On day 5, we wake up in Harstad and once again it is a spectacular day. The sky is completely clear and blue and the sunshine is glorious. This is one of the most beautiful parts of the trip so far in my opinion. We sit on deck and take in Autumn as she parades her copper, golds and vibrant reds in the trees on the sides of the mountain. White houses dot here and there amongst the mountains and powerful snow-capped peaks show off their grandness in the background.
In the afternoon, we arrive in Tromso. We head along the brightly coloured pier to the Polar museum and are regaled with tales of bravery and heroism of the polar explorers. Afterwards we head into the town and again wander the shops in search of lovely things.
The shops predominantly line one main avenue, but there is plenty to see and coffees to be had in the relatively short time that we are ashore. Tromso cathedral sits over the bridge in another part of town. We don’t make it here this time, but will return on our way back for what will be one of the most spectacular events on our voyage.
After dinner, we go up on deck – this time to the front of the ship and watch as we pull into one of the tiny ports on route. This is a working ferry after all. We watch as a fork-lift driver busily drives back and forth taking cargo off the ship for the local people. Three or four people leave the ship here pulling suitcases behind them. And then a car speeds into the port in a Starsky and Hutch style. The driver and passenger look frightened that they will not make it. They are unaware that we have arrived early. They pull all sorts of luggage out of the car including a child's buggy and for some reason a single wooden chair. The chair is not wrapped in any way and begs the question - why? We will never find out as it is loaded into the cargo hold. At the last minute and almost like they'd forgotten in the rush to get everything on board, they go back to the car for - yes their baby. It’s all part of regular Hurtigruten life as people jump on and off this ferry along the coast of Norway.