We awoke to find some blue sky this morning, something we haven’t seen since leaving Southampton.
At breakfast we overheard unfortunate confirmation that the folk who set out last night to see the Northern Lights saw nothing, not even Father Christmas. We decided whilst I sat there munching muesli that as we were to have £270 credited to our cruise account in lieu of our cancelled excursion in Harstad we would book another one, and on the recommendation of a couple who joined us at the table we would book the excursion to the Troll Mountains leaving at Molde (Molda).
Today’s trip ashore was to be to Alta’s shopping mall. How exciting, I’d barely slept all night just thinking about it. On leaving the ship we tried to book the excursion to the Troll Mountains, only to be told that the coach was fully booked but they were hoping to run a second coach, and they would let us know.
Whilst standing in line waiting to board a coach in to town, having yet again had to join a queue to get a ticket, we heard that the earlier coach excursion to Hammerfest had to be aborted not far out of town as another coach had overturned on the icy road and blocked it. The driver of the excursion then deemed it too dangerous to continue with the trip. We must hope that our driver in Molde has more luck. When we got off the coach in town, dressed in our waterproof leggings and walking boots, we sat on a pile of snow and fitted our Yaktrax’s to the bottom of the boots. We then set off around town on the compacted icy paths. I took a couple more photographs of the Northern Lights Cathedral as today we had some blue sky as a background. The temperature was as warm as 5˚C. I bet it was colder in Blackpool than here. Conditions had been perfect a couple of weeks ago, but now they were having an unseasonal mild spell.
Then the exciting moment had arrived – a look round Alta’s shopping mall. It wasn’t big, but when you’re this bored it was the highlight of the day. Each public place has an area just inside the doors which has a large carpet or rug with seats. This is where folk fit and remove their snow grips on their shoes as they cannot be used indoors.
We were surprised that so many items were cheaper than we expected them to be. Many were comparable to rip-off UK prices. We didn’t buy anything but it kept us occupied for a while.
After lunch back onboard the ship The Chef took herself up to the Observation Lounge for a read whilst I wrapped up warm and went on to the promenade deck at the blunt end. There I mounted the 360˚ camera on a tripod then sat next to it on a chair holding the SLR camera. I’ve never seen the point of sitting on a riverbank with a fishing rod. It must be nearly as boring as what I was doing. I did manage to capture the sunset, but so far nothing else, never mind at least I took pictures of something colourful in the sky, it was better than nothing.
We sailed at about 18:00 heading south towards Tromso, our mission continues to be hunting down U-boats. I think this evening and overnight is the best opportunity we have to see the Northern Lights as tomorrow is forecast heavy snow, so that’s more claggy cloud.
The ‘Coughing Neanderthals’ next door returned from their Northern Lights tour at about 00:30 and seem to have spent most of the day in their cabin getting their daily fix of television, no doubt having given their chest infections to fellow guests on the coach.
This evenings meal was very tasty after which we decided to go up one level to deck 11 (12 is the funnel) to see if there was any sign of the Northern Lights. There wasn’t of course and so we went back to our cabin for a while then off to the theatre for this evening’s entertainment performed by the ship’s wannabe’s entitled ‘Ministry of Rock’. They worked their socks off, but never the less I think whoever produced the show and did the choreography should be invited out to Fred Olsens HQ car park and invited to fall on their sword.
We spent the rest of the evening wandering around the ship chatting to folk, including the couple who joined as at breakfast this morning. It seems they did nothing ashore today except look for a dentist, who when found, was fully booked and couldn’t look at the ladies tooth for her.