Day By Day

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Our Nordic Expedition, Part 23 -- Exploring Vesteralen

After a few hours sleep we were up again. The ship had pulled into the harbor at Harstad and we disembarked and got on a bus for a tour of the area. Our first stop was at the Trondenes Church -- the northernmost medieval church in Norway.

The exterior of the church was pretty nondescript, although it did have some charming features, like this side door.

But the setting was spectacular.

A look back at Harstad.

And the interior was impressive. The present building was constructed in the 1430's, but there were two previous churches on the site, the oldest dating back to the 11th century. Some of the interior decorations are from that period when the church served not just as a place of worship, but also as a fortress.

Exiting the church we saw our ship outward bound. Now we were at the mercy of out bus driver and tour guide.

Not to worry. We got back on the bus and proceeded through beautiful countryside to our next stop -- the Harstad Golf Club.

The golf course was located on a lovely old farmstead, the Rokenes Farm, that had been passed down from father to son through several generations. It's small -- only nine holes but with eighteen tees -- and since it's built on a hillside, the course has very steep and challenging fairways. Here's the main building of the farm.

And the kitchen within -- very impressive!

And the clubhouse, where we were served pancake breakfasts.

The place is littered with small and whimsical decorations, like this wooden piece which I was told represented a Trollwife.

Then it was back on the bus for further exploration of some of the most beautiful countryside to be found anywhere in the world.

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