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Bergen | Coastal Norway | Bear Island | Svaalbard | Oslo | The Whole Trip

The Whole Trip

Bergen, Fjords, Coastal Islands, Svalbard, and Oslo
Photo Editing by Dave Werner
Photography by Jean McConochie
Restored Hanseatic warehouses Lunchtime crowd, Bryggen Colorful housewares The Chef recommends . . . Visiting mariners can shower and clean up in the brown building.
Tourist transport + motorcycles Bergen is built amidst seven hills. In the Middle Ages, Bryggen, on Bergen's main harbor, was owned by Hanseatic League merchants. In the open-air market, cherries are 60 kroner ($10). Elk, reindeer, or whale -- a burger is $8.43.
Elk and reindeer sausage are both popular market items. Cod and smoked whale evidently appeal to foreigners. Many Japanese tourists visit Bergen in the summer. Seagulls patrol the market. Note the catamaran ferries. Torget market, with one of Bergen's seven hills.
Flower seller in Torget, the open air waterfront market. The densely packed Bryggen warehouses are now being restored. St. Mary's Church, Bergen's oldest building, dates from the 12th century. The lofty nave and two lower side aisles with separate roofs are unusual for a parish church. During the 300 years that Hanseatic merchants owned the church, they installed an elaborate pulpit.
This tree may be nearly as old as St. Mary's Church itself. Refurbished graves in front of St. Mary's Church Snorri Sturluson, Icelandic poet and historian, also figures as a great Norwegian writer. Meticulous reconstruction of Bryggen has been underway since it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. At the height of Bergen's power in the Middle Ages, these streets would have been packed at midday.
In  1702, a fire destroyed all the wooden houses in Bergen. Now the Hansa area is being restored. Dining room, Grand Hotel Terminus, site of the 11th annual Grieg in Bergen Summer Festival Pianist Irene Simonsen, Grieg-in-Bergen Summer Festival, 2007 Soprano Hilde Veslemoy Hagen, Grieg-in-Bergen Summer Festival, 2007 Bergen is built on seven hills.
Subdued Golden Arches Torget at 10:45 p.m. S/S Statsraad Lehmkuhl, the largest sailing vessel in Norway Visiting English schooner Detail, mainmast rigging
Vagen (the harbor) with spire of Nykirken (new church) Local fireboat getting under weigh, with M.S. National Geographic Endeavour in background Vagen, a natural bay, has long been the heart of Bergen. In the circle of light, National Geographic Endeavor (110 passengers + 64 crew) Colorful building near Torget
Lively seller of cloudberry preserves A wealthy Hanseatic merchant once tallied sales of codfish at this desk. In the Bryggen garden Norwegian archaeologists have found trade goods from Europe and the Middle East. The remains of a medieval ship used in the Hanseatic Trade.
Hakon's Hall, a reconstruction of a 13th-century ceremonial hall. Endeavor, seen from the courtyard below Hakon's Hall 19th-century officers' quarters in the Bergen Fortress Boarding the M.S. National Geographic Endeavour Waterfall from the Briksdal glacier
IMG_d0361.jpg Meltwater from Briksdalen Glacier Briksdal glacier is part of Europe's largest ice field. Briksdalen Glacier A farmer's goats graze on the mountainside.
Briksdal glacier beneath the clouds Foxglove (oxalis), the official flower of this region IMG_d0379.jpg Ninja tourist at Briksdal glacial lake Local guide Anne Margrete Tonning, whose family has lived in this area for generations.
IMG_d0390.jpg The dun-colored Norwegian fjord horse has been in Norway for over four millenia. This lake is well stocked with trout. Graveyard at Olden Old Church Built in 1759, the Olden old church is the third on this site since the 13th century.
The Olden old church is now used only for special occasions, including the recent wedding of Grete Tonning's son. In the Olden old church (1759), each farm had its own pew. Leaving Nordfjord Flat coastal land is rare and therefore prized for urban development. Maloy, a fishing village at the mouth of Nordfjord
The fishing village of Maloy. LNG (liquid natural gas) tanker and its offspring. Waterway between the mainland and the outer islands. Outerway between the mainland and outer islands. Aboard the M.S. National Geographic Endeavour
Approaching Selje, a thriving town since the Middle Ages The local pilot (required by Norwegian law) chatting with Endeavour's first officer Approaching Selje One of M.S. Endeavour's 60 excellent crew Passenger Anne on deck in the early evening
Ruins of a Benedictine monastery, established in 1103 to honor St. Sunniva. Protected Cultural Memory / Selje monastery ruin To honor St. Sunniva, Benedictine monks built a monastery here early in the 12th century. Lindblad's open bridge policy accords expedition guests a special honor. The local Norwegian pilot, on the bridge with Captain Bear.
Ship's captains are given a souvenir when they call at a new port. Ice bears on M.S. Endeavour's bridge Leaving Svesfjord, a small short fjord with a charming bay where we hiked and kayaked. A field on the edge of Nordfjorden, a  20-mile-long branch of Melfjord. One of the wildest corners of Norway, Nordfjord has no inhabitants and only rare visitors..
_MG_0470.jpg Tiny size is a survival strategy for Arctic flowers.  (Naturalist Steve MacLean's hands.) Bush vetch? Sea milk-wort (primrose family)  (Right?) Small Cow-Wheat?   (Leaf is wrong; who can identify?)
Who knows this one? Arctic moss Naturalist Steve MacLean Launching a Zodiac from an enchanting Arctic beach. A fjord is a valley carved out by ice and filled by the sea.
Kayaking on deep water -- 59 feet near the shore, 700 feet in the center. _MG_0495.jpg _MG_0496.jpg Plants find a hold in the most unlikely spots. High noon on an Arctic fjord
_MG_0501.jpg _MG_0507.jpg Hoisting the kayaks after the morning exploration. Leaving Nordfjorden
0516.jpg 9505.jpg On an island just below the Arctic Circle _MG_0520.jpg Part of the inner harbor at Hamnholmen
_MG_0524.jpg The chapel at Lovund A house on Lovund Arvid Olsen and his daughter, Marianne _MG_0529.jpg
 Marianne's fish house Yes, it's cold. _MG_0538.jpg Fishing houses at Lovund _MG_0540.jpg
A traditional sod roof The Naustholmen harbor, with a fish factory boat.   _MG_0547.jpg _MG_0549.jpg A part of the inner harbor at Hamnholmen
Gathering to explore a town on the Arctic Circle _MG_0563.jpg Anne, Dee and Jean astride the Arctic Circle. IMG_d0569.jpg Traena harbor
Local Lutheran church, with characteristic steeple IMG_d0578.jpg  in Mostad, a fishing village abandoned in the 1950s, houses are being restored as vacation homes. The small red buildings were drying sheds for the cod caught by Mostad fishermen. Artist capturing sheds in watercolor.
Naturalist Ian Bullock shows how light the Mostad fishing boats were --easy to pull ashore in the shallow harbor . In earlier times, each family had a plot to cultivate; and a pasture; stones marked the boundaries. _MG_0591.jpg _MG_0592.jpg _MG_0593.jpg
_MG_0595.jpg Unanticipated links to the past _MG_0599.jpg _MG_0600.jpg Camouflage: can you see the four large black shags on the rock?
Dried cod, the commodity that brought people to Norway from the Middle Ages on. The last of these boats replicates a Norse vessel. Aa has survived by incorporating as a museum.  In this 1940s home, note the machines for shoe-making and knitting. _MG_0619.jpg Approaching a narrow fjord
Radar shows our position and course into Trollfjord Entering Trollfjord, named for the rocks that obstruct its entrance _MG_0628.jpg _MG_0629.jpg The steep cliffs of Trollfjord
Distant peaks in sunlight as we move through the dark and narrow fjord The narrowest point in Trollfjord Having transited the narrows, Endeavour will use her bow and stern thrusters to pivot and reverse course. _MG_0648.jpg Waterfall in the Trollfjord
Above Tysfjord's entrance, Stone Age rock carvings. And now for something completely different. _MG_0667.jpg Oysterplant, rare this far north (68 degrees) This Sami (Lapp) settlement at the end of Tysfjord is usually not inhabited until September; we saw no one.
In the past year, the pine forest above Hellmebotyn has been felled for timber. _MG_0678.jpg The Tromso Botanic Garden features a series of habitats, each on its own hill. IMG_d0682.jpg IMG_d0683.jpg
Rare blue poppy of Tibet at Tromso's Botanic Garden Part of the Sami exhibit at the Polar Museum IMG_d0689.jpg IMG_d0692.jpg IMG_d0693.jpg
Pipe organ of the Arctic Cathedral Burberry clothing worn by Hjalmar Johansen when he joined Roald Amundsen for an attempt on the North Pole (1893-96). IMG_d0704.jpg IMG_d0706.jpg IMG_d0707.jpg
Hunting the harp seal, early 20th century. IMG_d0709.jpg IMG_d0710.jpg IMG_d0711.jpg IMG_d0714.jpg
IMG_d0716.jpg Battle with Ice Bears, Francois-Auguste Briard, 1839 IMG_d0718.jpg The Lutheran Cathedral (completed 1861) On Strandgata, near the cathedral
Interior of the Lutheran Cathedral Spindly bridge connecting city center with Arctic Cathedral _MG_0730.jpg _MG_0731.jpg Modern housing in Tromso
Girls just wanna have fun. _MG_0735.jpg Our first glimpse of Soroya.   A pseudo-sunset at 10:30 p.m. _MG_0745.jpg
The forbidding edge of Soroya Island Heavenly rays of light bless the Endeavour. _MG_0760.jpg _MG_0763.jpg _MG_0766.jpg
Black guillemots, the penguins of the Arctic (genetic cousins) Late evening Zodiac cruise Beach Clean-Up Crew The Dare Grim Determination
Still running on adrenaline The cold hits home Triumphant We leave the European continent to enter the Land of the Ice Bear. A Norwegian Coast Guard boat comes to pick up our final coastal pilot.
The pilot boat, off Tromso A white sand beach above the Arctic Circle Humpback whales in the Barents sea. A pair of humpback whales welcomed us at the edge of the continental shelf. Humpback whale diving
_MG_0863.jpg _MG_0865.jpg _MG_0878.jpg _MG_0881.jpg Could this be the entrance to Purgatory?
d0887.jpg d0891.jpg Rusted beaching winch from pre-WWII whaling days d0893.jpg Whale bones, at the dump
d0896.jpg 0900.jpg Recent kill d0909.jpg d0910.jpg
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The comfort of a safe return to the ship. A million pairs of seabirds nest here. 0938.jpg Moss and scurvy grass are the predominant plants here. 0942.jpg
0943.jpg Prime beach-front property (straight out of Mordor). 'Lord of the Rings' was inspired by Norse mythology and places like this... Fog obscures the cliffs on many days. These cliffs are home to (top to bottom) puffins, fulmars, guillemots, and kittiwakes.
Assorted guillemots (3 kinds!) 0971.jpg d0982.jpg d0990.jpg d0994.jpg
Old Arctic hands call this opening The Pearly Gates.  Could heaven lie beyond? d1002.jpg Guillemots, standing guard, are known as the penguins of the Arctic. d1005.jpg d1007.jpg
d1011.jpg At the north end of Bear Island, nine people staff a Norwegian meteorological radio station. 1014.jpg The harbor is too shallow for large ships.  Twice yearly, deliveries come by  shuttle from a Coast Guard ship. 1016.jpg
1019.jpg A profusion of Arctic plants 1026.jpg In the land of permafrost, cables stay on the surface.    [true?] Staff members live here on a six-month contract.
A modern John Deere front loader and an antique steam locomotive grace the landing area. 1031.jpg M.S. Endeavour off NW corner of Edgeoya This beach is really a river delta.
Traveler on Edgeoya delta. These notched logs were possibly once part of a Siberian isba. _MG_1082.jpg Fresh human footprints in the squishy tundra
_MG_1102.jpg _MG_1131.jpg Young female on the prowl for a midnight snack ... _MG_1137.jpg
_MG_1138.jpg _MG_1140.jpg Approach of the midnight bear Something smells good ... _MG_1150.jpg
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_MG_1166.jpg _MG_1168.jpg _MG_1171.jpg _MG_1172.jpg _MG_1173_2.jpg
_MG_1173.jpg Live prey!  Lots of live prey ... Damn, it's sort of a big steel can ... Hey, Ralphie boy!
_MG_1189.jpg Mr. DeMille ...? _MG_1193.jpg Maybe I can get in on the other side ...
_MG_1201.jpg _MG_1205.jpg _MG_1207.jpg Polar paparazzi
_MG_1217.jpg _MG_1221.jpg Come on... I am NOT gonna swim across! Dozens of live hairless seals in big moving can...  Who's gonna believe this?
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Ice seen through clear water 9511.jpg Walruses! 1379.jpg Sunbathing walruses -- on the beach at 10 p.m.
--- Caption Contest! ---  (Winner will get credit, and our gratitude.) Firepit left by hunters, looking like something out of 'Robinson Crusoe' M.S. Endeavour (far back on left) dwarfed by a 50-meter-high glacial wall Snout of the Negribreen glacier 1410.jpg
_MG_1465.jpg 1456.jpg 1471.jpg M.S. Endeavour, at anchor in Storfjord 1479.jpg
1481.jpg Lowering the gangway for a zodiac excursion 1489.jpg 1490.jpg
The coast of Spitsbergen, Svalbard's largest island 1494.jpg 1495.jpg Horsund is edged by glacially-carved peaks and is fed by many side fjords.
1499.jpg Norwegian hunter/trappers used this cabin into the 1970s, taking bears and foxes. Trappers needed to bar the doors against bears. 1519.jpg 1520.jpg
1523.jpg 1524.jpg Words fail. The Horsund fjord system on the west coast of Spitsbergen attracts bears, foxes, and photographers. 1535.jpg
High summer in the high Arctic A glaucous gull and three chicks resented our presence. Kittiwakes? 1555.jpg 1560.jpg
Entering Horsund Fjord 1577.jpg 1578.jpg 1580.jpg 1104.jpg
1590.jpg This is the only other ship we have seen in eight days. 1592.jpg 1593.jpg 1594.jpg
The harbor of Longyearbyen, capital of Svalbard Impatient snowmobiles... 1601.jpg An artist chose Artic-flower colors for the city's buildings. Beware of bears in all of Svalbard.
1623.jpg SAS Radisson Airport Hotel with station for the Airport Express train to Oslo's center. 9527.jpg 9530.jpg 1633.jpg
The port of Pipervika, the innermost point of Oslo fjord. 1636.jpg Gjoa, Roald Amundsen's first ship With Gjoa, Amundsen conquered the Northwest Passage in 1906. 1643.jpg
9533.jpg 9534.jpg 9535.jpg 1645.jpg Fram was designed by Colin Archer for Fridjof Nansen's 1893 Arctic expedition.
1647.jpg 1648.jpg 1649.jpg 1650.jpg First aid kit for Amundsen-Ellsworth Trans-Polar Expedition (1928).
Amundsen cared about proper nutrition for his men. 1654.jpg 1655.jpg Fram is said to be the strongest wooden ship ever built. Fram means Forward.
Lifeboat, aboard Fram 1661.jpg 1665.jpg 1666.jpg 1667.jpg
Fram's ground tackle Gjoa across the harbor from a modern tourist ship. Theodolite used by Amundsen for surveying Astronomical refractor that was used at Amundsen's base camp in Antarctica These days Fram lives a shelterd life.
1674.jpg Reconstruction of the Oseburg ship (c. A.D. 800-1030) 9556.jpg Kon-Tiki carried Thor Heyerdahl across the Pacific in 1947. 1700.jpg
1703.jpg 1705.jpg 1709.jpg This rare stave church dates from 1300. 1722.jpg
Downtown Oslo on a summer evening 1729.jpg Guard house, Royal Palace The Queen's Park, behind the palace A tram line and Pipervika (Piper Harbor) in downtown Oslo.
9569.jpg Sculptor Gustav Vigeland created his sculpture park in 1924. All of the statues are nudes. 1759.jpg Visitors of all ages enjoy Vigeland Park.
Vigeland portrayed people in all stages of life. 1770.jpg 1776.jpg The Vigeland Park The escape!
Kids wear out their parents at Vigeland Park. Weary resignation in Vigeland Park Parliament lawn on a summer evening Pipervika on a summer eve