Tight squeeze

The sun has finally come out during this fjord cruise. We awoke to a shaft of strong sunlight slicing through our cabin window and when I opened the curtains it blinded me. Up to now we have had rainy weather all day. Yesterday the ship had a lengthy stopover in Trondheim and Mark and I stopped into the information centre and got a book in English about the local architecture. Mark loves regional architecture and city planning, and whenever I go on holiday I always pick up books on these topics for him. The book he got yesterday included a self-guided walking tour so we walked about the old and new buildings in this major city, which was once the capital of Norway. Late last night we had a brief half-hour stopover in Rørvik, to the far north of Trondheim, not the Rørvik literally across the bay from Trondheim.

Around noon today we have a long stopover in Bodø. The first sunny pictures will be from north of the Arctic Circle. Our dinner companions yesterday were Mark and Martine, a couple from just south of Antwerp. Can you believe it? How did the dinner planners know that this couple would be perfect for us as table mates? As it turned out, they knew all about the OutGames. Martine is–get ready for this–a trivia buff and plays in pub quizzes all the time and has even won big money: her biggest prize yet as an individual player was 2500 euros. I told her all about the team I play with on Wednesday nights and about our winning streak at the Drake Hotel in Toronto. Martine is also a sports lover and she enjoyed hearing all about Mark’s two events and was excited to hear about his gold medal. Mark and I do not recall filling out a personal profile for the cruise seating planners, but this match was ideal, as Martine and Mark joined us for breakfast this morning, where there is no set seating.

The islands and fjords certainly look different when they are bathed in sunlight. For one: they’re green, not grey. The MS Finnmarken cruises through some very narrow fjords. The highlight of yesterday’s trip was a tight squeeze between two islands only 42 metres apart. Mark and I went to the enclosed upper viewing area and, with dozens of other passengers, clenched our jaws and bolted our feet to the floor as the ship glided through, with cliffs so close I joked that had we been on an open outside deck on any of the lower levels, we could have painted graffiti on the rocky sides. The water therefore must be deep enough to allow a big cruise ship to pass through.

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