The Retirees go Abroad – France Norway UK and Ireland – Hammerfest, and Honnisvag

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When I arose this morning we were just leaving Hammerfest. It was 0615 and -8 degrees. An hour walk around the deck and it had dropped to -10 degrees. I saw two most spectacular churches this morning and look forward to seeing them on our return journey south.

We visit Honnisvag this morning. It is on an island which claims to be the most northern settled island in Europe. I visit our neighbours who are just arising. We have decided we don’t need a bus trip to see another monument, so we have tramped the town and found a wonderful little museum on the history of the island and other things. Pictures of life for the Sami residents were fascinating. We found the statue of a local hero -a gnome of giant proportions who befriended Kerry.There was a moving story about a St. Bernard dog which served in the Norwegian navy in the Second World War called “Bamse”. It ended up on a mine sweeper working off Montrose in Scotland and died there with a monument erected to its memory and duplicated here in Honnisvag where the story started. This really felt and looked Arctic. I think it’s -10 degrees today. We continued to look around the town with the black ice making it interesting.

There was a seafarers’ church made in timber and surrounded by ice but worth the trip to see inside.

On board the ship we were tempted onto the back deck to see some King Crabs. These crabs originate from Russian seas to the east but the Russians transplanted them in an experiment and they have grown in numbers so that the Norwegians now harvest them. Have a guess what was on the menu for dinner. Stopped long enough to get some photos but with the temperature dropping to minus 14 degrees a short spell was all I wanted. Of course on the coldest night we receive the call for more lights. I poked the camera out and got one good photo.

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