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Silversea Cruises' Silver Shadow
Cruise Diva's Cruise Diary
A Swedish Sojourn

Arrival in Ornskoldsvik

Ornskoldsvik, July 10, 2007
"Rehabilitating the Vikings" was the title of this morning's lecture by Dr. Richard Atkins and we were curious how he would redeem their barbaric reputation. As it turns out the Vikings gave us a very crude form of jury trials and assimilated well in regions they originally set off to pillage. We'll be watching the schedule for more of Dr. Atkins' lectures about World War II and more current topics.

Silver Shadow's arrival and reception in Ornskoldvik (pronounced Earn'sholds'veek) caused almost as much of a stir as their winning ice hockey team. Ours was to be the first call by a cruise ship in over 30 years and as we approached town it seemed that the entire population was lined up along the waterfront to see the ship. When we went ashore, we felt like rock stars.

Despite some rain, we enjoyed a stroll around town during our short afternoon ashore. Back on board, the Sammi Group "Finnmork" highlighted a folkloric program that featured local music and dance. Tomorrow we will learn more about the Sammi people, native to the northern regions of Sweden.

In the meantime, we were off to join friends for a superb dinner in Silver Shadow's main dining room--simply named the Restaurant--and then to turn in early as we have an all-day tour in Lulea.

Lulea, July 11, 2007 
Gateway to Lapland, Lulea is the home of the Swedish ice breaker fleet as well as a university and is a significant center for transporting iron ore. Our tour pretty much passed through town quickly because two hours would pass before we reached our Sammi hosts above the Arctic Circle.

Marking a reindeer

Every time the drive through the dense forested countryside began to seem monotonous, the appearance of reindeer along the side of the road would liven things up. The Sammi people herd reindeer, much as cattle is raised in the rest of the world. After reaching their "ranch," we took spots in a teepee-style tent to learn about their history and culture. The Sammi people are spread throughout the northernmost areas of Russia, Finland, Sweden, and Norway. Their language has much in common with Polish and it's thought they might have originally migrated north from there. Possibly the lightest moment of the day was when one little girl participating in our tour asked what the reindeers' names are and the older Sammi gentleman smiled and answered, "Rudolph." That was one happy youngster. I hope no one told her that lunch consisted of reindeer stew, mashed potatoes, and a kind of cole slaw flavored with berries. After eating, we were treated to a demonstration of marking the ear, akin to 'branding,' of a young reindeer--a sight not many outsiders are present to witness.

We were awarded diplomas for crossing the Arctic Circle and returned to the ship pretty tired after such a long day. It was a good evening for a room service dinner and to rest up for tomorrow. Our clocks are turned ahead an hour because we'll be in Finland... and the sky is still bright, even though it's well past midnight.

Back to the Swedish Sojourn Index

Back to Arrival & Embarkation in Stockholm

Forward to  Vaasa & Turku, Finland & a Day At Sea

Forward to Oslo, Norway; Gothenburg, Sweden; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Lubeck, Germany

Forward to A Day At Sea & Exploring Stockholm

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