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  • Writer's pictureSElliott

Day 10 - Postman Polar Bears and the Seven Sisters

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

We awoke today just north of the Arctic Circle, which we crossed at 8:35am. King Neptune wasn’t invited on board this time so there was no ice water!! I managed to stay dry. However, we celebrated crossing the Arctic Circle by having a lovely spoon of cod liver oil – it didn’t taste as bad as I thought it would. It tasted a bit like the smell of smoked mackerel – Dad would have liked it, he used to tell stories of how he enjoyed cod liver oil so much he used to sneak spoonfuls of it when he was growing up! We got to keep the spoon which had engravings on it.

It was a different postman, or rather a postmistress, who was stamping our postcards, but Postman Polar Bear was still in charge.

Picture 1 - Postmistress and Post-Polar Bear

We continued our journey down the Helgeland coast from Bodø to Rørvik. The journey along the Helgeland coast passes hundreds of islets, fertile farmland and steep granite walls rich in local lore, although it all looked a bit chilly!

We also passed the Seven Sisters mountain range – these mountains are said to have been seven of the eight daughters of the troll King Sulis, who kept a strict watch on them. One night they slipped out, wanting to dance in the moonlight. Neighbouring trolls in want of a wife saw the sisters and pursued them down the coast. When night turned to morning, the sisters and their pursuers were turned to stone.

Picture 2 - The Seven Sisters

One of the trolls, the horseman, being unable to catch the Maiden of Leka, one of the daughters of King Sulis, decided that if he couldn’t have her no-one would and shot an arrow at her. A neighbouring troll saw this and threw his hat in the arrow's path, preventing it from hitting the maiden. The result is Torghatten, a distinctively hat-shaped mountain with a hole through the middle, further down the coast near Brønnøysund.

We had a lecture about Norwegian Myths today – it was really interesting and a couple of the myths were very similar to the Scottish, Irish and Celtic mythology. For instance Norwegian Nixes are similar to the Scottish Kelpie. The Nixes are water spirits who try to lure people into the water by shapeshifting. Norwegian Nisse are the household spirits that are responsible for the care and prosperity of a farm or family – like the Scottish brownies or broonies.

Later on this afternoon we arrived in Brønnøysund, a small town dating back to 1923. In the town is a stone marking the centre point of Norway. This is due to Brønnøysund being equidistant from the North Cape (the westernmost point in Norway) and Lindesnes (the easternmost point).

Picture 3 - Sunset over Brønnøysund

Picture 4 - Stone in Brønnøysund

This evening we had the opportunity to have our travel diaries/books signed by the ship's officers. I went down - it was interesting although there was some discussion whether a bird drawn by the Hotel Manager was a penguin or a chicken!

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