Oh We Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside

There’s an English popular song entitled Oh I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside. The verses elucidate the reasons for the singers love of the coast which focuses mainly on girls. We, in Finnsnes, have another reason – the gulf stream.

In the depths of winter, as most of southern Norway is battered by storms and the remains of hurricanes, with massive amounts of snow, etc. we sit here on a sheltered coast at a balmy -13C / 9f with a bit of a breeze (wind chill -25C / -13f) and a bit of snow, but none of the structural damage or power cuts experienced by the ‘southerners’, nor the bitter temperatures of folk at our latitude who live inland.

The Norwegian news today has carried a couple of northern cold weather stories, both from barely 20 miles north of us, but well inland.

The first concerned some reindeer herders. Not all could start their snow scooters, and the ones that could, ended up looking like this:

Oh_We_Do_Like_To_Be_Beside_The_Seaside_01

The full story is here, and if you scroll down there’s also a video of a lady making snow from a cup of water (apparently the more widely respected ‘water into wine’ was already taken).

The other story was an announcement from the deputy head at Karasjok school that pupils are obliged to attend until the temperature dips below -50C / -58f. This is only a couple of degrees warmer than the coldest temperature ever recorded in Norway (-51.4C in 1886, Karasjok). Unfortunately for students, it only got to about -40C today (as displayed on the petrol station board). However, those that could, had to walk, because the school bus wouldn’t start! Read the whole story here.Oh_We_Do_Like_To_Be_Beside_The_Seaside_05 Picture from NRK.

Actually we did get some snow between Christmas and new year, but apart from a few stretches of road on Senja, it’s been business as usual. This was the view of the picnic area and play equipment outside our apartment – going, going, gone!

But, looking on the bright side (pun intended), next week we should see the sun again, and the days are rapidly lengthening.

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