Haynes World - ships, ferries, a laugh on the ocean wave, and other interesting things...

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Summer 2011 Part 1 To the Land of the Midnight Sun

Saturday 9th July 2011

Gatwick Airport was left far behind as I flew north to Oslo with Norwegian Air, and transferred to their local short flight on to Trondheim. I saw snow on the mountains below me, making me realise just how far I had travelled. The airport bus drove through numerous tunnels and beside Norwegian Woods (cue music…) to the little coastal city, and I was soon walking to my hotel for 2 nights’ stay in this Hurtigruten port of call. I have never been so far north on land before, and this town of about 170,000 people was spread over a large area. It was centred around the port, as it had been for centuries of course, so the old Hanseatic traders’ warehouses along the riverside and other shop fronts made for interesting viewing as I headed for a local restaurant in the evening heat.

As I peeped out between the blackout curtains later that night I could still see the bright light of this 20 hour daylight, and realised I was truly in The Land of the Midnight Sun!

Trondheim view at 10.22 p.m.

Trondheim at 2.43 a.m.

No ships seen

Sunday 10th July
Another early start to the day, but worth it as I headed down to the port to see the two Hurtigruten ships alongside the quay.

The 1993-built RICHARD WITH was there and due to head south at 10 a.m., so I was able to make a quick visit on board her. She is 11,205 tons, can carry 623 passengers (and 45 cars) with a service speed of 15 knots.

Richard With Reception

an original mural

B Deck Arcade

Polar Restaurant

Restaurant light

Bridge view

Coffee offer

Closing the cargo door

Up with the gangways

As she prepared to sail I could see a few people coming into sight from a building along the quay, and was astonished to see that they were passengers for the ship, presumably having been into town. It was 1 minute to sailing time and they appeared in no hurry to get on board; more and more people came from the building and soon there was shouting and frantic hand waving from someone on the gangway. One or two late-comers actually waved back, which must have irritated the ship’s staff. Eventually all the stragglers embarked, the gangway was taken up, and the ship sailed off into the calm waters of the fjord on her voyage south to Bergen.

Watching Richard With sail

Richard With sailing

Ships seen: Richard With (Hurtigruten)

To be continued...

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