The Midnight... clouds

July 22, 2002

N69.775, E19.862

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020722-143619.jpg (209345 bytes)020722-092229.jpg (133952 bytes)We left our little island after the gentle rain stopped, allowing us to pack up more or less dry, which is always a plus. We camped close to a ferry and not knowing the schedule we were the last people on board, just as the ship was about to leave. Today will not go into the record books as the most exciting or beautiful day of the trip, since we pretty much drove north to Tromsų. Yup, Tromsų, baby. For the past few months I had this town as my far north destination, weather forecast bookmarked on my custom Yahoo! home page (always showing rain or at least showers). This place is far enough to have the midnight sun on July 21st, our expected day of arrival based on the original schedule. We watched the GPS with anticipation as the time between sunset and sunrise was narrowing down, from yesterday's 1:30 hours down to a few minutes, and eventually the time of the sunset was identical with that of the sunrise. Even a few moments later we crossed the always moving line of no sunset at all, which apparently confused my GPS. It looked like the Garmin engineers in sunny Kansas forgot that there can be days and places with no sunset or sunrise at all.

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020722-192726.jpg (89031 bytes)020722-192748.jpg (150299 bytes)Tromsų is a nice little town with its own airport, university hospital (and therefore probably also university), much more inviting than Narvik which we passed just hours earlier. And they have Burger King: at one of the dozens of roundabouts which they chased us around was actually a BK. I joked and suggested to Essan to get a BK Big Fish there, to finally get her Norwegian fish. Nope, we already had some fish happily defrosting somewhere in the car, and she was determined to cook it. So down we went, into the tunnel which looked like it would never stop descending, reminding me of subway escalators, it was so steep! After a few minutes the tunnel made a 90 degree turn and started climbing as quickly as it had descended so far. Eventually we got out, leaving a big mountain behind; why they didn't simply drill through is a mystery to me, it's not that we went under water.

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020722-214639.jpg (77867 bytes)At the outskirts of Tromsų we stopped at a "table with tree", even though the tree was notably absent, probably gone with the wind. It was time to cook. The ducks were diving in clear anticipation of what was to come. I was happily chewing the fresh, cold sausage which I obtained, watching Essan preparing her fish. And then the moment came: the first Norwegian fish. The vote was both anticlimactic and humorous: "Eeeww!!" As the most salt intolerant person I know, Essan clearly did not enjoy the fish which was preserved with concentrated salt. But who knew from the Norwegian cooking instructions? Good thing we had enough sausage. I suggested BK, quite sure they really have fish there, but I guess Essan's pride was too strong. So we headed towards the next ferry and further north, to a place which promised an open view towards the North, where the sun is at midnight (unless you are in Australia).

020723-000541b.jpg (114918 bytes)It was very comforting to know that the sun would not set today. It worked out by schedule, but the steady drizzle was telling us in no ambiguous words that there won't be any such show today. As if to make a point, it started raining harder. This didn't bother the herd of goats happily camping on the road, but it was with some disappointment that we set up camp, once again right by the water at yet another of the countless fjords.

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