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A salute to the m.s. Kong olav

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    A salute to the m.s. Kong olav

    This thread is my tribute to that great little ship, the M.S. Kong Olav, which gave me such a wonderful holiday in 1990 but which was eventually sold seven years later and is now in Burmese waters, fate unknown. I have always had fond memories of it but until I was invited in to CaptainsForum had no idea that she also meant so much to other people. A section of the notes I made at the time has been lost and woefully inadequate was my listing in the photo albums, a finish-it-another-day sort of thing. 20 years later CV members have come to the rescue and filled in the blanks when I asked “Where is this?” So this thread is also a big thank-you to them, and I hope they will sit back and join me as I re-create that trip on “my Hurtigrute”.


    M.S. Kong Olav

    Mind you, I nearly missed the boat! I was travelling to Bergen via the ferry from Newcastle and had to catch the train from Norwich to Peterborough where I would pick up the main-line London to Newcastle train. There were only a few minutes in which to change trains but the second one would be waiting just the other side of the platform to where the first pulled in, so there should be no problem. I jumped out at Peterborough and, sure enough, there was the express. I got in, then found that my pre-booked seat was occupied. That should have rung warning bells, but oh well, it was just one of those things and I easily found another seat.
    We started and over the tannoy came the list of stations at which we would stop. Leeds, I thought, I shouldn’t be going through Leeds. Panic set in. The ticket inspector arrived and enlightened me. I was on the Glasgow train! There had been a hold up in London and trains were running late from there, but there had been no announcement to that effect at Peterborough. It was the wrong train in the right place at the right time! He said the only thing to do would be to get out at Leeds and find a local train from there. My heart sank. At Leeds it sank lower, there was a choice between the fast or the stopping train but because of the disruption no-one could say which would take priority and they were both running late anyway. Both arrived and I hovered uncertainly. Other people had also been led astray and we were a sorry group. I got in the fast train and, after a long wait when it seemed nothing would ever happen, to my joy it set off first.
    At Newcastle, having missed the special coach to the docks, I grabbed a taxi, told him how long I had to catch the ferry and, bless him, he just flew along. The ship loomed up from a distance and I could hardly bear to watch it lest it start to move away.
    It didn’t. The dock was deserted, I fell out of the taxi, the customs man grinned and waved me through as I flashed my passport at him and I was the last one up that gangway.
    The 24 hour sea trip found me in Bergen on Wednesday, 9 May, with just a short time to look for the Kong Olav nearby and get on board. My excitement mounted.


    Down in the depths - the passage to my cabin, the door of which is just visible at the far end

    She sailed at 10p.m. so my first picture above was not taken until Ålesund where we docked at noon the next day and had 2½ hours to explore. I know I climbed the 418 steps up Aksla, but why I took no photographs from the top I shall never know. Too exhausted to hold the camera up, probably.

    For those visitors to the site who are not familiar with the Norwegian Coastal Voyage service, it was Richard With who in 1893 pioneered the launching of weekly sailings carrying cargo and passengers when he sailed out of Trondheim in the S.S. Vesteraalen on the journey to Hammerfest. The service was extended south to Bergen 5 years later and, in 1914, to Kirkenes. The Kong Olav was, in 1990, one of 11 ships operating on the Bergen to Kirkenes route, and by then foreign tourists had long been enjoying the round trip as I was now doing, with the prospect of calling at 35 ports as well as enjoying the stupendous scenery between each one.

    Leaving Ålesund we sailed on for over 3 hours and reached Molde at 6 p.m.


    The church altar at Molde


    Windows at Molde church

    From there an overland trip by coach was laid on which gave some wonderful views of the mountains.


    View from within the coach


    Taken from near a bridge on the coach trip to Kristiansund

    After a 20 minute ferry crossing to Frei the coach took us on to Kristiansund where we rejoined the ship in time for dinner. After that my bunk called and I knew no more until the grinding of the anchor chain woke me to find that we had docked at Trondheim. It was Friday and 6 a.m. and the ship would not sail till noon. A whole morning to enjoy. After breakfast, stepping ashore I picked my way across the paraphernalia of the dock and made my way into town.


    The Town Bridge at Trondheim


    View from the Town Bridge


    Tools on the gable of a one-time chandler's shop


    The docks, on the way back to the ship

    Next post: Leaving Trondheim on the way to Rørvik and Ørnes
    Ivy

    "To thine own self be true.......
    Thou canst not then be false to any man."

    #2
    Busy day, and I was only intending to have a peep at the forum, but what a treat awaited me! It is such a delight to see how your Kong Olav story has finally come together, places identified, the sequence sorted. It was quite nail biting to read how you almost didn’t make it, even though I knew you did! Your journey was over a decade before my first voyage in Norway, and so it is special to feel that I am taking this journey with you aboard such a traditional ship as Kong Olav. I am looking forward to the next leg of the journey.

    Comment


      #3
      Heeey that's exactly what we all want to read. I love it and can't wait for the next post. I am dreaming awayyyyyy...
      Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

      Comment


        #4
        Leaving Trondheim for Rørvik and on towards Ørnes

        [CENTER]
        Leaving Trondheim about noon on Friday

        [CENTER]
        Munkholmen Island, where King Canute the Great erected a monastery in 1028


        Well on the way to Rørvik


        Beat this if you can! Pure chance through movement of the ship as I pressed the button


        Further on towards Rørvik


        Stokksundet Sound, near Rørvik


        Arriving Rørvik about 8.45 p.m., with the Nærøysundet bridge in the background


        Unloading at Rørvik during the half-hour stop


        We left Rørvik about 9.15 p.m. and set off for Ørnes


        This was a bonus. Looking at the timetable I judged that this could well be the the sister ship Nordnorge passing us on her way south, and this was confirmed by 2 CV enthusiasts.

        Next post: inland coach trip from Ørnes to Bodø, seeing the Svartisen glacier, the Maelstrom at Saltstraum and arriving at Stamsund.
        Ivy

        "To thine own self be true.......
        Thou canst not then be false to any man."

        Comment


          #5
          What a fantastic trip report so far, and a wonderful tribute to an old Norwegian hero....
          With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

          Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
          Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

          Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

          Comment


            #6
            Coach trip inland, then on to Bodø to re-board the ship and sail on to Stamsund.

            We were nearing Ørnes when to starboard there was the most stupendous view of the Swartisen glacier. Even at that distance it gleamed in the sunshine and I can still remember how the beautiful sight took my breath away.


            The Swartisen glacier from on board

            At Ørnes those of us going on this optional coach trip (can't believe that anyone would have chosen to stay on board) hurried down the gangway and on to the waiting coach. Much of what we saw has slipped from my memory now but I do recall my excitement mounting as the coach drove along the fjord with the mountains towering each side and then, at last, there it was:


            My first glacier, the Swartisen

            My guide book told me that the glacier is the second largest in Norway with an area of 140 square miles. Its highest point is 5,250 feet above sea level, at Snøtind. It may be only the second largest, but I was over-awed.


            Another view along the fjord

            The coach wound on through the mountains and I believe it was a little while after this that, as we rounded a bend, it was to see an elk at the side of the road. The driver slowed a little but by the time we reached the spot all that was visible was its rump quickly disappearing in between the trees. But I was happy - two firsts - a glacier and an elk! Yet I'd only just started and there was so much still to come.
            I'm not hundred per cent sure of the location of the next photograph, there was discussion amongst CV members and it is probably a glacial valley road to Fykanvannet.


            I remember wondering where on earth we were going, as ahead seemed to be an impenetrable mountain wall. But the picture shows that there was a way through, after all!

            The next two pictures are the last taken on the coach trip before we rejoined the Kong Olav at Bodø:


            The Maelstrom at Saltstraum, with the reputation of being the most powerful one in the world


            Slightly closer view

            Then it was back to the ship to continue the journey to Stamsund. As we were leaving there was this beautiful view:


            The Lofoten islands with the Landegode lighthouse

            Finally, arrival at Stamsund:


            Making fast



            View from on board



            Unloading

            Next post: Solvær, Finnsnes and Tromsø
            Last edited by wherrygirl; April 28th, 2010, 14:02.
            Ivy

            "To thine own self be true.......
            Thou canst not then be false to any man."

            Comment


              #7
              Very nice captures. I am the one who would have stayed on board, not able to miss one minute of travel on the ship. No way spending the distance Ornes-Bodo in a coach!!
              Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

              Comment


                #8
                Oh, but Ralf, I was having 11 wonderful days and nights on board the Kong Olav and during the day when it wasn't mealtime I was out on deck practically the whole time, looking at the scenery we were passing, being mesmerised by the ripples of our wake, watching the changing colours of the sea and sky and thinking how glorious it all was. But I did so want to see the glacier and also be actually among the mountains instead of just seeing them at a distance.
                Ivy

                "To thine own self be true.......
                Thou canst not then be false to any man."

                Comment


                  #9
                  Well, for me, that's another travel. But that is is easy to say, having crossed Norway twice by car.
                  I think Hurtigruten always welcomes passengers, who take part at their coach tours...
                  Lofoten '07 ...... Nordnorge '11

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I’m really re-living your excitement of seeing the glacier Wherrygirl. And smiling at Ralf’s comment about staying on the ship . Well by 2003 you two might have found the excursion a pleasing compromise . . . Instead of starting in a coach in Ørnes, we transferred while at sea into a small local boat – great opportunity to take photos of one’s ship as she sailed away! On the local boat we passed by a bridge and some fish farms and then got a great view of the glacier just before landing. A pleasant stroll took us to the café with terrace overlooking the lake in front of the glacier.
                    The “local “ guide (who as it happened was a delightful German girl) said that we were extremely lucky as during the previous few week the glacier has been consistently hidden in cloud!
                    Back to the boat, which took us to a waiting coach for the return to Bodo, stopping at a place with a beautiful wide expanse of beach (where I walked while everyone else was going to the toilet!), and again briefly at Saltstraumen. So a bit different, and maybe the reason why I couldn’t recognise your elk-spotting place or your next photo of the glacial valley road.

                    I love the angle from which you took the photo of Landegode. And that view from the ship on arrival in Stamsund is wonderful, how it catches the light with that touch of colour in the water, as well as on the distant mountain.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Thank you for sharing these photos with us here in the CV forum.
                      Many nice pictures I must say. Did the first picture of "Kong Olav".

                      Comment


                        #12
                        An absolutely brilliant travel log from your journey on Kong Olav: very interesting and so much fun looking at the old photographs. So many memories comes to my mind when seeing them. !

                        Absolutely brilliant... (oh, I already said that.... ).
                        With best regards from Jan-Olav Storli

                        Administrator and Owner of CaptainsVoyage.
                        Main page: http://www.captainsvoyage.com

                        Surround yourself with positive, ethical people who are committed to excellence.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by wherrygirl View Post
                          [CENTER]
                          Leaving Trondheim about noon on Friday
                          Oh.. this tread will be an absolutely classic! Fantastic photos and memories keeps popping up.

                          This particular picture says a lot. The Northbound hurtigrute was still departing from Pir 2 in the river. In the centre we see two smaller pallet ships. These were the "Yrjar" to the left, and "Folla" to the right. "Yrjar" served for many years the route Trondheim - Sistranda - Trondheim with many stops in between. One round trip took 24 hours. She also took passengers.

                          The other one, Folla, served Trondheim - Namsos - Rørvik on a similar trade, lots of port calls and ending up in Rørvik 24 hours or so later.

                          At what now is the present pier for hurtigruten, Pir 1, I thinke its Atle Jarl, or Faste Jarl that is docked, but I'm not sure.

                          Waiting anxiently for the continuation of this wonderful story

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Many thanks, everyone, for your comments, I am very moved by the fact that you enjoy seeing it all. But I have to apologise for the quality of the photographs. The 6"x4" prints look fine in their album, and scanned in are OK, too. But once enlarged they naturally lose sharpness and with some - like the one with the Landegode lighthouse - I think "ugh". If only I'd had a digicam then!

                            Originally posted by Seagull View Post
                            Instead of starting in a coach in Ørnes, we transferred while at sea into a small local boat – great opportunity to take photos of one’s ship as she sailed away! On the local boat we passed by a bridge and some fish farms and then got a great view of the glacier just before landing. A pleasant stroll took us to the café with terrace overlooking the lake in front of the glacier.
                            Back to the boat, which took us to a waiting coach for the return to Bodo, stopping at a place with a beautiful wide expanse of beach (where I walked while everyone else was going to the toilet!), and again briefly at Saltstraumen. So a bit different, and maybe the reason why I couldn’t recognise your elk-spotting place or your next photo of the glacial valley road.
                            Seagull, the variation that you had on the Ørnes-Bodø segment sounds quite exciting, I should have enjoyed that. I doubt if Ralf could have put up with the final leg on the coach, though. A CV member thought that that valley road might be the one up to Fykanvannet, so I had a go at Google Earth. It may possibly be in the area of 66̊ 57'43'' N/13̊ 47'55'' E on the Storvik 17 road (give or take a few hundred yards) as that fits nicely between Swartisen and Saltstraum. But I can't be sure.

                            Originally posted by ostafjells View Post
                            This particular picture says a lot. The Northbound hurtigrute was still departing from Pir 2 in the river. In the centre we see two smaller pallet ships. These were the "Yrjar" to the left, and "Folla" to the right. "Yrjar" served for many years the route Trondheim - Sistranda - Trondheim with many stops in between. One round trip took 24 hours. She also took passengers.
                            The other one, Folla, served Trondheim - Namsos - Rørvik on a similar trade, lots of port calls and ending up in Rørvik 24 hours or so later.
                            At what now is the present pier for hurtigruten, Pir 1, I thinke its Atle Jarl, or Faste Jarl that is docked, but I'm not sure.
                            Thank you so much for the information on the pallet ships and the piers. It is lovely when people add in more details like this. But how on earth did you manage to ID those ships from my unclear picture, Ostafjells?
                            Ivy

                            "To thine own self be true.......
                            Thou canst not then be false to any man."

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by wherrygirl View Post

                              Thank you so much for the information on the pallet ships and the piers. It is lovely when people add in more details like this. But how on earth did you manage to ID those ships from my unclear picture, Ostafjells?
                              Hehe.. because I'm a ship geek
                              But also because I grew up with them I lived close to Trondheim, in Rissa across the fjord and my grandparents had a cabin on one of the islands on the coast. "Yrjar" called at this island three times a week, and If I was there, I would bike as fast as I could down to the pier to watch

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