CROSSING THE ARCTIC CIRCLE NORTHBOUND AND HARSTAD, NORWAY

Harstad Travel Blog

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We had an early start today. We arrived in Harstad, (23,000 population). We just went out for a walk around the town. We took some pictures of typical Norwegian homes. We were only there for an hour.

 

Then we went straight to the dining room for some breakfast. The ferry has these amazing cookies. It was a deer design on it. NO, it is not made from deer HAHAHAHA. I keep eating for breakfast and pocketing some to eat later. Afterwards, I grabbed my laptop and binoculars to sit at my favorite lounge near the internet café to watch the sea and do a bit of blogging. I had time to kill before we get to Finnsnes at 11am.

 

While I was at the lounge, there was an announcement that there was a “We crossed the Arctic Circle” ceremony. I went up to deck 9. It was a warm day too. There were plenty of people. I did not know there was a contest to guess what time we were going hit the Arctic Circle. I should have joined. We arrived at 7:09pm at 9/6/07. This guy missed it by 1min he won and 2 others. As we were waiting outside, the crew brought out a bucket of ice, towels, and shots of berry wine. I guess this is what you call a “polar bear club” but without the plunge in the Arctic Ocean. There is the same ceremony when you pass the equator. I can’t wait to do that when I go to Chile.

One by one crew member pours water in your shirt and the other puts ice cubes down your shirt. After that you get a shot of berry wine which was very good. After the top 3 winners, it was open to anybody who wanted the take the “dip”. I was one of the people running to the front of the line. HAHAHAHA. That was freaking cold. I got my shot of berry wine. WHAT?!?!?! NO VODKA, HAHAHAHA. I took a second plunge just to have another shot of berry wine HAHAHAHAHA. That was fun. The crew members poured more cold water and ice cubes on the women more than the men. My back was soaked. I saw them put only a little bit on the men. I was like “HEY, WHAT ‘S THE DEAL?!?!?!?!” HAHAHA. I went back to my cabin to change. That was great. Then I went back to blog some more till lunch time at 1pm. The view is just breath taking. The snow on the mountains, the different birds, the calm fjord and THE FOOD.
What a good vacay.

 It is the second largest city in the county of Troms, and the third largest in North Norway, by population. This makes Harstad the natural centre for its district. The city celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2004.

he municipality is located on two islands in south Troms. Most of the municipality is located on Hinnøya, which is Norway's second largest island, after Svalbard. The northern part of the municipality is located on the southern third of Grytøya. Harstad is bordered by Bjarkøy to the north, Kvæfjord to the west and Tjeldsund (in the county of Nordland) to the south. To the southeast the Tjeldsund Bridge connects Hinnøya with Skånland and the mainland across Tjeldsundet, and to the northeast is the fjord Vågsfjorden, where Harstad shares a water border with Ibestad.

The city itself is located northeast on Hinnøya; it is the only city on the island, and is popularly known as Vågsfjordens perle (The pearl of Vågsfjorden).
Sætertinden where Harstad borders on Nordland county
Sætertinden where Harstad borders on Nordland county

The municipality contains several small islands, including Arnøya, Gressholman, Kjeøya, Kjøtta, Kjøttakalven, Måga, Rogla and Åkerøya. The highest mountain is Sætertind (1095 metres above sea level ([1]), located near Sandtorg, Hinnøya.

The oil industry of North Norway is centred in Harstad, but the city also has shipyards and other industries that are important for the economy. Harstad and the surrounding area have traditionally been among the most productive agricultural regions in North Norway, with the old seabed creating fertile soil that is well-suited for farming[citation needed].


The city enjoys the midnight sun during the summer months, from 22 May to 18 July, along with moderate daytime temperatures, usually from 12 °C to 24 °C. During the winter months, the polar night allows for regular viewings of the aurora borealis (aka the Northern Light). The sun is not visible from 30 November to 12 January. There is moderate snowfall for the region, and a surprisingly comfortable temperature of 4 °C to -10 °C.

In recent years, a 3000-year-old bronze axe and a 2600-year-old bronze collar[2] have been found at the Trondenes peninsula, just north of the city center. These, together with the burial cairns built close to the sea, are indications of a well developed Bronze Age culture in the Harstad area.

There is also substantial archeological evidence of a well developed Iron Age culture in the area, around 200 AD.


Trondenes is mentioned in the Heimskringla as a power centre in the Viking Age and a place to meet and discuss important issues (Trondarting).

Trondenes Church, the world's northernmost medieval church, which dates back to the 13th�"15th century, is situated just outside the town.

Adjacent to the church is the Trondenes Historical Center and nearby is the Adolf Gun, an enormous land-based cannon from World War II, and the last of four cannons originally constructed by the Nazis. Harstad is one of the few towns in this part of Norway which were left largely undamaged by World War II.

The city is most likely named after the old farm Harstad (Norse *Harðarstaðir), since it is built on its ground[citation needed]. The first element is (probably) the genitive case of the male name Hörðr, and the last element is staðir (homestead, farm).[citation needed]


The coat-of-arms is from 1953. The blue symbolizes the sea, with silvery and white waves.

Adrian_Liston says:
That sounds amazing :)
Posted on: Sep 14, 2007
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Trondenes Church
Trondenes Church
king neptune
king neptune
the winner of guessing what time w…
the winner of guessing what time …
me
me
it a shot of berry wine afterwards
it a shot of berry wine afterwards
happy, cold, insane, freak people
happy, cold, insane, freak people
second time around just for the wi…
second time around just for the w…
woo hoo cold
woo hoo cold
the wine
the wine
Harstad
photo by: ela3211