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Monday, 2nd January. We’re due in to Bergen at 14.45. Suitcases to be made available for handlers by 09.00, cabins vacated by 10.00. I was in Deck 8’s panoramic lounge by 09.30, and it filled quite quickly. I was too late to get a window seat.

I spent most of the time knitting, and was fascinated when this big rock came into view straight ahead. (Most passengers didn’t seem to notice it.)

On my tablet, I watched on Hurtigruten’s own tracker app. From this I could see that this large rock was in fact two large rocks.

On my phone, I followed on Google Maps. For much of the voyage this had been pretty inaccurate, often placing us on land by a few kilometres from where we were. GPS is less reliable towards the north because no satellite travels directly overhead. Thank goodness the ship’s navigation systems were more reliable than this!

Sometimes I watched on both.

Why was I watching so closely? Well, apart from the fact that I just like maps, like some others I was a little concerned that if we were late into Bergen it could mean missed flights. Mine was for 17.25. Some had a flight at 17.05. (To cut to the end of the story, the boat pulled in dead on time. Once through airport formalities, I had only 20 minutes in hand in the event, due to a couple of other hiccups. Whether those due on the 17.05 flight made it I don’t know. I had left my travel arrangements to Hurtigruten, London. Other passengers had anticipated problems and had booked a night’s accommodation in Bergen. Perhaps another time… )

Meanwhile, just enjoy the views, I told myself. It had been dark on the first evening as we sailed northwards through this scenery. I watched the sun rising, and, before we reached Bergen, start to fall.

It was time for a final turn round Deck 9, in the open air.

But for the cold, I could have stayed there for ever.

No-one taking a last minute jacuzzi.

Picnic lunch from elements picked up at breakfast, though a meal was available in the restaurant from 11.30 to 13.00.

Half an hour from Bergen

I’ve been home three weeks, and have so enjoyed reliving such a great trip as I’ve prepared these posts, sad to have come to their end. And I have a great longing, which started even on the boat, to repeat it at a time when the skies will be lighter for much longer, but while there is still a chance to see the Northern Lights. Spring? Or autumn? Nice dilemma. I’m inclining towards October 2024 …

PS Two articles on Norway which appeared in The Guardian recently:

One on the effect of climate change on the tundra https://www.theguardian.com/news/2022/jan/20/norway-arctic-circle-trees-sami-reindeer-global-heating?CMP=share_btn_link

and one on Norway’s soul-searching about its gas and oil wealth https://www.theguardian.com/world/2023/jan/01/battle-for-the-nations-soul-norway-faces-debate-about-gas-and-oil-wealth?CMP=share_btn_link