Tuesday, 30 June 2009

Vladimir and the Arctic Circle

Just after I posted my last missive I was sat on the station steps with my worldly goods arround me , all I needed was a polystyrene cup and a dog to supplement my stipend when a loneman joined me. He was wearing a Norwegian football shirt and had a distinct sway and a drunks animated face. He asked me for a cigerette i said i did't smoke and he started to discuss the meaning of life . It was then , it had been a long hard day, when I realised I could understand him. This is remarkable as I am finding Norwegian impenatrable. However he turned out to be a Russian or at least a Latvian whose 1 st language is Russian. Soon he was hailing me as a long lost friend despite occasionaly my pronounciaton defeating him.Well only my trains impending arrival stopped him from making me his brother so we parted as new Tavarich ( you were right about drunken Russians Irina ).still he was at least friendly .
The journey to Trondsheim was fine though the heat meant I got little sleep( I am not sure why I am in itallix but you will have to put up with it as I can't turn it off.The time of year meant it was never dark and the scenery was stunning.Similarly the train to Bodø ( pronounced boda) When we crossed the Arctic circle at 1 st it looked like you would expect , tundra , then it went back to lush valeys ,stunning and beautiful.
I have been agonising as to whether to stick to the ground which from now means bus and 2-4 days or fly to Kirkenes. I have decided to fly , while it will mean I will miss a lot of country it6 will ensure I get the full 30 days in Russia.
For a word from our sponsor the hotel I am doing this from ( the Bodø Hotel) has the most helpfull staff ansd I heartily reccomend it.
Well next stop Kirkenes and the test as to if I can get from there to Murmansk on thursday !

Monday, 29 June 2009

Well here we are in lillestrom after an eventfull day. I flew from Liverpool on the 1205 by Ryan to Oslo (Torp ) which is rather like saying London (Manchester ) as Torp in a 1hr 40mins fast train ride from Oslo. Still I saw some wonderfull countryside . I am now waiting for the Trondhiem night train then in to Bordo in the morning arriving at 17 30 tomorow night.Norway is a bigger place than you think. It is also incredibly expensive .A sandwich( all be it a large and very nice one) beer and coffee 15 pounds !.I am starting to sound like a misery but be warned if you are planning a holiday here.
The weather is very hot and humid still no complaints there.The people are very helpfull ,friendly and speak English so travel is relatively painless. However long distance train travel seems foreign to the Norwegians .
More later hope ALL !!! my readers are well

Monday, 8 June 2009


It has been a little while since I posted mainly due to not much happening on the trip front.More than can be said on the political one but there has been enough of that in the news media.
  I now , courtesy of " Select-a-Room " ( who provided an excellent service) ,have  a hotel booked for my first 2 nights in Russia. It is at the Poliarnie Zori Hotel in Murmansk . 
 This week I am going the final collection of all my kit and doing a trial pack to check weights etc. Boring stuff for my readers but critical for ensuring I don't have to pay Mr Ryan any excess baggage while not going without key items.
I had hoped to post a picture of the baptism of my new grandaughter but the technology defeated me. More practice required or my journal during the trip will be boring.