Nobody likes to see a good thing end. But it's always nice to finish on a high note. Such was our last day cruising up the coast of Norway.
This ship's full itinerary takes it up over the top of Norway, almost to Russia. Indeed some passengers cruise all the way up from Bergen and back again. But we chose to stop at Tromso for a few days on land instead. So it was time to savor our final hours sailing through the islands and fjords.
We rose before dawn, hoping for a good sunrise. Crisp and cold out on deck, we were rewarded with dramatic color. At this high latitude the sun never gains much height in the sky, but it continued to grace us from its low angle through the day.
The mountains still lined our passageway, now entirely snow covered. On some, we could see the clear delineation between forest and pure white above the tree line. The rocks receded into deep, gleaming white depths. Craggy peaks alternated with smooth rounded high expanses. The water was calm in the protected waters we plied, the only wind that of the moving ship. Mesmerizing, relaxing, soothing.
Despite our remote location, communities still abounded on the shoreline. As did individual homesteads. There is no limit to the draw that water has on people. No matter the location, they are still attracted to reside adjacent to its glistening surface.
Our bags packed and stashed under the stairway, we schlepped our shoulder bags with us around the ship. The impending finale hung over us. It was time to say goodbye to this portion of our adventure and move on to the next. We migrated onto land, but not away from the water. We're now in port, but the view from our hotel room is much the same as from on deck. We haven't left Norway's coast, just made our final Arctic approach.