27 February 2013

Norway & The Snow Hotel


Might be worth putting the kettle on for this post...



 These are the last of the images of Norway that I want 
to show you. 


We we wowed by the stunning,
quiet beauty of this wonderful country.



In awe of the ever changing skies.



I wanted to just stand still to take it all in.
It cleared my mind.
Made me think that nothing is forever.
This world.
It changes.
We adapt to these changes.
We are only small in the grand scheme of things.

 


 The folk who live here are strong.
The extreme weather does not stop 
it seemed to us, anything.





 We found everyone to be polite and helpful.
They really want you to enjoy
every moment.






Sami

 The Reindeer People

The Sami's live in the north of Norway.
They have a different language.
Their own traditional clothing, handicrafts, and music.
This is a Lavvu which along with Turf Huts, was
the traditional home of the Sami who were
a nomadic group.
They travelled around with their herds of Rein Deer.
I so wanted to meet some Sami people, probably did with out
realising !




On this holiday there was time to relax if you wished.
But mostly we were up, out and active,
 both daytime
and nighttime.
Another trip we had planned was 
The Husky Dog Sledding.
In a Traditional Dog Sled.



This Kennel where we were to have out Husky Dog Ride
preferred to use Alaskan Huskies.
The dogs were beautiful and so friendly.
They wanted to be fussed.
The howled that spooky howl.
Just because they wanted to run....


So we got into our Sled, I grabbed a lady who was travelling alone
and let her share with us.
I am in the middle and Hub at the back.
I am not silly !
No really, I would have been happy to be at the front.
The ride was magnificent.
I want to do it again and again...


Breath taking countryside.
I could not talk much I just had to take it all in.
The driver of our Sled was Aussie, he was great.
Very knowledgeable, which added to the fun of the ride.





He preferred a team of twelve dogs as opposed to
ten.




As always the skies were ever changing.



I was glad to leave behind in England 
our solid sheets of Grey Sky!




Twilight was approaching
the time around 4.30pm.
I think.
And we were going back to our Ship.
For another night of 
Sky Watch.


The buildings are typical of Scandinavia.




There were on wooden stilts built on the waters edge.






Quite a few are metal.
We were told that after the bombing of the
Second World War
the Swedish gave the Norwegians
pre-fabricated houses to help with housing shortage.
Rather like the us after the War.
My Mum & Dad lived in a prefab !
With a proper fitted kitchen and fridge.
Very posh!


The place is so clean.
It amazed us.
You can sit outside this Cafe and enjoy
just watching people kick sled by...





Snow & Ice
does not bother anyone.
High heels and cycles just the norm.



Solid ice on these roads.
No salt just sand, which freezes into the ice and give traction
for the tyres.
The bonus is the roads are clean not slushy and black stained.
Even the very busy roads with big lorries were white.





Grey & White





Our last night was to be spent in 
the Snow Hotel.
Then we would travel back to England.
You are taken to a Hotel in the town
for a briefing and to leave all of your luggage overnight.
Only your toothbrush is needed for night in the Snow Hotel.
You get to spend some time exploring the town of Kirkenes
and then of you go in a mini bus to
a night of.....


It was exciting.
It was amazing.
It was freezing.


Into the walls are the most brilliant
carvings.


The Ice Bar.
Where you get a local tipple.


Ice chairs.


We were all given a room number and told to go off explore the
bedrooms.
To leave you overnight bags in your room.
Then to report to the warm room.
So we had room number 20.



This was the corridor leading to our room of delight.


A little fireplace, just outside pour room.


Here we go.


And this is it.
The Honeymoon Suite.
Ice bed and two mattresses.


Our carvings on the wall one side of the bed.


On the other  side a Rose.


This is the warm room for those who just cannot
cope with the cold during the night.
Here there is also tea and coffee making facilities.
Biscuits.
TV.
Shower, sauna and toilets.



And in a wooden tent style building
with huge log fire in the centre,
is where you go for your evening meal and breakfast.
This was a great place.
Tables all around the edges.
Candles and twinkle lights.



So after our last night of chasing the lights.
Our first night on land with lots of falling snow,
there was no chance of seeing them tonight.
But it mattered not, we had been so very lucky
this week seeing them every night whilst on the ship.
So to bed...


Hub was ok.
I did not enjoy it at all.
Claustrophobic feelings came over me.
Being wrapped up in layers and a sheet beg and Arctic Sleeping Bag zippered all around me 
was more than I could bare.
But I made it until 6am.
Then I was up and out and into that warm room
for hot tea....yeah


The day before our trip to the Snow Hotel we
had a day to explore a very pretty little town.
It was a Sunday.
Everything closed.
The town was still and silent.
We climbed to the top of the ridge for the view.







Picnic benches await.


And then back down and to the boat.






Which was waiting with hot drinks and lovely food.




Goodbye Norway 
and 
The North Cape.








It was a dream holiday.
We looked forward to this for a year.
It was over all too quickly.
So what is next ?
Love from
Carol
X



15 comments:

Knittings Nice! said...

Ah the memories...oh you were brave staying in the Snow Hotel, we visited there to but my camera steamed up, as for the dog sledding, the bumps ouch and did yours do poos and wees en-route, ours did we had to duck and dive out the way it was hysterical. You can hardly believe as you say the beauty and the cold, we had minus 42 windchill....such extremes....bet you want to go again, we did and do.

Carol said...

Reply...
lol....yes they did try and wee en-route, no poo's just the odd pop...well I hope that was the dog's !
We did not get too many bumps I just loved all of it.
In the wind it was -40 odd, I just didn't feel the cold apart from my face which was hardly visible anyway.
I do want to go again, definitely.

Muggensteekjes said...

Hello Carol,
I've enjoyed reading your post about your holiday in Norway. Beautiful pictures!!! and I hope to see the nortern light myself one day (??). Also loved the pictures of the snow hotel and I can imagine it was a dream holiday.
Bye, Ingrid.

Pretty at Heart said...

What a fantastic experience!! I have really enjoyed living the moment through your piccies! I used to work for SAS and had the opportunity to do this trip at a cheaper price -but just never got round to it.....also I was younger then and thought it sounded boring - really wish I had now!! Was the whole package thru SAS as would consider it in the future!! -x-

Carol said...

I booked almost a year ahead of this holiday, wanted to get a good cabin and a place on the best excursions.
Experience has taught me that it is not always easy to get a place if you leave it to the last min.
Everything was so easy, booking, checking in, the flight, getting on board and getting to the cabin. Stress free. The food was brilliant, unless you are an egg and chips person, may not meet your expectations. Lots of fresh fish, shellfish, salads, wonderful breads, cakes, ice cream. Alcohol, £20.00 for two drinks.
I would do it again.
Cx

annalizard said...

Magnificent!!
Annalisa from Italy

Louise Chainey said...

Wow, what a stunning sky. Norway looks so beautiful, a lovely place to spend quality time xx

jill said...

I have so enjoyed seeing your pics I have felt that Iv being with you,dont think that I could have slept in the ice hotel, to claustrophobic for me too I have to be warm but not wrapped up like that.Bet you talk of this holiday for a long long time Carol so many happy memories.Love Jill xx

OhSoVintage said...

Wow, wow, wow, what an amazing holiday and such interesting photos to look at though I guess 'you just had to be there' to appreciate it all. I get claustrophobic too so would have felt as you did.
(Henry is a Schnoodle, 9 weeks old).
Ruth xx

Jay said...

This looks amazing, your photos are stunning. I really enjoyed reading about your once in a lifetime trip.

Rachel Forrest said...

Hi Carol - your blog looks great and I would love to read it from the beginning but I couldnt find an 'archives' button to enable me to do this. Is it possible for you to add one, or maybe I am looking in the wrong place?
Thanks
Rachel

Carol said...

Hi Rachel, I have on the right hand side Popular Posts, which change from time to time. Under that I have Labels. Otherwise it is a case of scrolling to the very bottom each time and clicking older posts, I know you are read backwards ! but I do not now how to make something take you to the very beginning.
Cx

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