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Troll Mints, and Checkpoint Charlie.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

On the way into Kirkenes, which is as far north and east as we go, we ran into broken ice. The harbour was full of it.

It was definitely taters!!
(translation... Taters = Taters in the mould = cold)

Here we were offered a bathe in the Arctic Ocean, but unfortunately I didnít think to pack a swimsuit, (damn!!!) so I declined the treat.

Straight after breakfast, we were in our bus, and off into the snowy wastes again. Food on board is plentiful, and mostly delicious. Breakfast and lunch are both buffets, lots of fish, pickled, poached and raw. Crab, lobster and langoustine. Fruit, cereal, salami and ham, cheeses and biscuits. Meat is usually venison, reindeer actually. Lunch includes hot dishes and salads, and about half a dozen different cakes and desserts! Which I have taken full advantage of, Chicchantal is going to have to walk my legs off when we get home! She has been warned! Dinner is three courses, and proper good restaurant quality. Again plenty of fish and venison.

Kirkenes is a pretty town, full of the usual wooden houses.

They are attractive, but they all look similar, mostly two story and very few larger buildings. They have an unfortunate vulnerability to fire, so very few are more than 30 years old. They seem to burn down and be replaced on a regular basis, plus the Nazis razed the entire county of Finmark, that used to be called Lapland, when they left.

Rainbowchoc left a comment on a previous blog about Trolls hiding under bridges. Well the Norwegians are less proud of their trolls than the Icelanders are, but we were glad to see this field full of troll mints on the way out into the wilderness.

You will see that they seem to prefer the white peppermints, unlike the Icelandic trolls which prefer the green spearmint ones. Unless of course they ate all the spearmint ones first.

At the Russian border, Norway is less than 1km wide! Up to a couple of years ago you were forbidden to take photos of the border post, but things are a little more relaxed now. These are the Russian and Norwegian border crossings, the Norwegian one is hidden in the trees. The man by the sign is purely random, and nothing to do with us!

We stopped briefly at a viewpoint on the way back for a photo opportunity, but I hate lining up to take the same photo as everyone else! Feels too sheep like! So I turned round and took this one of an ice waterfall instead. Nobody else even noticed it.

For the last two evenings we have seen the Northern Lights, both times in the middle of dinner! So we have abandoned dinner and gone up onto the top deck. DD is the proper photographer, and she has taken a lot of pictures which she has still to download. So that blog is a work in progress!


Member Comments About This Blog Post:
MARIONJEANA 3/15/2013 12:41PM

    Wish I were with you. What ship are you on?

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1BEACHWALKER 3/13/2013 3:05PM

    emoticon Looks cold! Brrrrrrrr

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SHELLYBABE2 3/12/2013 1:58PM

    TFS your holiday and pics with us - love them! Hope to see your DD's northern lights ones too - so exciting!


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FALLNTENN 3/12/2013 10:33AM

    Your photos are beautiful. Thanks for sharing.

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STFRENCH 3/11/2013 8:45AM

    emoticon blog and photos!

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EOWYNRUSS 3/11/2013 3:08AM

    Forgot to add a question: did anybody actually take a dip in the ocean, or did the crew mean it in jest? If they were in earnest, well, I would have been tempted, just so I could say I did it. And really, if you're going to be throwing yourself in freezing waters, lack of a swimsuit hardly seems an obstacle. Put it this way: you could cause an international incident and cross "Skinny dip in the Arctic Ocean" off your bucket list at the same time. emoticon

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EOWYNRUSS 3/11/2013 2:58AM

    Okay, all your pics are gorgeous! I am also hoping for more clarification about troll mints. They look like snow sculptures to me, but I have no real clue. Help!

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DOVESEYES 3/10/2013 7:18PM

    Thanks for taking me along. Though must admit that is too much snow/ice for me. emoticon

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MARIANNE9855 3/10/2013 6:25PM

    Thanks for info about food- I would definitely skip reindeer but like the fish and seafood.

The troll candy looks like hay bales to me or am I crazy?

Loved the picture of the houses with the water in the background - that could be on a card or calendar emoticon emoticon

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SUZYMOBILE 3/10/2013 5:51PM

    This cruise is starting to grow on me. I can almost taste the buffet, see the wonderful light. I'm looking forward to the Northern Lights photos and really love the one you took while refusing to be sheeplike.

But I don't understand the troll mints. Are they something else that the locals just call "troll mints," or are they a huge minty offering to the trolls? Or neither?

Comment edited on: 3/10/2013 5:52:26 PM

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RAINBOWCHOC 3/10/2013 4:51PM

    hope you have a chance to thaw properly each day. You will not be too shocked when you come back to our mini freeze-wave.

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ROSE284 3/10/2013 4:16PM

    Wow! I bet the Northern Lights were amazing. Lovely photos, thanks for posting.

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COCK-ROBIN 3/10/2013 3:44PM

    wow! Wish I was there

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CATLADY52 3/10/2013 3:12PM

    I like your approach to 'Photo Shots for everyone'.

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NEW-CAZ 3/10/2013 1:44PM

    emoticon what an adventure!

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DR1939 3/10/2013 1:12PM

    The food sounds marvelous and hard to resist the goodies. Love the pic of the ice waterfall.

BTW, my comment about the temperature may have been a little too abrupt. I really should have made the point that our reactions to temperature are relative. I can remember young men coming to my classroom in shorts when the temp was 32F/0C with no wind and with sunshine but this was following below 0F temperatures with heavy winds and no sunshine for a month. These same young men were in heavy coats, gloves, and hats when the temp fell from 70F to 32F in the early winter.

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JUNEAU2010 3/10/2013 12:56PM

    My mouth is watering as I think about all that wonderful food. I miss my family's Norwegian dishes! I would dearly love to be on this trip! Thank you so much for sharing!

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    Sounds like you are loving your trip/vacation as much as I am !!
Thank you for sharing with us, your pictures and your prose.

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TRUCKERSMRS 3/10/2013 12:28PM

    Lovely photos and sounds like you are having a great time. Shame you didn't pack your cozzie!

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-POOKIE- 3/10/2013 12:25PM

    emoticon so lovely!

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DAWN14163 3/10/2013 11:58AM

    Looks wonderful! Enjoy the rest of your holiday.

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SAINTBETH 3/10/2013 11:48AM

    Great vacation, great photos! Too bad you didn't go for a swim. Sorry you didn't get the random man's phone #. You could have sent it to me if DD didn't want him. ; )

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PINKANGEL73 3/10/2013 11:45AM

    Enjoying your blogs and photos - thanks for sharing. And from the photo of you wrapped up in fleecy thermals it doesn't look as though the lovely food has done any damage yet! Glad you are having such an interesting holiday.

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JACKIE542 3/10/2013 11:02AM

    Beautiful, thank you for sharing. emoticon

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