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The Soutpiel Safari
10th May 2017
Day 10, Bodo to Rovik

I took a "quiet" day today, staying aboard to read and relax on the couple of occasions the ship docked long enough to go ashore - two 15 minute sessions in Ornes and Nesna, a 30 minute session in Sandnessjen (just time to see the famed "fat" priest Petter Dass's statue). There was a longer stop in both Bronnoysund (where Egbert led a walk) and Rorvik, but it was so nice to just chill on an empty ship!

There were several special events today however: we crossed the Arctic Circle again, this time with a very special ceremony. Called to the open aft deck once again, we all lined up - for a teaspoon of the famed. Cod liver oil, the reason for every Norwegian's food health apparently! I surmise the actual reason however is the tot of aquavit they gave us to take the taste away - although I doubt the kids were given this treat! All good fun, and they gave us each a lovely spoon memento, engraved with the lat/long and date. Nice touch.

Egbert gave us an excellent lecture later, giving us some book suggestions. I just wish he'd done this earlier in the trip, as it would have been great to read them along the way! 
Petter Dass (1647-1707) was a vicar, rather larger than life in more ways than one, a poet and accomplished author who travelled the length and breadth of the country. Trumpet of the North is his greatest work.
Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) well known for Peer Gynt but really unknown in Norway until Dolls House caused a revolution with its affirmation of a woman's right to be her own person - this was an almost unknown thought in the Norway of the day.
The list went on, too many to elaborate on: Knut Hamsun, Nobel Prize winner in 1920 but who by his death in 1952 was shunned by many as a Nazi collaborator: Karen Blixen whose story Babette's Feast was set in Berleveg, a small village we had visited: George Simenon, author of the Inspector Maigret series (now on Brit TV with Rowan Atkinson (Mr Bean)  as the star!) who also wrote The Mystery of the Polarlys: John Steinbeck - whose novel The Moon is Down is about Norvik. I was ordering them on Amazon as he spoke - much to look forward to when we get home.

We made an afternoon detour to see the hole in the Torghatten mountains - a natural phenomenon explained away by a long and complicated story of a beautiful young woman, a handsome young man, an angry troll shooting an arrow to stop them escaping ... etc etc!

Dinner that night was a special event: the Farewell Dinner, as many of the passengers will be leaving tomorrow in Trondheim. Attended by all the Captain, Flag Officers and crew in full dress uniform, we were given a glass of wine to raise a toast of thanks, before sitting down to another well prepared meal. Richard and Pat ordered a bottle of wine for the four of us, so we were all pretty merry by the time we got up from dinner! Merry enough for John to call for the microphone and make a short thank you speech to the crew and staff for their part in a great voyage - very nice and much appreciated by Captain and crew, I thought!

Next: Day 11, Trondheim to Alesund
Previous: Day 9 Tromso to Stramsund

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