Wilderness on the Way to Europe

We have just arrived in Oslo after a 27 hour trip via Hong Kong and Helsinki. We will be doing a short tour in Norway called ‘Norway in a Nutshell’, then two-week driving trips through Ireland and Scotland, a few days visiting Iceland and finally, a couple of days in Helsinki on the way home.

As always, it took a long time to cross the continent of Australia on the way to Hong Kong. I looked out the window at one stage when we were about half way between Alice Springs and Darwin and all I could see was a flat expanse of red landscape. In the centre was quite a large mine site. I don’t know which one it was except that it had a large open cut.

We arrived at Hong Kong 30 minutes ahead of schedule and left right on time at 0020 local time. Our overnight flight on Finnair was very comfortable with good service. We were both able to get a good number of hours sleep.

When I woke up this morning, I had my second view of a wilderness area, except this one was exactly opposite the view of Australia. At about 0400, local time, we were flying over an area of north Russia near Archangel. This remote city lies on both banks of the Northern Dvina River near its exit into the White Sea in the far north of European Russia. During World War II, the city became known in the West as one of the two main destinations (along with Murmansk) of the Arctic Convoys bringing supplies to assist the Russians who were cut off from their normal supply lines.

Inland, there appears to be a large expanse of flat Tundra – no trees, bleak and with frozen lakes and waterways. I took this picture towards the south as we flew across this interesting landscape..


We are now waiting for Ruth to arrive from her flight from London and after she settles in we will have some lunch together and go for a walk around the city.