Sehnsucht …

“Nowhere is the drama of dark and light played out more starkly than in the north”
George Mackay Brown

Days 5 and 6: There was a pattern to the days – while the light lasted, standing on the ice and snow encrusted upper deck, we watched the majestic waters and mountains of the Norwegian coast unfold like an IMAX movie; Slartibartfast’s finest work.

The sun never rose from behind the mountains but cowered beneath the visible horizon spreading a pink/blue glow which would begin to fade almost as soon as it arrived.

Approaching the next port, the streetlights would be on and the quays lit by an orange glow. Once off ship, a walk around the town would be in snow covered, near night such that all our memories have a dream-like quality.  I am left with nothing but a deep desire to return. It is the equivalent of my impractical but intense desire to live in the wilds of Scotland’s northwest; the Germans have a word for it – sehnsucht.

Approaching Honningsvag ...Approaching ...Approaching Honningsvag ...

Honningsvag ...

The harbour at Honningsvag ...

The images were taken in and around Honningsvåg. In the freezing temperatures the decks were quiet much of the time except at night when the northern lights put on a show. The swimming pool was always quiet – I was never tempted!

Aboard Finnmarken ... Approaching Honningsvag ...


  1. Vladimir Brezina · January 9, 2015

    Beautiful! I can quite see the reasons for your Sehnsucht 🙂

  2. easyweimaraner · January 9, 2015

    it looks like a magic wonderland :o)

  3. suej · January 9, 2015

    Your images are imbued with a yearning….

  4. Cate Franklyn · January 9, 2015

    Wow, what a gorgeous scene! I envy you the experience.

  5. Malin H · January 9, 2015

    Amazing, Robin… Just amazing!!

    • northumbrianlight · January 9, 2015

      Many thanks Malin – it is so magnificent up there but I guess you know that.

  6. LaVagabonde · January 9, 2015

    Desolate, inhospitable places have a way of inducing feelings that can only be expressed in German. 😉 Your photos are pure magic. I would have totally gone in that pool.

    p.s. I mean “desolate” and “inhospitable” only in the most positive sense of the words.

    • northumbrianlight · January 9, 2015

      I sort of regret not using the pool like I sort of regret not volunteering to have ice cubes poured down my back as we crossed the Arctic Circle i.e. not very much 😀

      • Graham Stephen · January 9, 2015

        Weirdo. I’m sure it would have been most lovely. 😉

      • northumbrianlight · January 9, 2015

        I know, what a stick in the mud I am 🙂

  7. Andrea Stephenson · January 9, 2015

    Those pictures are amazing, what a wonderful trip this is.

    • northumbrianlight · January 10, 2015

      Many thanks Andrea, I can only recommend that one day you take the trip. In the winter at least, I would always travel north and not do the return trip, it is inevitably something of an anti-climax as the light returns and the snows thin.

  8. Sarah Longes - Mirador Design · January 9, 2015

    Just fabulous Robin 🙂 I hope you had your towel (for hitch hiking of course)!

    • northumbrianlight · January 10, 2015

      Don’t panic Sarah, I never leave home without one 😀
      Photographing that award winning coastline is a cinch 😉

  9. la_lasciata · January 10, 2015

    I am most deeply indebted to you: sehnsucht is a word that describes precisely my foolish yearning for places I could never have lived, but still long for … I shall pass this post on to my very dear blogging friend Simon Johnson; for his blog created such sehnsucht as to bring tears to my eyes …

    • northumbrianlight · January 10, 2015

      … and I am indebted for the link to Simon’s blog – it looks fascinating, particularly the posts related to Scotland and Thurso (where I spent some time when working occasionally at Dounreay and holidaying near Tongue).

      • la_lasciata · January 11, 2015

        Simon’s blog is something I am missing more than any other. He is a brilliant travel writer, and a man of huge intelligence. Even his food posts never failed to bring water to the mouth. But now he has a serious commitment to undertake, and I support him in whatever he does. 🙂

  10. restlessjo · January 10, 2015

    The images are totally amazing, Robin! And I know how much you love the cold 🙂

    • northumbrianlight · January 10, 2015

      Many thanks Jo – even the good lady is persuaded, just a matter of having the right wardrobe 🙂 (thanks for the tweet too).

  11. socialbridge · January 10, 2015

    Super photographs, Robin.
    How that pool appeals!

    • northumbrianlight · January 11, 2015

      Many thanks – that pool was heated so much too warm for you I think 🙂

  12. Mjollnir · January 11, 2015

    More great pics Robin but I ust ask why it’s impractical to live in NW Scotland? – if you wait about ten years you can stay in our B&B on Skye on the way!

    • northumbrianlight · January 12, 2015

      Many thanks Iain. I would head north tomorrow, it is the good lady who is not persuaded – too far from civilization where civilization = M&S and Zara 😦

      • Mjollnir · January 12, 2015

        Strange lady! 🙂

  13. littledogslaughed · January 12, 2015

    These are wonderful Robin-especially the 4th image-beautiful, beautiful color and light-

    • northumbrianlight · January 13, 2015

      Many thanks Meg – that one was taken at 13:24 and already the light is nearly gone for the day. Strangely, I think I could acclimatise – I am well adjusted to hibernation 🙂

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