“In Search of the Northern Lights” with Viking Cruises Day 7

Thursday, January 27th, 2022

It was still really dark as we came into Narvik and the time was close to 8:00 AM!

Not much daylight!

The ship docked in Narvik at 8:30 AM.

We had a tour that began at 9:30 this morning. It was a city tour that was included. Narvik had snow overnight and earlier in the week they had rain so under the snow was ice.

We saw a wreckage of a WWII German ship, one of the many ships sunk during the war. Narvik was occupied by the Germans because of its resources, especially the iron ore that came from Sweden and was shipped from Narwik because of its proximity to the sea.

There also was a German concentration camp about 10 miles outside of town call Beisfjord Camp. This camp held mainly Serb prisoners of war and later Soviet POWs. The atrocities that the Germans carried out at this camp were horrific as happened throughout all of the camps. (Look it up if you’d like to know more but I caution you it will turn your stomach.)

A stop was also made at the Ankenes Church. The church was built in an octagonal style in 1842 and seats approximately 380 people. This was the third version of the church on this site. It was damaged in 1940 due to fighting during WWII and it was repaired in 1947.

The view from the church overlooking the fjord was beautiful!

Below are more pictures of the mountains and the marina as we toured Narvik!

Our last stop on our city tour was at the Narvik War Museum which was all about Narvik and WWII.

The triangular shaped monument in the town center was called Trinigon 3. It was Narvik’s National Freedom Monument. It represents peace and freedom and was a gift from the Norwegian government to mark the 50th anniversary of their liberation in 1945. The monument was made of polished steel and stands 59 feet tall.

This is as high as the sun will get. Our guide was excited to see so much daylight. The northern areas of Norway are just ending what they call the “dark period” which began in November and the sun doesn’t come over the horizon. The sun comes back in the middle of February and the people celebrate!

We were back on the ship with just enough time to eat a banana and dress warmly for our trip to the Polar Park. Daylight only lasted until 2:30 PM. Our last hour at the park it was getting pretty dark! The Polar Park is the world’s most northern animal park.

The park was home to bears, moose, lynx, muskox, red deer, reindeer, wolves, a wolverine, and arctic foxes. The park’s animals had a lot of space within each of their enclosures. It was one of the animal parks in the world with the most area per animal. The park covers about 270 acres. We walked almost three miles to see these Arctic animals.

Photo from the Polar Park Website

When we arrived at the park our bus had ice cleats for us to put over our boots because of the icy areas!

After our introduction and a little about the park we headed uphill and across the river to our first stop.

Stop number one was to see the Lynx and the park has four adults. The lynx were playful and can be found in this area.

The moose were eating and just hanging around! The park has 3 moose, 2 females and one male.

The Arctic foxes coats were not white! Their coat didn’t change color and our guide thought is was because the winter up to now had been on the milder side.

The wolves in the park have two separate enclosures because there are two different packs with a total of seven wolves. Our guide made wolf vocalizations trying to get the wolves to answer but they were not interested!

The wolverine was hard to photograph. He kept running around and most of the time he was at the far end of his enclosure and you couldn’t see him. Bor, his name, was born in 2018 and he came to the park in 2019.

The bears were hibernating but when the warm spell came it woke them up and so the park is not feeding them because they want them to go back in their den and sleep until spring.

By the time we got to the path that leads to the Muskox it was getting pretty dark! The path was really icy and not all of us went to see them but those of us that did carefully slid toward their enclosure.

Some of the ice we navigated around.

The Polar Park also had four red deer and it is one of the largest deer species. Their coat is a rusty red in the summer and brown in the winter.

Red Deer

The pictures are not very good but we did try to capture them. Muskoxen have such expressive faces with their horns.

After looking at the muskox we went back to the lodge. It was too dark to see the reindeer but we do have them at our wonderful zoo in Columbus.

At the lodge they served waffles and drinks. Since waffles have gluten I was served a wonderful dessert.

Gluten Free Snack, Yummy!

We returned from the Polar Park at 5:45 PM and the ship departed Narvik at 6:20 PM.

This evening’s entertainment was an “Evening with Katie Healy”. She was a singer and also the cruise director. We enjoyed her show and getting to know her background.

Katie, our cruise director

This evening and overnight we sailed toward Alta, Norway.

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