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Food and travel captivate Janet Podolak, who chronicles both for The News-Herald. Get the back story of her three decades of stories here. Guest bloggers and fellow News-Herald staffers also periodically share details of their trips.

Friday, June 17, 2011

World's most beautiful voyage

It's a voyage I took in early September a decade ago, partly to see where my Norwegian ancestors came from. Its possible my story could be found in the newspaper's archives but at the time it got lost in the shuffle of the events of 9-11. I returned to the states from Oslo on Sept 10 and admired the Twin Towers on that very clear day as my Cleveland flight departed New York City.
My voyage along the coast of Norway south to Bergen from the border with Russia passed through some of the most spectaculae scenery in the world.
The Hurtigruten shipping line is the only connection between some remote villages along that coast and it stops day and night to deliver all manner of supplies, from grain to tires. It also carries passengers wishing to travel among ports not connected by road or rail lines. Passengers like me who come for multi-day voyages are housed in comfortable cabins. Since there's no way for passengers to know how long the ship will be in port, shore excursions are organized in which a motor coach meets the ship, takes passengers to see the sights and returns the passengers to the ship at a later port. It all works beautifully so during my voyage I was able to visit the North Cape and many other places, including the Loftoton Islands above the Arctic Circle. My ancestors sailed from there in the 1840s, eventually settling in Minnesota.
Now, thanks to the miracles of live streaming, you can see some of the same amazing sights I saw. Multiple cameras were set up around the 691-passenger MS Nordnorge for the voyage going on right now and the state broadcaster is running it live for 134 hours starting Thursday, June 16. You will certainly be able to see the midnight. This voyage goes north from Bergen to Kirkenes, high above the Arctic Circle, with a total of 34 ports of call. It's just the opposite of the voyage I took.
The link to the live feed is So have a look and let me know what you think.
If there is interest enough I'll see if I can find that 10 year old story and run it again. I doubt the coast has changed much.


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