Day 6 – Runde and Selje Islands

Right after breakfast we took zodiac cruises along the cliffs of Runde Island. The cliffs house a large colony of Northern Gannets, Puffins, Guillemots, and other sea birds. It was a great ride, with gazillions of birds flying around. We watched skuas chase the gannets hoping to harass them until they would cough up their catch. Skuas find it easier to steal food rather than find their own.

In the afternoon we visited the monastery on Selje Island. Contruction began on this isolated place in the 11th century, and it stayed active until the mid 1500’s. According to the story, St. Sunniva was an Irish princess who was promised to a Viking chief. She refused the marriage, and instead left with her supporters on three small boats. Two reached this island, but the Vikings were on their tail. They hid in a cave and prayed to be saved. Rocks fell covering the entrance to the cave so they were protected from the Vikings, but had no way to get out, so they perished inside. In the 10th century the rocks were removed and Sunniva’s body was still in tack – so she was made a saint.

We walked around the monastery remains, climbed up to visit the cave, and photographed wild flowers. Phyllis was happy to find wild orchids growing in this tundra region.

This is our last stop in Norway. We are no longer above the Arctic Circle, so it gets a little darker at night. We are off tonight for the Shetlands, following the path the Vikings took as they explored Britain, Iceland, Greenland, and finally Newfoundland.

Dinner was a Swedish buffet as our chef and a number of the staff are natives. How many ways can you serve herring? We also had tasty Swedish meatballs. We have had lots of great, fresh sea food on board, including haddock and cod purchased in Reine.

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