they had done and seen while in Honningsvåg.
Vilma was a very happy camper this evening because she finally was able to get some free Wifi while on shore.
After dinner, Vilma and the others went on to tonight’s show featuring two members of the production cast singing a variety of songs. The rest of us went to the Safari Lounge to enjoy an after dinner drink before returning to our cabins for a good night’s sleep.
Tomorrow we dock in Tromso, Norway.