mandag, april 11, 2005

Touring Northern Norway, part II

This week is completely different to last: I´m now on the road with a fellow writer, the Flemmish author Anne Provoost. The organisers at Troms County Library thought it´d be a wise idea to send us on tour together, and I must say that the librarians seem to be right again. The chemistry seems just right, and it is reassuring to know that I won´t have to wear out shopkeepers with my talk, now that I have travel company.

The day started out just right, we were in time for our plane to Sørkjosen (this u.k bird page was the only web page about Sørkjosen in English, except for the one stating that it had one of the world´s most dangerous airports, I´ll get back that), and we´re excited about venturing out in the countryside by plane. It seemed rather extravagant to fly a distance that only takes three our by car, but with the schedule the librarians have set up for us, we didn´t have those three hours to spare).

However, those twenty minutes suddenly became a trip to THE WORLD MOST NORTHERN CITY, HAMMERFEST, because the plane couldn´t land at our destination, due to a local snow storm. So my colleague from Antwerpen experienced the absolute north for a couple of seconds, before we were shuffled into a different plane and brought back to our starting point, namely Tromsø, I was so bummed out that the pilots didn´t tell us that we were taken back to Tromsø, they gave us the impression that they would extraordinarily land where we were headed. But no: Instead of meeting the students at Nordreisa sixth form college, or having a day to explore the prosperous city of Hammerfest we were escorted back to good old Tromsø.

This whole plane kaffafle reminds me of the essence of the Northern Norwegian soul: flexibility. You hardly ever get were you are supposed to, because of a storm or something rather, and people adapt and accept. Hence, Provoost and I were really the only ones baffled by the fact that we didn´t get where we were headed.

I´ll keep you posted, there will be lots more, I promise.

And to my dear friend Edvardsen: There is more Northern Norway pathos to come; yes, we´re boarding Hurtigruten. What a voyage.