|View of Harstad from on board our ship|
So, first Harstad. This is the third largest town in Northern Norway. When I say that it celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2004, that sounds as if it is a “new” town, but actually this area has been settled since the Stone Ages. Located here—though we didn’t visit it because it is at some distance from the town center—is the 13th century Trondenes Church, the world’s most northernmost medieval stone church.
Though it is 20 to 30 degrees farther north than cities such as Chicago, Beijing, and Toronto, it experiences warmer winters than those cities. At first this was thought to be because of the Gulf Stream, but more recently it has been speculated that Northern Europe’s mild climate is due to intercontinental weather patterns driven by North American’s mountain ranges. Thus Harstad residents don’t experience the brutal winters of most locations north of the Arctic Circle. Summers here are cool, with average temperatures seldom reaching 70°. The city experiences the midnight sun during the summer months from May to mid July. The polar night lasts from November 30 to January 12.
|I loved these hanging flower baskets on all the lamp posts in the City Center!|
|the little church|
we walked up to
|Harstad city center|
|A residential street, a typical (though larger than most)|
|Yes, they have Mexican food in Norway!|
|From out verandah, Bob and I watched them load fresh produce onto our ship. It takes hundreds of heads of lettuce to feed 684 cruisers!|
|Sailing from Harstad|