Pengolodh (s.c) (pengolodh_sc) wrote,
Pengolodh (s.c)

In other news....

I have moved. This is mainly related to work.

I work as a guide at the Viking Museum here, and we are cooperating with Hurtigruten (a passenger- mail- and cargo ship service along the Norwegian coast) on a project to increase passenger numbers on Hurtigruten and winter visitors numbers to the museum. For Hurtigruten, this cooperation is part of a bigger project called Hunting the Light, where Hurtigruten-passengers are to look for how light can be experienced in the dark season in North Norway - this includes the project with the Viking Museum, visits to the Northern Lights Observatory in Tromsø, dogsledding in the night in Finnmark, etc.

At the Viking Museum, we try to take the passengers back to a Viking Age midwinter night and the midwinter sacrifice. The passengers leave their ship in Stamsund and board a coach that takes them to the Viking Museum. During the drive, a guide from the museum - most often me - speaks to them about the situation in the late Iron Age, and how the disappearance of the sun every winter was viewed by people then, and what they did to get the sun back (a sacrifice/midwinterfeast called Jólblot, which seems to also have been a holiday of the dead - I believe it was a bit similar to samhain in being a transition from one year to another, and a time when the dead were in our world).

At the museum, the passengers are taken into our reconstructed longhouse, where they're dressed in wool cloaks, and taken into the feast hall to witness the Jólblot ceremony (toned down perhaps a wee bit - no human sacrifice, no splattering of blood all over the people, etc.) . Following the ceremony, there is a meal based on roast leg of lamb (so delicious that one guest commented that she loved the meal, even though she hated lamb meat), with vegetables, bread and assorted trimmings. Finally, there is a dance around the fireplace, and the opportunity to buy various souvenirs, including replicas of Iron Age jewellery, Iron Age drinking glasses, etc.

The coach then takes them on to the ship's next port of call (Svolvær), and the guide (again, most often me) explains about the history of the museum and the archaeological digs that led to the reconstruction of the longhouse, some aspects of the Lofoten fisheries, production of stockfish, and other topics.

As I don't have a car or a driver's licence for cars, it was difficult for me to get to the start- and endpoints of these tours - local bus connections have their limits, as this is a rural area, and I'm typically done at 11pm when there are no buses. I do drive a scooter, but this part of my job takes place mainly in winter, and there is no way I'm driving 30+ kilometers on scooter on winter roads.

So I started looking in the newspaper ads for apartments in in Stamsund (which is where the coach-company we use has its depot - so that's where the buses return after the tour is done) - and I found one. And the one I found is in fact only about one stone-throw away from the coach depot (not that I have done practical tests to verify this, mind).

The apartment is furnished and includes satelite TV, and is about 40-50 square meters (~440-550 square feet), at a guess, has bathroom, separate bedroom, a single space that's combined livingroom and kitchen (not kitchenette), and a small storageroom. I pay NOK 2600 (at current exchange rates USD 361 / GBP 248 / EUR 275) per month - power, phone and Internet are not included in the price; I opted for broadband telephone, as it doesn't add to the fixed monthly expenses when I have DSL. Electrical power is ca. NOK 0.70 (USD 0.095 / GBP 0.065 / EUR 0.075) per kWh - we don't do gaslines in Norway.

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