Monthly Archives: July 2013

Rounding Off A Visit

It’s now a week since mum and dad traveled home from their visit here. Here are a few more pictures to round off.

A walk in the woods near Bjorelvnes church:

We took a trip around the ‘tourist route’ over the northern half of Senja, stopping at the usual places (see the ‘classic’ tourist scenes from last summer). I took lots of video to use in worship, and just a few new photos:

We finished their visit with glorious weather, outdoor eating, the last day of midnight sun and a beautiful full moon.

Kistefjell With Dad

We wanted to get at least one ‘proper’ walk in during dad and mum’s visit, but the weather conspired against us until the very last day (it would have been a bit pointless walking very high just to see the inside of a cloud). However, the forecast was better last Monday, so we set of up Kistefjell (1003m / 3300 feet).

Despite a couple of brief bouts of drizzle we made it to the top dry, although the last mile or so we were in cloud. We were beginning to think that despite the clear forecast we wouldn’t see anything (even the huge radio mast was hidden) until suddenly the clouds started to part, first revealing the tower (we were almost there but didn’t realise) and then long distance (40 mile+) views over Senja and mid-Troms. Whilst we didn’t get a full 360 degree panorama, we did see most of the view.

An English Country Garden

We’ve been privileged to visit our dear friend Siss-Marit on south Senja again (see last visit here) . Not only is she an excellent cook and teacher, but she has transformed her cottage garden into something which looks like it has been transplanted straight from England:

We also had time for a walk on the beach, which was hand for Susanna, so she could wash the sheep ‘doings’ off her boots:

Walking The Plank

Today we’re having thunderstorms, which is pretty unusual here, so our potential walk is cancelled and it’s an opportunity to catch up with some blogging. By the way this is post number 202!

Walking the plank is not a reference to any punishment for misbehaviour on our recent ferry trip. No, it was just a short family walk we took near Susanna’s school, along one of the cross country ski routes. Based on our memory of it in winter, we thought it would be easy going, but now the snow is gone, we discovered that much of the way is through marshy areas, so we were thankful for the planks laid down to keep the paths accessible in summer.


Earlier in the summer we had a great staff trip / team building day on the beautiful island of Hillesøya so we  decided this would be a good excursion for mum and dad too.

We drove the hour to Botnhamn and caught the ferry to Brensholmen. Thankfully there wasn’t much wind although the journey takes you across a short stretch of water exposed to the Atlantic ocean, so the boat does get gently rocked by an Atlantic swell. Here is the view looking out towards the Atlantic from the ferry: all the land on the left is the island of Senja, Hillesøya has two hills (just to the right of centre), the distinctive ‘sharks fin’ mountain is called Nipen on the island of Håja and the land on the right is the large island of Kvaløya:


Having landed at Brensholmen on Kvaløya we drove over the very elegant single track bridge to Sommarøya and then on to Hillesøya, passing many small islands with beautiful white / yellow sandy beaches with turquoise sea:

Once on Hillesøya we walked the larger hill (almost to the top), enjoyed the flowers, birds and took in the amazing views. A wonderful day out, rounded off nicely by being almost the last car allowed on the ferry (some people had to wait for the next one!).

Gibostad Beach

Here are pictures from our visit to Gibostad beach on Senja. It’s on the ‘inner’ side of Senja, so no surf here. The shells which had washed up were beautiful. We also found pieces of coral which, together with the sun and intense blue sky, added to the tropical feel (although a rather cool breeze reminded us of our true location). Coral apparently grows here even in quite deep, cold water, and without much sunlight for a lot of the year.


Mum and dad have safely returned to England after nearly three weeks here, and we’re nearly 2 weeks behind with pictures and news. So, now we’re playing catch-up . . .

After our weekend with mum, dad and Susanna in Tromsø (see parts 1 and 2) we all drove (5 adults in our rather small car) the two and a half hours back to Finnsnes. On the way we passed the beautiful Balsfjord with summer flowers and the ‘Sleeping Soldier’ (a mountain).

Være I Stillheten 5

This week is ‘Finnsnes i fest’ (Finnsnes festival), and on Friday (26th July) we are having another Være I Stillheten, with music, images, video and text blended with hymns, psalms and prayer. Everything is presented as worship and our desire is that those who come will meet the Living God.

Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, Massenet, Schubert and Michael Card are among the composers represented, with a mixture of very well known pieces and some ‘new’ introductions.

If you are thinking of coming, please note the start time is now 7pm (not 8pm as listed in some places!).

We’re now very busy rehearsing and creating video, etc.



Arctic Aborigine

Tromsø weekend, part 2 (part 1 is here).

We stayed at the Clarion Hotel in Tromsø which is on the waterfront with great views (between the low cloud) of the harbour, the ‘arctic cathedral’ and the cable car up to the  mountains. The hotel was excellent and good value.

Museum visits included Polaria, the university Polar Museum and an old seal hunting ship (Polarstjerna – the Pole Star). Life here even 50 years ago was much hard than today!

As well as the museum visits, we also enjoyed the exploring the city centre. And wonders never cease: we found an arctic aborigine!


Tromsø Botanisk Hage

Last weekend we had a short three-generation family break in Tromsø. I’ll split the pictures over the next few days.

Susanna escorted grandma and grandad on the Hurtigruter (the big boat) from Finnsnes whilst Sarah and I drove (about 3 times the distance due to the necessity to go around the fjords). No pictures of this bit.

One of the highlights of the weekend was a visit to the University of Tromsø Botanisk Hage (botanic garden), rated in the worlds top 5 by one of the BBC gardening show presenters. It contains arctic and alpine plants from every continent, many of which we recognised from the fields and mountains here.