It’s about 05:30. Beautiful Norwegian mountainscape is flowing past the window. I snuggle into my duvet and savour the day ahead. We are already way north of the entire British Isles. We are going to spend the next 15 hours travelling remorselessly north till we are deep inside the Arctic Circle at Narvik. At one stage yesterday I thought all this was doomed, but everything now is bliss.
Until. “As you know we should be arriving at Trondheim shortly. Unfortunately we are 90 minutes late ….”.
So this is our second sleeper and so far we have a 100% failure rate for overnight trains arriving within an hour of when they are due. In an instant I am storming up and down the train in nothing more than a pair of boxers demanding to locate Mike, our Norway expert with native in-laws. Darren and Mike have been waiting for their Führer to regain conciousness. Aware that to bring such news to a slumbering me might be the last thing you ever did.
My worries are needless. The connecting service at Trondheim, essentially where Norway’s electrified section ends and a diesel hauled train takes over, is tied to this service. Once aboard, the next service makes up the loss in little over an hour. At Fauske the bus was waiting for us. The email I had sent to them was with the driver. There were 12 of us on the bus, plus two locals, and a driver. I am quite certain that if we hadn’t been able to catch this bus a second one would have appeared for us.
The bus journey up to is spectacular. I knew it was going to be nice, but everyone is delighted by the fjord ferry crossing. And once there we enjoy our final act of outstanding Norwegian hospitality and professionalism. We are a little further than expected from the campsite and the cabins I had booked. I sheepishly ask the driver if he knows which way it is. “Well I could be a gentleman and drive you there”. What a star. Thank you Norway travel people, you guys rock!.
Start: hanging out on the edge of Oslo awaiting track to get fixed
Train 7 – continued sleeper to Trondheim
Train 8 – 07:37 – Nordland Express – Trondheim to Fauske
Bus 1 Fauske to Narvik
Finish: Narvik, 24 hour daytime.
On re-reading, I see that was somewhat terse. Please read the accompanying blogs, especially Darren’s two posts.
Also on this day
Paul’s Photos http://www.flickr.com/photos/paul_clarke/sets/72157634538392005/
Lloyd’s Blog http://www.lloydshepherd.com/2013/07/08/day-three-the-troll-line/
Darren’s Blog http://blog.darrenf.org/2013/07/the-grim-and-frostbitten-north.html and http://blog.darrenf.org/2013/07/fauske-and-fjordius.html
Dave’s Blog http://disorientateddave.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/rudolph-for-breakfast.html