Crossing the Arctic Circle and entering Nordland on Ran’s Road

Northern Norway is the geographical region of Norway, consisting of the three northernmost counties Nordland, Troms and Finnmark

And as we travel further north the myths and legends of ancient Scandanavia begin to resonate.

The viking culture was still strong up to year 1000 AD and was one of the last cultures to be ‘christianised’ so the buildings, art and stories are still very present from that turbulent time.

Rán’s Road is what the vikings called the waters of Northern Norway and in those days of large wooden ships traversing the turbulent North Atlantic Ocean there were many deaths at sea. Maybe to soften the grief of ones left behind they created Rán and a fate not worse than death…

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Rán is the Norse goddess of the sea, who is wed to Ægir the sea god.

Some Icelandic sagas describe Ran as a mesmerizing beauty, with blue-green skin and long black seaweed for hair, living in a cave full of gold with her nine daughters.

She uses her net to capture both fish and men, and there is no Valhalla for the sailors she catches because for the Norse drowning is an ignoble death.

Instead, the hapless men remain at the bottom of her sea “bed” where Rán and her offspring “enjoy” them for all eternity.

 

 

DAY 3 The royal city of Trondheim ports visited today: Kristiansund, Trondheim and Rørvik

DAY 4 Arctic Circle and Lofoten Islands ports visited today: Brønnøysund, Sandnessjøen, Nesna, Ørnes, Bodø, Stamsund and Svolvær

 

And we have seen the lights! Known as the ‘tricky lady’ because of her unpredictable appearances however, we were treated with her presence on our 3rd night aboard the good ship MS Lofoten.

Some journeys north are not graced with her display.

Last night was a subtle showing, just a taste of what may be to come.

We didn’t take photos… just took it all in and enjoyed sharing the special moment with each other and also with our fellow traveler Lazlo.

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Tronheim – established by viking ruler in 900’s as a marketplace

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Old Alesund -photo on shop window
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Old Alesund – shows the lay of the land

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Modern Alesund
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Norway’s Venice??
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we passed through this narrow 45 meter gap between islands

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Trondheim was established 997 by viking King Olav Trygvasson
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street sculpture and art everywhere delightful
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The Nidaros Cathedral, built in the period 1070 to 1300, is Norway’s largest Gothic religious ediface.

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we have noticed that each major town had its own unique design on street level drain covers
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back streets of Trondheim

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check out unusual ‘windows’ of new hotel building
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the oldest wooden lighthouse in Norway Kjeungskaer

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we were roused at dawn to see the marker as we crossed into the Arctic Circle

sam_0225Nettie asks: is this what dawn looks like??

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the Arctic Circle crossing initiation ceremony with King Neptune – last one was new crew member

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bucket of ice & water

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lots of street art in Bodo part of Upnorth Street Art Festival 2016

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many shops and cafes have public seating available complete with cushions and blankets

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the Lofoten passed under this bridge – we only just fit

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later in the ship’s lounge
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our cabin is somewhere down there past the tyres
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5 thoughts on “Crossing the Arctic Circle and entering Nordland on Ran’s Road

  1. So cool! So what’s the explanation on the “windows” of the new hotel? And did they really dump sea water on everyone for your initiation? Who made up that ritual, I wonder, it’s worse than getting screeched in! (a ritual invented by one of the bars on George Street, btw)

    (comment from Joy Hecht, btw – I’m “catteau”)

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    1. thanks Joy – i looked up the windows in tronheim and this is the blurb –
      The windows of the hotel rooms are framed by a pattern of dots printed on the glazed facade. The patterns add insulation (the building has achieved energy grade A) as well as sun screening.-
      mixed response from guests on trip advisor – some felt caged in…
      Also i went looking for info on the arctic circle ritual and found this article… http://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/behind-the-strange-and-controversial-ritual-when-you-cross-the-equator-at-sea which doesn’t put it in the best light as it seems to have been a rite of passage distorted into a hazing experience.. but this experience was purely voluntary … hope life is good for you…

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