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23/08/2012

Le tour de Manhattan en bateau - The tour of Manhattan by boat

Cela faisait 6 jours que nous étions à New-York et avec le beau temps nous avions parcouru Manhattan du nord au sud et d'est en ouest et tout cela à pied (en fait nous n'aurons pris le métro que deux fois pendant notre séjour).

En ce mercredi mardi matin, avec un soleil radieux, nous décidons de nous rendre vers la rivière Hudson... Et tout en parcourant les quais nous découvrons un embarcadère, au niveau de la 42ème rue qui proposait le tour complet de Manhattan en bateau en 3 heures.

Après quelques hésitations on se dit qu'après avoir parcouru Manhattan à pied on aurait une autre vision vu de la mer.

Nous n'avons pas été déçu de notre décision car le spectacle est grandiose et je vous laisse découvrir quelques photos les plus marquantes.

Bon voyage :

It had been 6 days since we were in New York and with the good weather we had crossed Manhattan from north to south and from east to west and all this on foot (in fact we shall have taken the subway only twice during our stay).

In this Wednesday Tuesday morning, with a radiant sun, we decide to go towards the Hudson river ... And while crossing quays we discover a landing stage, at the level of the 42nd street which proposed the complete tour of Manhattan by boat in 3 hours.

After some hesitations we say to ourselves that having gone through Manhattan on foot we would have another vision seen by the sea.

We were not disappointed by our decision because the show is grand and I let you discover some most striking photos.

Good journey:

 Photos, Vidéos et Texte © Michel Lebel & Co

Photos, Vidéos and Text © Michel Lebel & Co

Pour un meilleur confort de visionnage passer en mode plein écran.

For a better comfort of viewing spend in full screen mode.

 

 


Le tour de Manhattan(Michel Lebel)

new-york,manhattan,croisière,cruise,brooklyn,hudson river

29/07/2011

Norwegian cruise - day 13 - THE END

Photos and text © Michel Lebel and Co

After a small night of recovery in a good cosy bed it stays in us a few hours to see or see again(revise) certain districts of Bergen which we shall leave at about 1:00 pm to join the airport. The sky is always with us because the sun is very present...

It is not easy of easy to choose but by going out of the hotel we guess a park and alleys... We go there then we shall improvise according to the schedule.

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Some photos of our pedestrian walking by clicking HERE

While continuing our visit we can see statues dedicated to the musician Edvard Grieg

  • Edvard Hagerup Grieg been born on June 15th, 1843 in Bergen, died on September 4th, 1907 in Bergen.
    • Composer and Norwegian pianist it is especially known for its works:
      • Concert for piano in A minor and Peer Gynt, the famous compound music specially for the drama of Henrik Ibsen.

 

 

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Peer Gynt Suite

  • To the writer Ludvig Holberg whose statue is on the traditional market in front of the fish market
    • Ludvig Holberg was born on December 3rd, 1684 in Bergen, died on January 28th, 1754 in Copenhagen. It is the first big Scandinavian writer of modern times. After the prosperous period of Eddas (it is two very different manuscripts of the XIIIth century that constitute poetic compilations), the Latin had become the literary language of the Scandinavian countries. The genius of Holberg is going to confer on the vernacular language (the local language collectively spoken within a community) its letters of nobility. Having been born in Norway but having spent almost all his life in Copenhagen, he is claimed at once by the Danish and Norwegian literatures. It is necessary to specify that in this period both countries were gathered under the crown of kings of Denmark.
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A monumental statue of Soviet inspiration:

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In front of the museum Munk and the auditorium Edvard Grieg we can admire a magnificent fountain in which is reflected a cube of very original metal...

 

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After a fast lunch we take the bus which is going to drive us to the airport of Bergen. Road making our guide will make us appreciate certain landscapes as we had not seen upon our arrival.

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Norwegian cruise - day 12

Photos and text © Michel Lebel and Co

The end for everything is needed... In this " day 12 " we shall arrive to Bergen, term of our coastal cruise on Polarlys of the company Hurtigruten.

Before landing we shall have made stopover in:

Alesund: 00:00 am - > 00:45 am (45 minutes of stop),
Torvik: 02:00 am - > 02:15 am (15 minutes of stop),
Maloy: 05:15 am - > 05:45 am (30 minutes of stop),
Floro: 08:00 am - > 08:15 am (15 minutes of stop),
Arrived at Bergen 2:30 pm.

The night was short and the orders were look from the day 11:

  • The account card of cruise was enclosed at 11:00 pm so that we can verify the exactness of our expenses. In principle we should have no distance because after every expense on the boat we have the state accumulated by our account,
  • Have breakfast from 07:00 am till 10:00 am,
  • Cabin released at 10:00 am (luggage is put down at the level of lifts on every deck, will get back to them to us in the terminal,
  • Have lunch from 11:30 am till 1:30 pm,
  • To avoid any jostling during the landing, we shall have to follow the instructions of the crew(equipage) which will call the passengers, the bridge(deck) after bridge(deck).
    After breakfast it is necessary to pack suitcases... As usual I am on fatigue duty.
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Having freed the cabin it is necessary to find a place, on the deck, or in the bar, or in the panoramic lounge... In brief we roam and we remember ourselves some good memories...
Photos we save ourselves for the afternoon during the visit so expected from Bergen (our French guide proposed us an option visit if the weather allows it because Bergen has a nasty reputation: it is a year raining there 300 days.
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Arivée at the hour in Bergen. Landing in good order and express. Transfer in a hotel of the city center, what will allow us to discover the city to our rhythm....
A luck for us the sun is very present and we are going to be able to take the funicular to discover the city of Bergen. But before making disentangle photos, a presentation of the city:
  • " Bergen is a city of the southwest of Norway, capital of the county of Hordaland. Bergen is the second city of the country with a little more than 250000 inhabitants. It is also a harbour city, a university town, and a bishop's palace.
  • The city(estate) is divided into eight districts, administrative equivalents of important districts: Arna, Bergenhus, Fanatic, Fyllingsdalen, Laksevag, Ytrebygda, Arstad and Asane. The city center occupies the bydel of Bergenhus, that is the historic city which counts approximately 35 000 inhabitants.
  • Bergen is especially a city in the history marked by the contribution of the People from the outside, come of him beyond the sea. The christianization on the spiritual plan, the Hanse (In the Middle Ages a Hanse, sometimes called handle, is traders' professional association exercising a common activity) on the economic and political plan, express a shape of colonization. The clash of the dominant structures with the population Norwegian, local or attracted by mountains and nearby fjords, generates forms of alienation, assimilation or resistance. Since Modern times, the immigration and the exchanges passing in transit by the city offered him a spirit different from the other Scandinavian and Norwegian cities. Traditionally preservative city, but turned to Europe, where during centuries a big part of the inhabitants was foreign. City being herself considered except for in Norway because of its history and of its culture appropriate. City built by the fire and the wars, as say premises. Finally, city with human scale sheltering numerous tracks of her past and advancing the acts of her famous men and women, that they are artists, notables, scientists... "

Serge, our guide, suggests us discovering Bergen, seen from above, by taking the funicular then to come down again, on foot, to admire districts situated on the steep slopes of the city and to take advantage of fantastic views over the city...

  • The funicular Floibanen: down from the Mount Floien (320 meters in height), accessible(approachable) by the funicular Floibanen the station of departure of which is in city center, we have a magnificent sight on the city, the mountains, the fjords and the sea...
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To return to the Fish market, so livened up, it is enough to get down again on foot by these attractive streets in wooden construction going up a whole range of colors...
Squeezed the some against the others at feet of the hill, the former wooden constructions survived the centuries. A walk through the narrow alleys (called " smau ") is a unique pleasure in Bergen...
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More photos click HERE
  • Bryggen and the Hanseatic quays: the first houses of Bergen were set up along the former Hanseatic quays, in the district of Bryggen, which is for centuries the center livened up by the city. Registered on the UNESCO world heritage list, this medieval district is one of the most famous of Norway.
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More photos click HERE

During 400 years, the traders of the Hanse dominated Bryggen, who was ravaged by the fires repeatedly (it is a reason for which houses have no chimney because it was forbidden to make for it of the fire for the weather when the district Bryggen was lived and devolved, as now, in the businesses, the bars and the museums). A walk through the narrow alleys and the somber passages shows itself as a journey in past.

 

  • The Fish market: typical this market is worth seeing we find any kind of fishes there to be taken or to be tasted on the spot. To see absolutely.
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  • After dinner a last glass in a brasserie-type bar ( Egon), very frequented, on the quay...
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The next stage: Bergen - > Levallois
  • via Copenhagen and Roissy CDG

Norwegian cruise - day 11(continuation)

Photos and text © Michel Lebel and Co

The " day 11 " end will thus be dedicated to the said excursion of " The Atlantic Road " which will drive us, by bus, from Kristiansund to Molde after a trip, in the Norwegian countryside, a little more than 4 hours and 30 minutes...

The excursion begins with a city tour of Kristiansund, then we join, via a tunnel under the sea, the city of Bremsnes. Some photos on the road of the church of Kvernes:

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Below : breeding of salmons
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Visit of the church in "standing timber" of Kvernes built at the beginning of the 13th sècle.

Since the beginning of our trip we state us churches in "standing timber"... Our curiosity is going to be filled, finally, by visiting the church of Kvernes.

 

 

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But before watering you in photos it is what a "stave church"???

  • " A stavkirke or stavkyrkje (in Norwegian) is a typical wooden medieval church of Norway. Although the archaeologists were able to prove that churches of this type had existed in all the Northern Europe. We call them in French "stave churches". Those of Norvége are completely built wooden of fir-tree (Pinus sylvestris), a tree hurt in the long naked trunk.

    The words stavkirke or stavkyrkje are formed by the words "stav or pickets" and "church" (kirke or kyrkje), because of the big pickets pushed in the ground and supporting the structure of the building. Afterward, we made rest these pickets (or posts) on a threshold of big stones to free itself from problems of humidity of the ground.

    Most of the Norwegian stave churches were destroyed during the XIXth century. Some archaeological elements seem to indicate that stavkirkes was built, of préférenc, on the old sacred sites of the Scandinavian populations, so marking a continuity between the former heathen faiths and the Christianity, introduced in Norway at about the year 1000.

At the architectural level, most of the stavkirkes realize a very original combination between the most classic Christian symbols and the motives Vikings of the pre-Christian era, in particular the scenes of fights between monsters of the mythology Scandinavian, often represented on columns and facades.

 

There are two main types(chaps) of stave churches: with or without floor (typify A or B). Each of the categories being again divided according to the nature of them foundations, their plan, etc. Walls were regularly tarred to keep(preserve) the waterproofness of the wood. "

  • Without floor:

 

 

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  • With floor:
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Next to the "stave church" was built at the end of the XIXth century a quite white church contrasting with the red color of the medieval church...

 

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More photos for the churches of Kvernes by clicking HERE

While continuing towards our point of retauration we continue to admire these landscapes which, within 48 hours will not be more than of wonderful memories...

 

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Stop in the inn " Bjarmars Favorittkro " where is served to us the local speciality: Bacalao with the fresh bread... The speciality of the inn is the "bacalao" which is a part of the tradition of the district of Nordmore.

The bacalao is prepared with the dried and salty cod which carries, locally, the name of klippfish, produces exported from the XVIIth century... These exchanges contributed to enrich the local gastronomy by mixing the culinary tastes of the Scandinavian countries and the Latin countries.

The recipe of the "bacalao" arrived in the region in the 1830s, it is based on tomatoes and hot peppers. In brief we appreciated...

 

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The Atlantic Road of a length of 8,2km was built with a succession of 8 bridges in the heart of a very picturesque environment. Building work began August 1st, 1983 and starting on July 7th, 1989.

This Road of the Atlantic Ocean is one of the tourist points the most visited within the framework of natural reserves more than 285000 visitors in 2004.

 The cost of the construction was financed by the payment of a right of toll, toll which is intéresting because it was given up from June 1st, 1999.

  • It wriggles as awe-inspiring spectres between 17 islands which connect Vevang with the island of Averoy with spectacular Storseisundet Bridge.

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On this succession of bridges :

  • Vegangstraunen Bridge: length of 119m, maxi height of 10m,
  • Hulvagen Bridges (succession of 3 bridges): length of 293m, maxi height of 4m
  • Storseisundet Bridge: length of 293m, maxi height of 23m,
  • Geitoysundet Bridge: length of 52m, maxi height of 6m,
  • Blind Lauvoysund Bridge: length of 52m, maxi height of 3m,
  • Lille Lauvoysund Bridge: length of 115m, maxi height of 7m,

    We cross fishermen's hundreds because fjords are very rich in fishes...

    Finally, before taking back the boat, the last tour of the city of Molde baptized " the city of flowers " by the famous Norwegian writer Henrik Ibsen.

     

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    It is our last evening on the boat and we decide to drink a last glass with 3 couples of friends whom we met at the beginning of the cruise... Small nice evening during which we exchanged our address and phone number.
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    The next stage: Alesund - > Bergen (term of our trip).

Norwegian cruise - day 11

Photos and text © Michel Lebel and Co

It will be, essentially, a day of navigation with the discovery or the rediscovery of crossed landscapes on the way out...

Our boat:

Le MS POLARLYS

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Will make stopover in:

  • Trondheim: 06:30 am - > 10:00 am (3:30 am of stop),
  • Kristiansund: 4:30 pm - > 5:00 pm (30 minutes of stop),
  • Molde: 8:30 pm - > 9:30 pm (1 hour of stop).
    Although the stopover of Trondheim is of 3:30 am we decide to make, only, a walk on the port because we had visited the city on the way out...
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In the bend of a quay we cross a monster: Crown Princess and his 3500 landing passengers to visit the city (for the record we are only 715, in the maxi, on Polarlys).
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And we cannot refrain from smiling by discovering frail one boat on which two employees clean the sides of this " giant of seas ":
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  • Visit of the cockpit ...
    A part of the French group having been dissatisfied with services on an excursion (driver and guides novices), the captain suggested us visiting, free of charge, the cockpit with, in addition, a glass of champagne at the end of the presentation.

 

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More photos click HERE
Navigation till 4:30 pm.
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Arrived at Kristiansund, point of departure of our last excursion: " the Atlantic Road " which will lead(drive) us to Molde or we shall take back the ship for the last night on board...

To follow...

Norwegian cruise - day 10

Quite slowly the end of our Norwegian escapade is outlined in the short term.

Today we make stopover in:

Bodo: 02:00 am - > 04:00 am (2 hours of stop),
The Orne: 07:00 am - > 07:15 am (15 minutes of stop),
Nesna: 11:00 am - > 11:15 am (15 minutes of stop),
Sandnessjoen: 12:30 am - > 1:30 pm (1 hour of stop),
Bronnoysund: 4:15 pm - > 5:00 pm (45 minutes of stop),
Rorvik: 8:30 pm - > 9:30 pm (1 hour of stop).

Disappointment in the breakfast... We find the friends met since the beginning of the cruise who ask us straight out: " this midnight sun, how did you find it ? "

Of midnight sun: none because after day 9 trying enough and considering the fact when the weather was rather perturbed we had decided to join our cabin to sleep there...

By seeing photos we say to ourselves that we shall not so revise it because it is visible only beyond the polar circle and this morning we shall cross it southward at 9:15 am.

Thin consolation, but nice, Colette and Jean-Pierre will send us some photos of this magnificent moment...

Photo © Colette and Jean-Pierre

Midgnight Sun at 1h05

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Photos,and text © Michel Lebel and Co
After breakfast :
  • we cross the polar circle southward between the Orne and Nesna
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  • Stopover in full city center of Sandnessjoen, homeland of the poet and the priest Peter Dass.
    • " Sandnessjøen is the center of the municipality of Alstahaug in the county of Nordland, in Norway, populated with a little more than 5000 inhabitants. Situated on the island of Alsten, which peaked in 1 072 m ".
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More photos... click HERE

Tour of the city on foot in individual,

  • A short time later to have embarked again, we can admired the mountain range " seven sisters ",
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    More photos... click HERE

 

 

  • Short visit of the village of Bronnoysund, small Norwegian port.
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More photos... click HERE

 

Having left Bronnoysund, we shall reach(affect) the mountain " Torghatten " ( leaky hat) in whom we can discover a hole of 160m of length, 35m of height and 15m of depth.

  •  In the tradition, very alive in Norway, tales and legend, we speak to us of Hestmannen (the rider troll) who wanted to kill princess Lekamoya of her arrow when she refused to marry him. His father king of Somna having thrown his hat to have fun created a peak in the shape of hat of the name of Torghatten which seems to have been drilled, throughout, on the island of Torget in the South of Bronnoysund. Hestmannen is him a peak on the island of Hestmanna, more in the North, next to Mb i Rana.

 

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More photos... click HERE
  • Before the dinner: session of bronzing on the back deck:
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  • The evening of day 10 will be " the evening of captain " it is the last dinner taken in common on the boat. A very friendly dinner, having nothing to do with diners in dress as we find them on the Mediterranean or Caribbean cruises, where we find all the staff welcoming us in dining room with one glass of champagne in the hand. Then the staff of service appeared, one by one on a music in the color premises.
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To the menu :

  • Champagne,
  • Half-smoked salmon marinaded with goat cheese and flat bread in peas,
  • Beef tenderloin with jumped vegetables, wine sauce, compote of onions and mashed potato,
  • Iced pudding of the ship with fresh fruit salad.
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    • Stopover to Rorvik who will allow us to visit the city center (what we had not been able to make on the way out because it was the Hurtigruten party on the quay...)
      Small Norwegian of a little more than 2000 inhabitants.
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    More photos... click HERE
  • From 10:30 pm we begin the crossing of Folda (rather stormy high tide with regard to the other days). A little rock 'n' roll....
    • Disappointed not to have seen the midnight sun watches over it we decide to stay up to see it lying down rather late at about 0:45 am... We shall be rewarded because the show was féérique because the weather was a little stormy with more or less important grains.

 


 Next stage : Trondheim --> Molde .

Norwegian cruise - day 9

Photos,and text © Michel Lebel and Co

 

Today we make stopover in:

  • Finnsnes: 04:15 am - > 04:45 am (30 minutes of stop),
  • Harstad: 08:00 am - > 08:30 am (30 minutes of stop),
    • Point of departure of our excursion in Vesteralen,
  • Risoyhamn: 10:45 am - > 11:00 am (15 minutes of stop),
    • We shall not cross (excursion obliges) the narrow of Rysoyhamn, 4,5 km long. The channel(canal) was inaugurated in 1922 by king Haakon VII,
  • Sortland: 12:30 am - > 1:00 pm (30 minutes of stop),
    • We take back the boat,
  • Stokmarknes: 2:15 pm - > 3:15 pm (1:00 am of stop),
    • Visit of the museum Hurtigruten and the Finnmarken (boat disarmed(moved) by the fleet Hurtigruten),
  • Svolvaer: 6:30 pm - > 8:00 pm (1:30 am of stop),
    • Point of departure of our excursion for Lofoten,
  • Stamsund: 9:30 pm - > 10:00 pm (30 minutes of stop),
    • We take back the boat,
    • Crossing of Vestfjord (open sea which will show itself a little stormy).
  • Go through islands Vesteralen it deserves!!! It is to discover the beauty of breathtaking decorations.

    After a fast city tour of Harstadt, the capital of islands, visit of the medieval, white church, Trondenes, the most northern of the world représentantl' one of the first sites of the cultural heritage dating the Middle Ages; then visit of the historic center of Trondenes.

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    Not planned to the program: visit of Adolf's Cannon (vestige of the 2nde world war) of a reach of 56 km.

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    Continuation in the heart of landscapes of fjords, steep mountains, agricultural zones up to the island Hinnoya then crossed in ferry of Gullesfjord, then we continue along Sigerfjord to join our boat to Sortland, the center of Vesteralen.

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    The visit of the museum Hurigruten to Stokmarknes will allow us to see from which comfort benefited our elder brothers for this type of cruise... on Finnmarken.

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    Then return in the navigation:

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Dinner:

  • Soup of leeks and potatoes of the oil of truffle and the croutons,
  • Back of cod with mashed potato, sauce in Burgundy, purée of pea and rocket,
  • Pannacotta in the yoghurt with marinaded cherries.

     

 

Always Lofoten was the house and the workplace of fishermen's generations because the season of fishing is essential for the local economy.

 Lofoten they are not because abrupt mountains and villages of picturesque fishermen, but islands are also a succession of bays, white sand beaches, wild creeks... We say that the light which bathes Lofoten is unique to the world and it is the reason for which numerous artists find their inspiration there we shall have the pleasure to attend a slide show which expresses the atmosphere which reigns on these islands to Henningsvaer, nicknamed " Venice of Lofoten ".

Mountains are convenient to the climbing and one to perceive of numerous followers training within the framework of the Norwegian crag which is very present in Lofoten.


 

 

For visioner more photos click  HERE

 The next stage: Bodo --> Rorvik.

 

Norwegian cruise - day 8

Photos and text © Michel Lebel and Co

In this day 8 we let us make stopover in:

  • Mehamn: 01:00 am - > 01:15 am (15 minutes of stop),
  • Kjollefjord: 03:15 am - > 03:30 am (15 minutes of stop),
  • Honningsvag: 05:45 am - > 06:45 am (30 minutes of stop),
  • Havoysund: 08:15 am - > 08:30 am (15 minutes of stop),
  • Hammerfest: 11:15 am - > 12:45 am (1:30 am of stop),
  • Oksfjord: 3:40 pm - > 3:45 pm (15 minutes of stop),
  • Skjervoy: 7:15 pm - 7:45 pm (30 minutes of stop),
  • Tromso: 11:45 pm - > 01:30 am (1:45 am of stop).

    Awakening at 04:45 am because we decided to go to have breakfast in North Cape, 307m over the sea level.

    We thus land to Honningsvag at 05:45 am and we shall take back the boat only to Hammerfest at about 12:45 am.

    The more we rise towards North Cape and the more the mist invades us and it is North Cape in the absorbent cotton and blowed by the strong blizzard which we discover (we have some difficulties resisting the strength of the wind... 

Disappointed not to see it in full light, we appreciate this a little bit phantasmagorical vision which the others will not have known...

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After the breakfast we take back the road and we shall make a stopping place in a family Sami (Norwegian Lapp),

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Then we shall take a tunnel under the sea(-270m ) length further more of 7km to join the banks of Porsangerfjord which we shall follow until Hammerfest who the municipality host of the project natural gas.

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At midday we begin the crossing of Lopphavet (open sea).

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Dinner:

  • Brie (regioncheese) on toast with coulis of fig and salad,
  • Shadow knight with hollandaise sauce, asparaguses and apples Roseval,
  • Cake in the cheese with compote of red berries.

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For lovers of classic music the stopover of Tromso will allow them to attend the Concert of Midnight in the Arctic cathedral about which I spoke to you in the day 5 note.

The next stage: Tromso - > Stamsund

Norwegian cruise - day 7

Photos and text © Michel Lebel and Co

Today we turn back to Kirkenes to begin the return towards Bergen. Some of the passengers are going to leave us and the others to join us...

In this day 7 we shall make stopover in:

  • Batsfjord: 00:45 am - > 01:00 am (15 minutes of stop),
  • Vardo:04h00 - > 04:15 am (15 minutes of stop),
  • Vadso: 07:30 am - > 08:00 am (30 minutes of stop),
  • Kirkenes: 09:45 am - > 12:45 am (3 hours of stop),
  • Vardo: 4:15 pm - > 5:15 pm (1 hour of stop),
  • Batsfjord: 8:00 pm - > 8:30 pm (30 minutes of stop),
  • Berlevag: 10:15 pm - > 10:30 pm (15 minutes of stop).

When we arrive at Kirkenes we went through 2463 km since our departure of Bergen. Kirkenes is a town of 3200 inhabitants situated in 10 km of the river Pasvik and the border with Russia. It is the only city situated in the crossroads between East and  West.

When we off-load the city are invaded by the mist and its constructions (buildings, factories, statues...almost abandoned which are not without calling back those of the ex-USSR are impressive as exit of a movie... In the course of streets everything reminds us that the Russian armmée was very present during the Second World War.

By visiting the city we shall see:

  • The Russian memorial,

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  • The monument to the Mothers during the war,
     

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  • the church...

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  • Small anecdote: we followed a gull which knocked at the door of a store.

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Then it is the departure for return towards Bergen with a stopover to Vardo or we can visit the fortress of Vardohus which is completely similar to our fortifications Vauban.

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Dinner:

  • Creamy soup of Norwegian fishes with assortment of fish and julienne vegetables,
  • Reindeer's pavement and sausage spiced with stew of mushrooms, apples and bacon, creamy forest sauce in séchèes blueberries, mashed potato and celeriac,
  • Polar bays(berries) with the cream served with fine shortbread cookies.

The next stage: Mehamn - > Tromso

Norwegian cruise - The legend of Gudbrandsjuvet

Photos and text © Michel Lebel and Co

During our " day 2 " I presented you our excursion which made us discover Geirangerfjord but a small supplement is imperative.


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Fantastic region in fact with its waterfalls its road in snail: " the road of Eagles ", and its "canyon" which summarizes quite an old legend of more than 500 years: Gudbrandsjuvet.
  • Gudbrandsjuvet is a ravine narrow and 20-25 meters high of 5 meters at the bottom of which the torrent, in tempestuous waters, Valldola pours. The ravine is easily accessible from the main road between Valldal and Trollstigen. Waters formed a complex of deep caves and inextricable abysses.
  • According to a legend of the 1500s, the name of the ravine is connected to the story of a man, a conscript Gudbrand, who ran away with his new bride to escape her prosecutors, not satisfied with this marriage, by jumping over the ravine in its most narrow point. Gudbrand was declared an outlaw for his acts and lived the rest of his life in a stone hut in one of the valleys aside over Gudbrandsjuvet. The valley is always called Gudbrandsdalen to this day. A matter which the story does not mention it is if his bride followed him over the ravine.



 

Norwegian cruise - day 6

Photos and text © Michel Lebel and Co

After night shortened by our day before to take advantage of the midnight sun (see the previous note) the day waits 6 to us with 7 stopovers, more or less long to the program:

  • Oksfjord: 02:00 am - > 02:15 am (15 minutes of stop),
  • Hammerfest: 05:15 am - > 06:45 am (1:30 am of stop).
    • It is the most northern city of the World(Monde) (70°40'N N),
  • Havoysund: 09:30 am - > 09:45 am (15 minutes of stop),
  • Honningsvag: 11:45 am - > 3:15 pm (3:30 am of stop),
  • Kjollefjord: 5:30 pm - > 5:45 pm (15 minutes of stop),
  • Mehamn: 7:45 pm - > 8:00 pm (15 minutes of stop),
  • Berlevag: 10:30 pm - > 10:45 pm (15 minutes of stop).


Until the stopover of Honningsvag we take advantage of clémént weather to discover landscapes which, sometimes, leave us speechless...

 

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To Honningsvag we have the choice between two excursions:

  • North Cape,
  • Gjesvaer (the second attraction of North Cape).

  • We opt for Gjesvaer... Route by bus, during which we can see reindeers grazing, up to the small fishing'port of Gjesvaer ( 120 inhabitants).

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Then boarding on a small boat which will make us discover the fauna and the flora of one of the most extraordinary natural réseves: GJESVAERSTAPPAN, 15 km on the West of North Cape.

 

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The sea birds populate with numerous iles of Norway and it is the reason for which our discovery will be made by boat... More than doiseaux 3 millions populate this ilot...

We can discover:

  • Cormorants,
  • Puffins,
  • Gannets,
  • Small auks
  • Tridactyles gulls,
  • Sea eagles with white tail,
  • Terns...

 


 

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In addition we shall see some seals bathing not far from the bank and we shall cross some cetaceans...

We can also see the corridors of nesting of gulls. In brief a real delight for eyes!!! *

On the way back towards Honningsvag:

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Again on the boat we shall discover the church of Finn which is the most elegant cliff of Norway. Its aspect reminds the lace.
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Dinner: Buffet of North Cape, with the best local products of the season among which the royal crab fished in the Barents Sea and reindeer's meat...

Then we shall reach Nordkyn who is the most northern point of the European continent (71°08 ' 00N).

The next stage: Batsfjord - > Berlevag via Kirkenes (term of the cruise for those who did not opt for return in Bergen.


 

Norwegian cruise - In the daytime 5 in the day 6

Photos,videos et texte © Michel Lebel and Co

Considering the overcast weather which we had at the end of evening of day 4 we were not able to appreciate the "midnight sun" which is visible only beyond the polar circle...

It is the reason for which we decide to wait to 0:45 am to admire this "midnight sun" which we announce us as visible because:

  • We are on the open sea, with a horizon completed to perceive there " touch and go " of the sun (it touches the hanging horizon, approximately the 1 hour without disappearing),
  • The weather is relatively clear.

But what as it is agreed by "midnight sun":

" The polar day (so called midnight sun) corresponds to a phenomenon occurring near the summer solstice (in June in the north hemisphere, in December in the southern hemisphere) in the high latitudes situated beyond the Arctic and Antarctic polar circles. The number of days of 24 hours during which this phenomenon takes place increases with the latitude. It reaches its minimum ( a day) at the level of the polar circle, in 66°34 ' and its maximum (six months) in the pole (90 °) and takes place in summer (from March to September in the north hemisphere, from September to March in the southern hemisphere). So, the day of the solstice, in the poles, the sun remains constantly visible at a height of a little more than 23 ° in the sky. "

Our wait will not be vein but we shall have no pleasure to see the spherical sun described in all the works because clouds appeared little by little... However we were able to appreciate its progressive descent over the horizon and to admire the reflections of these shelves on a glassy sea.

A matter is sure: this "sleepless night" we are not ready to forget it and on the way back in our cabin we donot need an electric light so much it is bathed by the "daylight"...

 


 It is 1:30 am when we have a last look by the porthole before trying to sleep a few hours because the Day 6 looks full of promises...

Norwegian cruise - day 5

Photos,and text © Michel Lebel and Co

The Day 4 was long and we agreed " fat a morning" in this day 5.

Our trip continues with more or less long stopovers:

  • Stokmarknes: 00:55 am - > 01:00 am (5 minutes of stop),
  • Sortland: 02:30 am - > 03:00 am (30 minutes of stop),
  • Rysoyhamn: 04:15 am - > 04:30 am (15 minutes of stop),
  • Harstad: 06:45 am - > 08:00 am (1:15 am of stop)
    • The bravest will pay a short visit of the city,
  • Finnsnes: 11:15 am - > 11:45 am (30 minutes of stop),
  • Tromso: 2:30 pm - > 6:30 pm (4:00 am of stop),
  • Skjervoy: 10:30 pm - > 10:45 pm (15 minutes of stop).

    In our awakening we find our individual certificate giving evidence that we crossed the Polar circle:

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After the departure of Harstad we can admire the church of Tondenes of 1250. It is the most northern medieval church of Norway...

Then it is "Baptème" of polar circle by the " God Neptune "...

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  • A ladle of water with ice cubes on the base of the nape of the neck and a small glass of alcohol to warm us...
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After the stopover of Finnsnes we pass under the bridge of Gisund between the island Senja and the continent.

Arrived at Tromso who is most big city of Norway with 60 000 inhabitants. Tromso is also named " the Capital Arctic ". Alongside the quay, in the city center, we shall take advantage of it to discover this magnificent city and quite particularly Ishavskatedralen ( the Arctic Cathedral) as well as the old town...

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Dinner:

  • Soup of peas with smoked bacon and whipped cream,
  • Coley filets with onions in the thyme, the roasted potatoes, the French beans and the sauce with the cream,
  • Cake in the praline and its sherbet in the coconut.


Once crossed the stopover of Skjervoy we begin the crossing of Lopphavet ( open sea).

 

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The time weather is very clear we shall have, maybe, the luck to discover the "Midnight sun" planned in the daytime at 0:45 am...

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Another good hour to wait...

The next stage: Oksfjord - > Berlevag.

Norwegian cruise - day 4

Photos and text © Michel Lebel and Co

It's the big day we have to cross the Arctic Circle (66°33'N N) between 6:30 am and 8:00 am - > awakening at 5:45 am...

While waiting for stopover in:

Bronnoysund: 1:30 am - > 1:45 am (15 minutes of stop),
Sandnessjoen: 3:45 am - > 4:15 am (30 minutes of stop),
Nesna: 5:25 am - > 5:30 am (5 minutes of stop),
Ornes: 9:25 am - > 9:30 am (5 minutes of stop).

In fact we shall cross it at 7:23 am ' 19 ". The weather is wonderful and we can admire the globe which marks the point with it.

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Then preparation for action: Further to the withdrawal of two participants for the excursion in Svartisen (departure 8:30 am) we prevent us at 8:15 am that we are expected for transshipment, immediate, on a boat of lesser importance which is going to reunite the foot of the glacier after one hour of navigation then 20mn of walking... The landscape is magic and charming!!! We do not grow tired of admiring it by hoping that its top takes out clouds. In fact of " black ice" (translation of Svartisen) we admire a glacier similar to our alpine glaciers but in more we have a whole climate of legend which surrounds it and it's what gives it, still, more charm.

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We take back the boat at about 11:30 am to join Polarlys which waits for us alongside the quay to Bodo. We shall take advantage of it to admire the magnificent coast of Helgeland and perceive eagles white-tailed fishermen there.

We join the ship at 2:30 pm which made stopover for Bodo from 12:30 am till 3:00 pm (2:30 am of stop)...

We take back the road of the North, by crossing Vestfjorden during 3 hours.

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Dinner:

Then stopover in:

  • Stamsund: 7:00 pm - > 7:30 pm (30 minutes of stop),


  • Svolvaer: 9:00 pm - > 10:00 pm (the 1 hour of stop), where we shall discover magnificent houses on piles, dryers with cod...

     

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    At about 11:45 pm we take the narrow (we shall make for it an about-turn which recovers from the exploit of the captain because he has only about twenty meters of laborer on each side!!!) of Raftsund who will drive us towards Trollfjord...

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    We are beyond the polar circle and we should see the midnight sun but the overcast weather will be right of our expectation which will show itself fruitless... However we notice that the day does not lie down!!!

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The next stage : Stokmarknes --> Skjervoy

  •  Muddle of Vestfjord on bruschetta with salad,
  • Spare rib in spices with chutney of apples, red cabbage, apples almond tarts in the oven and the sauce in the Porto,
  • Brown betty in the whipped cream and wipes toffy.

Norwegian cruise - day 3

Photos and text © Michel Lebel and Co

Three stopovers + navigation for day 3:

Kristiansund: 01:30 am - > 01:45 am (15 minutes of stop): sleep...

Trondheim: 8:15 am - > 12:00 am (3h45  of stop): visit of the city...

Three hours and 45 minutes will be insufficient to discover this city through its 1000 years of history:

  • From the market where is the statue of the founder of the city: OLAF TRYGGVASON, we go to the cathedral Nidaros, sublime in its green setting.
  • Then direction towards the bridge of the old town which will drive you in the district called Bakklandet who knew preserved the charm of its wooden architecture where juxtapose housing "top of the range", small shops and restaurants...
  • By returning towards the landing stage we can admire a magnificent marina having crossed a new bridge widely decorated with flowers with blue thoughts and we reach a district renewed with numerous bars, restaurants and shops...
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  • The afternoon on the back desk of the boat of where we can admire charming sites: 
    •  The ile of Munkholmen,
    • The lighthouse of Kjeungskjaer, built in 1880 and automated in 1987,

 

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  • The narrow of Stokksund...
  • Dinner:
    • Soup of cauliflower with grilled ham,
    • Trout roasted in spices with fennel, melted by spinach, mussels and apples almond tarts,
    • Chocolate fondant and its sherbet in the mango.
  • Rorvik: 8:30 pm - > 9:30 pm (1 hour of stop): celebrate "Hurtigruten" on the harbour...

 

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Certain excursions being subjected to quotae we are not sure to go to admire the famous glacier " SVARTISEN " because we wanted to join too late...

The next stage: Bronnoysund - > Svolvaer via the polar circle...

Norwegian cruise - day 2

Photos and text © Michel Lebel and Co

Having left Bergen, in the greyness, we begin our rise towards Kirkenes...

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A short passage in the panoramic lounge then direction towards the cabin because the fatigue is felt...
The day 2 will be marked by 7 stopovers during which it will be possible to come down for a visit of the city or for a departure of excursion (as regards a " coastal Express " the excursion starts in the stopover N and we take back the ship in the stopover N+1 or N+2).
During the night we shall have called at 15 minutes in:

  • Floro,
  • Maloy (one of the biggest Norwegian ports(bearings),
  • Torvik.

A night calms down on a glassy sea.

After the breakfast we stop in :

  • Alesund, very beautiful city of style art nouveau of 40 000 inhabitants.

 

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Then we shall navigate in Storfjord (110 km) and the Synnylvsfjord towards Geirangerfjord, one of the major attractions of Norway...
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  • Unusual stopover to Geiranger

 

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After 4 hours of navigation in the fjord we make stopover at the level of the "port" of Geiranger and the boat which can not accost the participants in the excursion are going to be transshipped on a smaller boat and it along with the current ... Great!!!

We take a bus and take the " road of eagles " which offers fantastic points of view on the fjord and the lake Eisdal where from a ferry will lead us to Linen through the wild landscapes of the valley... Then we shall come down the " road of the Trolls " with its 11 hairpin bends which lead at the bottom of the valley and we continue towards the fjord of Romsdal and the city of Molde " The city of the roses " (not less than 2500 rosebushes on the roof of the City hall) where we shall embark again, after a dinner party, to continue our ascent northward...

Molde is also known for his jazz festival which takes place during a week from July 19th...

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The next stage: Kristiansund - > Rorvik

Norwegian cruise - day 1

Last year, in the same time we were finalizing our departure towards Bergen where from we were going to embark to navigate off the Norwegian coast and discover welcoming and sometimes surprising people in his typical attitudes of the Scandinavians

Photos and text © Michel Lebel and Francis

For some time we had decided that our next journey would be a cruise but which?

And so since November, 2009 brochures accumulated on my desk). Not being followers of the package tours we looked for a  " human size " cruise with less than 1000 participants.

Very quickly our choice concerns to a Scandinavian cruise and to wise advice of "our" travel agency with which we organized numerous journeys our choice concerns to a cruise along the Norwegian coast by taking) the Express Côtier Hurtigruten which allows to go back up certain fjords on more than 100 kilometers... It is very different from a traditional cruise because passengers can leave or join the boat in the various stopovers. Of more cars and the freight can be embarked...

It will thus be an escapade of 12 days from Bergen to Bergen via Kirkenes, beyond North Cape, that is a little more than 5200 kilometers...

  • Day 1 :

Roissy :

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--> Bergen

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via Copenhagen

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Boarding on the MS / Polarlys, after a visit of Bergen (historic district of Bryggen), at 6:00 pm for a departure at 8:00 pm.

Dine / buffet in free placement... We discover some of the 700 participants.

The next stage: Floro - > Molde

 

 

 
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