Now that Christmas is over, the tree is untrimmed, and it's 80 degrees here in Los Angeles, I have to turn to my memories and pictures of my fabulous trip to Norway to keep me in a winter-rific mood. Our day in Hammerfest was the epitome of a winter wonderland. The harbor town was decorated with lights and stars, in preparation for a God Jul, but it was the driving snow that made our day.
Up until this point in our trip, Norway spoiled us with crisp days with clear skies. We kept hearing local folks tell us that "winter's coming to Norway"on the day we were supposed to arrive in Hammerfest. Having never lived in a place that experiences a real winter, I had no idea that these folks really meant it... like, the seasons could switch gears in a matter of hours. But that's what happened.
The night before we sailed into Hammerfest, we survived a doozy of a storm. Now, I don't go throwing around the word 'doozy' unless the situation really calls for it. And this storm called for it. It was between a 10 and an 11 on the Beaufort scale. A 12 is a hurricane. It was a very long night. Let's just say that the boat was a rockin', as were our stomachs!
So you could imagine that the next morning, when we disembarked in Hammerfest, we were extra happy to breathe in fresh air and ditch our sea legs for sturdy ground (even if it was icy and dusted with snow!)
Mama's ready to face the weather in her faux fur trapper's hat!
Me missing my Matty.
I make snowballs between two polar bears- the town's mascot.
Its hard to strike a cute pose in a flurry of snow, but I manage ;)
Plants get the first of what's sure to be a lot more snow to come.
And the town-folk just go about their business as if its an average day. Even after last night's storm, even in the driving snow, even in the minimal hours of daylight... these construction workers continue to patch up the main road.
Having had enough fun in the snow for a bit, we warm up in the cathedral.
We wait it out and get a moment's break from the storm. We take the opportunity to roam around the chapel's cemetery. It was so peaceful and chilly.
We spend the last few remaining moments of light sipping cocoa in a cafe full of local older gents and window shopping, before heading back to the Hurtigruten.