Monday, May 02, 2011

Hurtigruten: Arctic Circle Rite of Passage

Midway through our Hurtigruten 6-day sea voyage along the Norwegian coastline, we crossed the Polar Arctic Circle...not to be confused with the North Cape.

Latitude 66° 33′ 38″N
(somewhere between the towns of Ørnes and Nesna)

The only visual that marks the crossing is the above monument that we almost missed because they didn't announce it on the PA system. We knew it was coming around 9:15 a.m. and made sure we were on deck.

What they DID announce was the ceremony that took place immediately afterwards at 9:45 a.m.:
PLEASE COME ON DECK F for the Polarsirkelseremonien!

Once on deck, we were greeted by our sea-voyage Tour Leader, Egbert (top right above), who is so tall at 6'8" he easily oversees any crowd (and just happens to be Dutch, hahaha). He explained that we would celebrate the crossing with some Norwegian cod liver oil, served to us by none other than our ship's captain, Svend.

So, to work up to our own 'baptism,' Astrid and I both started taking pictures right and left.
We both took pictures of Peter and Yolanda, our German table mates who were good sports...

...followed by moi.
Did I mention I HATE cod liver oil! An injured memory from childhood.
But I also was a good sport, just to say I did it.


...we got to keep our spoons!
I did the Arctic...hunting the light.

Today is my turn at Vision & Verb on guess what:
the Gag Reflex!

[And in case you missed it, my last post 3 days ago was about our ship, MS Vesterålen.]


  1. Hahahahaha! Worth every penny of the ship's voyage!!


  2. Ruth: I would definitely have to agree, sister. :)

  3. This was a memorable experience, love the way the captain and Egbert did it, the spoons do make a wonderful souvenir.
    You are a good sport by 'blocking' the mind and just swallow... HA.
    We had so much fun that day.

  4. Oh how exciting! I love points like that. And I would have done it too just for that spoon! Lovely gift!!! Just love your reaction Ginnie!

  5. Ugh! I think the only reason I would do such an experience would be to keep the memorabilia. ;)

  6. Astrid: I hate it that I wasn't fast enough on the draw to get pictures of YOU taking the spoonful. Rats! But at least we got the two sppons as souvenirs, yes. A nice memento. And yes, so much fun (after blocking the mind). :)

    ET: This was lots of fun, Jen, as you can tell. Yes, you'd be a good sport, too. :)

    Tim: HA! I think we were all in the same boat. :)

  7. I would have to think long and hard to decide if the spoon was worth the punishment of ingesting the vile cod liver oil. I'm not sure we had the same ceremony because we were very bad about listening to the announcements. I think it's because the speakers in the game room were not working (or disabled). We did enjoy listening to our son mimic our German cruise director's announcements with only minor verbal adjustments :-)

    That picture of you after your spoonful is precious! Good catch Astrid!

  8. DB: I think you probably did much more relaxing than we did. HA! We were up and down all day long. Still, we did feel refreshed every day and had lots of energy. It helped that it was cold. We both do much better when it's not hot. Too bad you missed the Artic Circle ceremony...or maybe yours was at night? It was worth it for the souvenir spoons. They even let Astrid keep the oil bottle. :)

    BTW, we did NOT get wifi in our cabin--only up on a higher deck in the common room.

  9. I've never had cod liver oil before. It's some sort of a cure, isn't it?

    The souvenir spoons are lovely.

  10. I'm afraid I might not be able to be a good sport about cod liver oil... anything overly oily produces a gag reflex for me (although I usually manage to stifle it)... I'm even hesitant about dipping bread in olive oil at the table for fear that it won't sit well with me! (my father refused to drink orange juice and did not want to be in the room when we peeled oranges because he was forced to take daily doses of cod liver oil in his orange juice as a child)

    The spoons ARE lovely though... and I got a big kick out of your collages of folks with the faces they made in reaction to the cod liver oil... yours is priceless! (will visit V&V later as I ALWAYS look forward to your posts there)

  11. PC: Apparently it's like all those fish-oil capsules, Maria, they want us to take to add omega-3 fatty acids to our diet. Good for what ails you. It was worth swallowing a spoonful for the spoon. :) Thank you.

    Victoria: You have actually surprised me by this comment, since I knew your computer was on the fritz, so THANK YOU. I love that so many can identify with a repulsion to certain foods/tastes. Our brains and memories are very powerful organs, aren't they! Thank you so much for stopping by. I hope your renovating project at home is going along just fine, as expected.

  12. I love those pics of you taking the cod liver oil! I'd have the same expression!

    I've missed a lot! I'm so sorry :(. I've been MIA for a couple of months but I promise to be around more this month!

    Now I must catch up on reading your adventures!

  13. Mad: It's so good to see you again I've been a bit worried about you. :( As you know, the world continues to turn, whether we're around or not. Glad you can catch up a bit. :) Thanks.

  14. awesome scenery in first post and Arctic circle...that's on my bucket list!!! lucky, lucky you :)
    i love your expression with cod liver oil..i have neevr tried it but that one expresion will ensure that I wil never try it! :DDDD

  15. Oh this is so funny! I knew right away what was in that bottle because it's called Lebertran in German. The look on your face is PRICELESS. We too used to have to take cod liver oil when we were children, but in capsule form. Didn't taste bad going down, but it kind of kept repeating on you all day!

    What a fascinating trip you had. I'm enjoying the photos so much.

  16. LOL. Tran is very healthy but tastes like - agree with you Ginnie.
    Say no more;-)

  17. Moi: You would love this sea voyage, so I hope you can do it before you kick the bucket! :) Thank you for stopping by and commenting again.

    Tor: HA. You're so funny!!!

  18. The gag reflex! LOL But for one of those spoons, I think I would taste the cod liver oil. I'm pretty sure my grandmother had a spoonful every day. Yuck.

  19. Margaret: I bet your kids could relate to this, too, but probably not with cod liver oil. HA! It's a fond memory, after all is said and done. :)