Tuesday 14th June

When we embarked on Friday we had a notice to say that Balmoral had obtained permission to take the “inside route” to Tromso, something the bigger cruise ships were unable to pass as parts of it were too narrow. This meant that, not only would we see the spectacular scenery, but it would be faster so we would have time for an extra port to visit.

The sea was calm so we glided majestically along and every so often the Captain would come onto the intercom and point out special areas of interest.

There was the usual programme of talks, instruction, music and games but I spent most of the day just gazing in awe as the scenery unfolded like a film set. Tree clad mountains, waterfalls, huge rocky prominences decked with snow. It was ever changing.

some parts of the channel were wider than others

Some parts were very narrow!

Occasional lonely dwellings

We passed Torgatten, the mountain with a hole through it about 9am.  About ten minutes later a couple of elderly fragile looking ladies tottered out on deck and one asked, “Have we come to the mountain with a hole yet?” I told her that we had passed it a little while since. “Oh dear! I told you that our cabin was on the wrong side Alice,” she complained to the other one, and they tottered back in.

About 1pm we crossed the Arctic Circle, so for the next few days the sun would remain above the horizon.

Another strange conversation I overheard  was a woman who complaining that  “there was too much time wasted just cruising!”  She wanted to know why we couldn’t go on land more often. I looked out at the landscape where there was little sign of habitation and wondered just where she would go if she did go on land. 🙂 I also wondered why someone would book a 14 day cruise if they didn’t like cruising. Do they just stick a pin in a list of holidays?

At last we decided that we must go to bed even though the sun was still shining. It felt like being a child again, shutting the curtains on the sun!