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Published: June 29th 2017
We boarded the M.S. Serenissima, a Noble Calodonian ship, at Tromso. Lovely cabin with balcony at the top of the ship and very friendly relaxed crew. We were the first on board as the rest of the passengers were delayed at the airport , so I am glad we travelled here independently. The ship sailed later out into the North Sea and then into the channels of the Lofoten Islands, to moor up at Svolvaer. We were driven through picturesque villages surrounded by jagged granite mountains to the Viking Museum at Borg. Here we had lunch in the long house, a recreated building of one which had stood on the site during Viking times. Wenches in the appropriate costume gave us the history of the local Chieftain, who would have owned the long house and then we had a lamb stew served from huge cauldrons. It was tasty but I would have preferred to have it with ale rather than water! After we wandered around the museum and shop before heading off to Vikten where we saw a glass blower at work. The studio is situated on a beautiful bit of the coast so more time was spent outside than in
the hot glass blowing area. More scenic driving then took us to Nusfjord which used to be a thriving cod fishing village but is now more of a museum. As the ships got bigger so the original harbour and small boats were no longer needed so now the old fisherman's houses have been converted into holiday homes for tourists. Norway owes most of it's wealth to cod fishing and there are racks and racks of drying cod on the coast. We ended up at the very pretty village of Reine where the ship had sailed to. Apparently this town had been voted the prettiest Norwegian village. We have certainly seen some stunning scenery.
Back at the ship I had the lovely surprise of balloons, cards, champagne and chocolates from the staff in our cabin as it was my birthday. Later after dinner I was also given a birthday cake with huge sparkler so it was a nice way to spend a special day.
The following day we crossed the Arctic Circle which is marked by a silver globe. We passed it at 7.30 in the morning so I dutifully got up to see it.
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