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  • Writer's pictureJeanne Marie

Sea Day, Sandnessjøen, and Brønnøysund, Day 12

Yeah! We were able to sleep in until 8:15 am. Breakfast goes until 10 am, so why get up early if there are no stops this morning. At around 9:15, we crossed the Arctic Circle (66° 33' N) and we are now in warmer temperatures again, well not really. There is a globe marker on a rock island at the Arctic Circle. On the top deck of the boat, there was another Arctic Circle crossing ceremony, the cod liver oil tasting. It wasn't that bad, just a little fishy.

One of the excursion leaders is a ship builder and has built Viking ship replicas. Using his Viking ships, he has sailed the world. He gave a presentation on ship building from Viking days to present and into the future. We had some time before our first port, so I headed to the fitness room. You can only walk so far on the boat, it's not that big.

At 12:30 pm, we docked for 30 minutes, so we could take a quick trip around the town of Sandnessjøen. As we were almost back to the dock when we heard the a whistle blow. That means "Hurry Up!". Lunch buffet and then it was time for a presentation on my favorite creature, the troll! One of the things that I learned was that according to folklore if a troll is outside when the sun comes out, the troll will be turned to stone and will not be able to walk the earth again. A lot of the mountains do look like a person lying down.

The second stop was Brønnøysund. Its claim to fame is being the town that is exactly in the middle of the country. It is 180 kilometers to Norway's northernmost and southernmost points. We had a little over an an hour, so we walked for about 2 miles around the town.

There were two points of interest during the day. One was Syv Søstre or Seven Sisters. The folklore story says that seven troll sisters were outside playing when the sun came up and they turned to stone. The second point of interest was the Torghatten. This is a 846 foot mountain that has a hole right through the middle. This natural tunnel has its origins also in troll folklore, but was actually formed during the ice age. This natural tunnel is 520 foot long by 566 feet wide and 115 feet high. It is possible to climb right through the hole.

Dinner was a 5-course meal in honor of the 125th anniversary of Hurtigurten. It started with cured meat followed by a light pea soup. The main dish was cod and vegetables, followed by a a cheese plate and then dessert, an Omelette Norvégienne, but it was a sponge cake with a layer of vanilla ice cream and meringue.

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