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::: Nordstjernen :::

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    Re: ::: Nordstjernen :::

    Good to see you still around here in the hurtigruten threads, Sigve.

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      Nordstjernen in Nordfjordeid, Friday 31st August 2012 – a last lingering afternoon…



      Just one view from the ship, one random view among many possible views – a farm typical of the gentler aspect of the landscape of fjord Norway. It is a part of the voyage that is probably recorded in differing images for many onboard, or even a gap in their photo stream as the realisation of imminent departure, albeit a night away, starts to separate us. People disappear to their cabins … packing to be done – the necessity of knowing the whereabouts of documents for ongoing travel, and for some the post-travel realities of ensuring there’s home currency in the purse and house keys in the pocket…





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        …and then everyone emerges again into the public spaces, and the sense of arrival at the last port of call of the last voyage becomes tangible…even the polar circle boats are being launched one last time!
        Nordstjernen has arrived at Nordfjordeid.

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          There had been a single excursion offered at Nordfjordeid in that booklet I mentioned earlier, but insufficient takers for the“Norwegian Fjord Horse Centre”. Whether what subsequently happened that afternoon had been pre-planned or a spur of the moment improvisation to fill an awkward end-of-voyage hiatus, I do not know. It turned out to be both memorable and rather special, and maybe has a bearing on those discussed variations to the summer regular route schedule, and the kind of tourism compatible with the true nature of hurigruten.

          It was simply announced that we had a certain amount of time ashore, and that in particular three places in the village would open their doors to us – a culture house with art gallery and café, the church, and a place referred to, somewhat intriguingly, as the opera house.
          It was a real welcome from the community, and a reciprocal one, for local people, some already waiting at the pier, would visit the ship. These arrangements actually reminded me of the kind of connections Hurtigruten has established with Fram’s visits to settlements in Greenland.

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            Nordstjernen was a splendid sight anchored there in the fjord.

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                We had no map, and simply wandered off, not quite certain if the folk ahead we were unthinkingly following had the same intention of finding the art gallery, or might just be looking for a shop or something. But after hearing the excursions lady telling someone that the culture house was in a building called “Gamlebanken”, I kind of instinctively knew what it might look like. I was later to learn that it dated from 1881 and had functioned as a bank until the early 60’s.



                A café spilled over into a marquee outside, and the building, while primarily an art gallery, also functions as tourist information centre and venue for small concerts, events, meetings and so on. It was a delight to visit.

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                    Walking down the street, in the direction of the church, there are many attractive buildings.

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                          The style of the interior of the church surprised me, and yes, I took many photographs, such as these:









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                            The Opera House incorporates the library, cinema and other functions, including a canteen and facilities for the adjacent High School.






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                              When I entered the auditorium I just gasped in amazement. Such facilities as this in a small town in rural Norway!

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