Cora Sandel’s Alberta and Jacob takes place in Tromsø, Norway, catching readers with the simple opening winter words:
“The church clock shone like a moon in the night sky.”
This description lifts me up by her claws and sails away with me into the ethereal beauty of nights in Norway.
On this particular night, though not austere like Alberta’s winter, the MS Richard With docked in Tromsø where we boarded a bus that drove us to the Arctic Cathedral for a candlelit midnight concert.
Summer…natural light at midnight…stained glass…candlelight inside the church…Norwegian folk music…with Paul; We entered a rapturous state.
Afterwards, we walked out of the Cathedral in a dream state and were amazed to remember it really was still bright daylight here at one in the morning.
The next day our ship entered the Trollfjorden, our first experience of the “real” fjords Mom had talked about. Excitedly, we jammed into each other on deck trying to catch our first glimpse.
We saw jagged cliffs, waterfalls, and family dwellings at the foot of the valley, all very welcoming in feel.
Then the ship turned 360 around within a very small area– not much larger than the ship itself–and we headed out again.
Now the mountains looked forbidding and ominous.