Thursday July 5, 2007

11-Kristiansund 3

Something that’s hard to get used to up here in Northern Europe is the serious shortage of darkness. Like, some of us went to the movies last night. Saw the latest James Bond, ‘Casino Royale’. Came out well after midnight. And we could hardly believe our eyes: it was still LIGHT!

I mean, we’re talking 12:45 am – and, half an hour later, when I’d finished taking some of the world’s most stunning sunset photos, it was still twilight!

(The flipside, of course, is that in mid-winter, when these regions freeze up, they get just 3 or 4 hours of daylight – which wouldn’t be so much fun.)

11-Kristiansund 2We’d spent the day in Kristiansund, a lovely colourful little town on the Norwegian coast that was bombed to bits in the war, then totally rebuilt.

Kristiansund is basically three islands linked by bridges, and our mad midlifers headed off on a coach for a brief poke-around.

First highlight was the modern Kirklandet church, a bold architectural achievement featuring weird angles and 320 panes of stained glass.

11-Kristiansund 1Second highlight was the Klippfish museum, where we learned about this town’s early beginnings as a cod-fishing centre – when untold thousands of tonnes were harvested from the bountiful seas, dried out on the rocks that lie all over these islands, processed and exported all over the world.

I half expected local ‘klippfish’ to feature on the dinner menu when we got back to the ship – but instead we had to choose between Malaysian curry, roasted pork, and eye fillet steak. (See what tough decisions we have to make aboard the Marco Polo …?)

I chose the steak – mmm! Preceeded by a juicy shrimp cocktail. And a beef consomme (soup).

Oh, and followed up with blueberry tart …

TOMORROW: Viking kings, a fairyland town and the world’s longest undersea tunnels. So stay tuned …

Yours bloggedly – JOHN

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