Before we left Honningsvag we visited Honningsvag Museum, which is conveniently situated close to the quayside.

Bamse, a seafaring dog"

Bamse, a St Bernard, was a member of the Norwegian Royal Navy and when they escaped from the German invasion in WW2 he went with them to Scotland. He is credited with saving at least two lives during the war. This statue is facing Montrose, Scotland, where he is buried and there is a similar statue of him in Montrose facing his hometown of Honningsvag.  (I have just sent for a book about him “Sea Dog Bamse, WW2 Canine Hero” by Angus Whitson and can tell you more about him when I have read it!”)

Bamse stands just outside the museum. It is a small museum but well presented and staffed by very friendly ladies.

The first part of the museum is about the town history as a fishing port and the next part is about the occupation years and the devastation left when the Germans retreated and operated a “scorch and burn” policy and the only building left standing was the church.

One item which made me feel my age was a poster used in the 60s. It is of a laughing Sami boy and I had liked it so much that I had begged one from the tourist board, and it had decorated a succession of rooms in Nurses Homes etc.

Friday 17th June

We arrived in Alta about 7 am. This is another port rebuilt since the war. During the war the German navy’s  biggest naval base was in Altafjord and Tirpitz was based there and eventually sunk  after many attempts by the Allies.

There is a museum about this with a collection of uniforms and artifacts.

The other museum has a collection of rock paintings and carvings (6000-2000 years old) which is now a world heritage site.

A rather enterprising Sami couple set up a few market stalls selling souvenirs of Sami culture. We resisted the large three corner hats and bought a few smaller items!

We left Alta at 4.30pm in glorious sunshine. The Captain pointed out the place where Tirpitz was sunk and a few other points of interest, and then it was time to get into our “glad rags” for the formal dinner.

Sailing between Alta and Narvik

Midnight June 17th

 It was difficult to leave this and go to bed!