Ships in the Hurtigruten line travel up and down the Norwegian coast. They deliver mail and freight. Passengers were originally taken on board to increase the profitability of the service and now are a major part of the companies success. Freight and mail delivered as it always has been at each small town, passengers can get off for the ten to fifteen minutes you stop. Larger towns,the stops are often an hour or two. Tours, there are always those on a cruise, are timed to coincide with stops. You get off at one and rejoin further down the coast.
Vardo is a small pretty village on the island of Vardoya. From a distance,the houses look like painted models. It was part of the Norwegian defences in the 1700’s. There is an amazing fortress. In the centre are buildings for housing supplies and troups. There is a deep moat , cannons on the walls . Nothing special you say. We have seen plenty of those….but you are wrong reader. The walls of the fortress are in the shape of a star so each cannon is pointing in the direction of sea and land to account for all possible enemy attacks.
Those that ventured into the moat found it to be more insurmountable that they expected. John , not on his white horse or in shiny armour, needed to rescue a stuggling attacker escape the moat by giving him a hoist . Vardo’s other claim to fame is an interesting monument. It looks like an unfinished boat but in reality , it is a post with metal bindings. This is to commemorate the 93 people that were burnt at the stake for the crime of sorcery……who did they disagree with or upset, I wonder.
Guess what? The sky was clear. The air was coldddddd, there was a breeze…well almost a gale. We looked up and saw…..the NORTHERN LIGHTS!!!!!! True they were not strong because it is only the beginning of Autumn but there they were…streaks of green across the horizon. Tick off the bucket list.
Hammerfest was one of the towns that suffered in World War 2. Norway was considered a strategic site and so was occupied by the German army. Because of this ,Norway coastal towns were extensively bombed. People moved into caves and abandoned railway tunnels for the duration of the war. Vardo , Kirkenes and Hammerfest were flattened through bombing and then destroyed as the Germans retreated.
People used the remaining materials to build turf houses ,damaged boats were upturned to become the basis of a house, fabric became Sami style tents. The people were free and on their homelands. The Reconstruction Museum showed the courage and resilience of the people during and in the years following the war.
Rebuilding by government initially took the form of barracks but people defied the officials and built their own style of homes. Now the towns show a mixture of traditional and eclectic modern design. Trolls?😃
And the fog rolled in