lørdag 6. juni 2009

Norway from south west and to the north

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Reiseblogg by Jo Jenseg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.jojenseg.blogspot.com.

In august 2008 my daughter started her career as an independent adult and went to a school in the north of Norway, Malangen in Troms. Those of you who are interested can read more about the school at www.69nord.no , here I just want to tell you that it is a wildlife school, where they learn about wildlife in general and on either a horseback or by dog sledging. My daughter had chosen dog sledging. The year included a winter week on the polar island Svalbard which I understand was quite a rough experience and not for faint hearts and wimps.

I understood from my contact with her through these 9 months that she managed very well without any of her parents, and that there is no need for me to devote my life to worrying about her (her older brother had already made that clear a while ago). But of course I have been curious about her experiences and how it was like the place she has been this period (and where she in fact is going to stay also the next year). So I borrowed my sons car and drove up to pick her up there when school finished the 10th of may. Since it is a long way up there, the shortest route is 2100km, I decided to make it an opportunity to see some of Norway that I had not seen before. In stead of the shortest route, I drove up along the west coast of Norway, with all the fjords, the mountains and the Atlantic Road. One of the most spectacular roads in Norway, Trollstigen, was not an option unfortunately though it is a winter closed road and had yet not opened for the spring and summer season.

Again I don't see the point in trying to describe it, just say that on this trip you can see most of the types of nature that Norway has to offer, except maybe for the mountain platoons, but we got to see some of those on our way back when we took the shortest route from Malangen to Stavanger. After the west coast and the mid parts of Norway (Trøndelag), I took the coastal road through Nordland, which is the first of the three most northern districts of Norway. On this road there is a spectacular wild scenery, and you pass the polar circle (sorry guys, I have no pic of it...), Norway's second biggest glacier, Svartisen (the black ice) where a part of it goes almost down to the fjord, and Saltstraumen (salt current) which is, I've been told, the worlds strongest tide current.

I got up to Malangen and the 69º North School in time to the termination party and also had time to a look around the place my daughter had spent her last 9 months. We, my daughter and I and a schoolmate of my daughter, started on our long way back the next day. We planned to leave early, but when there is 39 schoolmates to hug and say goodbye to, and the same with 50 dogs, it takes time... but finally we got started on our long trip home, this time without many tourist stops. We arrived Stavanger at night 3 days later, quite exhausted. At least I was.

Just a little about what you see. At the time of this trip (beginning of may) the shift of seasons between winter and spring has come to different stages in different parts of the country. In the western part of the country it is full spring and the leaves are green on the trees. It has this fantastic light green colour in springtime, on some of the pics you see those colours together with the all year green colours from the conifers. Some places the snow has barely melted or the ground may even still be covered with snow. This is in the mountain areas, in the south I had to come over 800 m above sea level to see the snow, but in the mid and northern parts you will find snow lower than that. In the northern part (on this trip it did not include the most northern district) the spring has just begun in the coastal areas.

The glacier (Svartisen) you will see a couple of pics of, one whit the “arm” of the glacier coming down almost to the fjord and one where you can see the edge of it a little higher up, but both pics are taken from about the same place.

The smaller bridge you see is from the Atlantic road in the western part of Norway (Møre og Romsdal district), the bigger one is from Sandnessjøen in one of the northern districts. This trip also included a lot of ferries, most of them just 10-20 minutes but some up to an hour. I find it quite relaxing with the ferries, it gives a break from driving and you also see a lot from the ferries.
In the pics from the school and the termination party you see a several of the girls are wearing the traditional clothes (bunad) which those of you who have experienced our national day, the 17th of may, have seen a lot of. As far as I could see it was just one of the teachers that wore the male bunad, so I cannot show the same range of different traditional clothes for men.