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    What a Holiday!

    Seeing the Northern Lights was high on Mrs C's bucket list. Iceland was the obvious choice, but northern Norway was much further inside the arctic circle and more likely to see the lights. We booked with a reputable tour operator, travelling from local airport at Bournemouth and with a reputable cruise line from Norway, cruising the Norwegian Fiords up into the arctic circle to the Russian border at Murmansk. All the ingredients for a good holiday and target rich for photography.

    At Bournemouth Airport, our private charter airplane had engine problems and we had to wait for three and a half hours for a replacement plane to come from Stanstead. On arrival at Bergen, the ship wasn't there - it was three ports away undergoing gearbox repairs, so it was an overnight in a hotel and a coach and aircraft to get us to the port. It was another half a day of repairs until the ship got under way. Mrs C was not amused, but I did reassure her that things could only get better.

    All OK for three days, we got off and looked around at a couple of towns and managed the first of our five booked excursions - a dog sleigh ride in the middle of nowhere. Mrs C was now happy and relaxed. The following day we were advised that there were certain towns that we couldn't disembark, but the larger towns/cities were OK and our remaining excursions were still OK. The following day we were advised that on the orders of the Norwegian Government, no passengers were allowed to land except their disembarkation port. During the night, the Norwegian Government ordered all cruise ships to land at the nearest port to a Regional Airport and coach all passengers to that airport to arrange flights back to their own country. Flights costs were paid by the Cruise Company, but will be invoiced to passengers. That ended up as over 700. From boarding the coach at 6:30am to Regional Kirkense, to Oslo, to Gatwick and finally sharing a taxi with another couple, we got back home at nearly midnight.

    To say the least, a bit of an adventure with lots of delays and not quite knowing what was going on at times. There were no symptoms of infection by any passenger and all passengers were from the UK, mainly Dorset. With a fairly closed environment, we could have carried on our return leg without landing and take our return chartered flight from Bergen to Bournemouth, rather than spend time at two higher risk airports, Oslo and Gatwick.

    Now at home we are self isolating, but thankfully no symptoms and on the plus side, I did manage one or two reasonable holiday snaps.
    Colin

    #2
    Did you see the lights or not, pity if you did not. But hey what an adventure, thought it was only us that ended up in situations such as that! I spent a lot of time in Northern Norway at one time on Arctic Training, know Murmansk well. The lights are a fantastic sight.
    Trev

    Equipment - According to the wife more than a Camera Shop got

    Flickr:
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/trevb2639/

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      #3
      Regretfully we didn't see them and Mrs C not happy.
      Colin

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        #4
        What an adventure Colin. We just finished a 11 night cruise (3/13). We were fortunate that we were allowed to disembark at all our ports of call, then allowed back into our departure port. No on on the Ship was sick. However we where the last cruise as the line has suspended all operations for now. Our only excitement was our plane aborting while taking off on our return flight, putting us back home at midnight, a mere 6 hours later. We’ve also been in self-isolation since our return.

        Tom

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          #5
          Oh the joys of travel, sorry to read of your trauma Colin, I hope Mrs C isn’t too upset with the experience that she had to endure.
          Peter

          Feel free to browse my
          Website : www.peterstockton-photography.co.uk
          Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/the_original_st/

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            #6
            I hope Mrs C isn’t too upset with the experience that she had to endure.
            Mrs C is rather resilient, but her fall back position is that anything that goes wrong must naturally be my fault!
            Colin

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              #7
              Obviously not what you wanted but at least you were able to get home unlike some unfortunate people.

              Canon 5D3, 7D2, 60D, Canon 70-200L f2.8 IS II, Canon 300 f4L IS, Canon 16-35 f4 L, Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS USM, Canon 1.4 MkIII extender, Sigma AF 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM, Sigma 150-600 Contemporary, Tamron SP AF 70-300 F/4-5.6 Di VC USD, Canon EF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6 IS
              https://www.flickr.com/photos/16830751@N03/

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                #8
                Thanks for sharing your story Colin....I won’t complain about an hours flight delay again.
                on a positive note....the adventure remains for you to look forward to in the future!
                Brian Vickers LRPS

                brianvickersphotography.com

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