… my fellow magneteer and I were on our way to Oslo.
Over the North Sea, the clouds thickened up and we landed at Oslo in heavy rain.
From there, a short connecting flight to Bodo took us over some very dramatic scenery. The further north we went, the more the skies cleared to reveal glaciers, green lakes…
and a beach!
It’s the most extraordinary landscape, one which, living in Suffolk, I’m obviously quite unused to….
… and with this, the view from my table at breakfast, I’ve no complaints. One of the strange things I’ve noticed is that it seems to be very difficult to judge long distances. Every morning at about 6.30, a ship (some sort of dredger) comes down the fjord and moors just along from the hotel. As it comes round the corner, it looks in the distance like a small fishing boat only a few hundred yards away which, by the time it gets here, it clearly isn’t. There’s something in the way that I’m used to calculating scale and distance which is at odds with the reference points in this landscape.
Our final destination, Rognan (pronounced wrongnan) was once a thriving boat-building town; every building along the front (except the hotel – a modern addition) had some connection to the trade and some continue with repairs to the small wooden-hulled fishing boats and pleasure craft that occupy the harbour.
Unseasonably high temperatures (we were inside the Arctic Circle after all) of 18 and 19 degrees and dropping only to about 12 degrees at night, made for a very pleasant few days at the Nexans cable factory. It’s always a pleasure to work with the Scandinavians. It’s been my experience that in the factories, the management seem to have a very hands-off approach to their workforce. You rarely see one of the big hats on the shop floor and you don’t see anyone skulking about trying to look busy. Everyone seems to be cheerfully motivated and enthusiastic about what they’re required to do, each team arranging their schedule to suit. Our work at the factory finished three days later and just too late to get the same day’s flights back to London so we had a bit of time to explore.
My fellow magneteer is a keen mushroom spotter so, to be frank, as one fjord was going to be much like another within the limited sphere of our operations, we decided to devote some of our time off to foraging for mushrooms – a mission in which we were entirely unsuccessful. But our ramblings were not without surprises because in the woods we came across both German and Yugoslavian War Grave cemeteries. As autumn was on its way, the colours were beginning to turn…
… and this landscape lent itself to the panoramic shot. It wasn’t difficult to find a suitable view. In fact there’s almost too much choice; every corner we went round presented some ever more inspiring spectacle.
If the sun had given us a look it would have been even more fabulous. Sadly, I’ve not been able to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights – described rather wonderfully by one of our Norwegian colleagues as ‘a bucket of light poured across the sky’.
Like all good folk, I was probably asleep.