Posts Tagged ‘MS Lofoten’

Day Five closes: on the MS Lofoten

December 11, 2015

A pale day.  Low, pale grey cloud, a pale shine on the sea.  Only a thin line of darker land lies between cloud and sea.  These are the colours dogs are supposed to see.  On the fore-deck we are transporting Christmas trees still: surprising in their intense, rich green.  In this pale wide world, how startling, how precise and welcome they look.  Maybe I can forgive this ritual execution, after all.

Thrum, thrum.  Everywhere on the boat comes that soothing deep heartbeat of the huge engines.  I feel that nothing can ever go wrong while they are beating.  Through the heavy doors to the interior, spectacularly out of place in this iron landscape, a glowing nugget of gold-brown warmth.

Things are under control.
Drowsy.
Drowsy.

Very tired.  Hard to find a place to be alone.
Cabin.
Sleep.

A Sea Voyage – Day 2/3 and a Map

November 26, 2015

Evening of Day Two

I’m looking through the window as these mountains darken under a sky still pale blue.  Clouds are mountain-coloured and drifting as we move steadily on, crossing a darkening sea, blue-grey, but still lighter than the mountains.  As the dark comes down I can see a double image – warm gold wood and glowing lights.  My own face – self portrait serious – is coming gradually clearer in the glass.  A row of trivial curtains hangs itself, petty, across the massing outlines, as they become darker, more separate, more other.

Our cosy glow thrums forward, soft, safe, civilised.  Waves of German language wash gently behind me and I can pick out the odd word. “Ratten verlassen das Schiff,” I detect, and they chuckle.  I smile too, into the window, turned away but surely visible.  Moomin hills lump back at me.  No orcas.

– and now our reflected interior is prickled over with Christmas lights, strung for us all unknowing by the mountainside’s houses.  It’s a little early for Christmas, but the shards of light look celebratory.

– Darker yet.  The German speakers emerge as four ghosts sitting behind me – something glitters from a woman’s gesturing arm: she is quiet, emphatic, “Das stimmt aber schon.”  One man draws a huge square in the air; the other speaks little but very deep-voiced.  A second woman, barely visible, says almost nothing.

I should go and Dress for Dinner – playing safe: a little bit smart but not too much.  I overdo it.

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Day Three – Trondheim and northwards.

(No photos of Trondheim, and no memory either – maybe I was asleep?)

Dark sea, light sky, lighthouse.

Dark sea, light sky, lighthouse

 

 

moving cloud, distant rain

moving cloud, distant rain

 

Sunset, cloud and sea - half past one in the afternoon

Sunset, cloud and sea – half past two in the afternoon – Kjungskaer Fyr (Lighthouse).

I miss the mussel-tasting in the afternoon – out on deck, watching the sea and the sea birds. Perhaps.

Day 3 ends with Rorvik – by which I am fast asleep.

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I think you’ll be needing a map of Norway.  Here we go:

Norway Cruise Map

 

 

 

MS Lofoten – a sea voyage in pictures – day two

November 26, 2015

Day Two – 12th November.

Lofoten (the vowels are pronounced as a midway point between Lerferten and Lofoten) is an old ship, built in 1964 for the Hurtigruten (Fast Route) line.  Norwegian seems to use a slightly back version of ‘r’, so it’s very easy to say ‘Hurtigruten’ – I say it a lot.  I think it a lot too, now that I’m back home.
It’s a rough night – we are rolled about, and I sleep deeply in my black-dark cabin below the water line. Too disorganised to put my watch anywhere visible, I emerge too late for breakfast, shower queasily with some difficulty, fighting the rolling that staggers me from side to side in the cubicle.  By the time I’m dressed, though, we are in calmer waters.

 

A little after ten in the morning - stunning scenery as we run close to land.

A little after ten in the morning – stunning scenery as we run close to land.

 

- and what clouds!

– and what clouds!

 

houses line the banks, clinging to the shore line.  Those mountains are solid rock, and I think it must take blasting to create buildable ledges on them. I included a bit of the boat for verisimilitude - you'll find I do that a lot.

Houses line the banks, clinging to the shore line. Those mountains are solid rock, and I think it must take blasting to create buildable ledges on them. I included a bit of the boat for verisimilitude – you’ll find I do that a lot.  I love to put little edges of boat into my pictures – fragments of framing.

 

Clouds coming up grey from the west.

Clouds coming up grey from the west.

 

Rock, snow and cloud.

Rock, snow and cloud.

 

A little after eleven we slide into port at Alesund.  (pronounced Orlessnd - the u barely exist, almost a schwa vowel, but tending towards 'i')

A little after eleven we slide into port at Alesund. (pronounced Orlessnd – with a diacritic over the A; the u barely exists: almost a schwa vowel, but tending towards ‘i’).

 

At Ålesund we had a couple of hours to spend walking about the town and climbing the steep flight of steps up the hill in the middle of the day.

Bronze (?) statue of a fishwife at Alesund - where there are complex waterways.

Bronze (?) statue of a fishwife at Alesund – where there are complex waterways.

- and charming houses.  This slanting light was at about 12.30.  The town was rebuilt in Art Deco style after a disastrous fire in the early 1900s.  It is a marvel.

– and charming houses. This slanting light was at about 12.30. The town was rebuilt in Art Nouveau style after a disastrous fire in the early 1900s. 

 

 

To climb the hill above the town you mount 400-odd steps.  I managed quite a few - the view from there was quite stunning enough.

To climb the hill above the town you mount 400-odd steps. I managed quite a few of them – the view from there was quite stunning enough.

Not long before two - our departure time - we scuttled back to boat - and saw thia amazing piece of construction under way.  It's a replica of a turn-of-the-century fishing boat, designed to be a floating museum.  All the real ones have long disintegrated - nobody realised they might be of interest, I guess, when the newer, better designs came along.

Not long before two – our departure time – we scuttled back to boat – and saw this amazing piece of construction under way. It’s a replica of a turn-of-the-century fishing boat, designed to be a floating museum. All the real ones have long disintegrated – nobody realised they might be of interest, I guess, when the newer, better designs came along.

 

The workmanship was stunning, and the wood utterly beautiful.  Such a huge piece of timber for that massive keel.

The workmanship was stunning, and the wood utterly beautiful. Such a huge piece of timber for that massive keel.

 

 


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