One of the very few good things about airports is the opportunity to observe returning holidaymakers – and their travel souvenir ideas. We have all sympathised at the sight of poor Mum staggering under the weight of a straw donkey the size of the Balearics, Dad clutching those strange long noodle floating things and, of course, the boys back from a stag weekend clutching anything that wasn’t tied down.
I have been the victim of a badly packed suitcase containing , it seemed, both olive oil and wine which, having been given the gentle touch of the baggage handlers had leaked over everyone else’s luggage – but no one observing my fairly frequent comings and goings would guess the nature of my chosen souvenir – packet soups! [Read more…]
How can I explain Hurtigruten? If I say it is the Norwegian Coastal Express service you will ask ‘and why do I need to know that’, if I say it has been sailing around the coast of Norway since 1893 you may say ‘so what?’ but if I say is has been called ‘the most beautiful voyage in the world’ that might give you a clue as to why you should investigate further – so let me explain.
I love ships, I love cruises and I love Hurtigruten, but Hurtigruten is not a cruise in the accepted sense. No Captain’s cocktail party, no dressing up and the best footwear is a good pair of walking boots and some comfy socks. Hurtigruten translates as ‘fast route’ and my first clue to just how important it is to Norwegians emerged when I bought a map shortly before our trip – and there on a standard map was the Hurtigruten route marked in red all the way along the coast from Bergen to the very top of Norway at Kirkenes.