Manuscript Collections

Balfour Diaries

Diaries of Henry BALFOUR (1863-1939), anthropologist and museum curator

Finland and Norway, 1933

South Africa, by Henry Balfour,  

1933

 

21 June                        Left King’s Cross for Hull by 10.10 train a.m. Arrived Hull 2.30pm went on board S.S. ‘Arcturus’ (cabin 43) but ship did not get clear of docks + into the Humber before 7pm. Fine, but dull. Ship full up.

 

22 -                              At sea, sea slight, much rain, little wind, bright intervals but rain. Rounded the Skaw during the night.

 

23                                Entered Copenhagen 609 miles from Hull at about 5.30pm after passing Helsingär. Still raining. Did not go ashore till after dinner, when I walked to the Town Hall (c. 4 miles), where a crowd was celebrating Midsummer Day with choral singing.

 

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Went into the Tivoli for an hour crowds of people, but got bored + walked back to the ship, in the Free Harbour, getting back c. 11.30pm.

 

24.                               In morning I went with a number of other passengers for a motor bus tour round Copenhagen (4/-) from 9-11.0. Ship sailed soon after 12.

 

25.                               Off Götland, fairly close in. Low-lying + well wooden.

                                    After passing Bornholm, we ran into dirty weather, head wind with much pitching + heavy rain, which lasted most of the afternoon and night. Passed Dagö about midnight.

 

26                                Fine + calm. Got up at 5 a.m. Arrived Helsingfors about 9 am. (922 miles from Hull).

 

[---FACING PAGE: Notes: “Many Lesser Black-backed + Common Gulls + a few Herring Gulls + Black Headed Gulls.”; “Lesser Black-backs + Common Gulls abundant. A few Herring Gulls + Terns (? Arctic), Eiders (males of last year), Common Scolers + a few Guillemots.”; “Black-headed Gulls most abundant. Some L. Blackbacks + Herring + Common Gulls. 2 Black Guillemots + Mergansers.”---]

 

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went to the Kämp Hotel in Esplanade Gatan (Room 21). Had stroll round to the new Railway Station which is quite interesting + unlike any other. Prof Landtmann came for me at lunch time, + we walked to the National Museum, where Dr. Nordmann, the Director of prehistories, took me round, to have a general view. Later, Landtmann took Nordmann + me by tram out to Brändö to dine at the Casino. Very nicely situated to east of Helsingfors.

 

27                                Went to National Museum soon after 10, having been caught after breakfast by a reporter of the ‘Svenska Pressen’, to whom I gave 5 minutes interview. Stayed at the Museum till 2 pm. making sketches + notes of Karelian musical instruments.

 

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Back to hotel + was fetched by Landtmann to go with him to his country house on Stor Püllinger. We took steam sailing at 3.30pm + after an interesting run through the archipelago reached Stor Püllinger at about 7 pm. having dined on board. Mrs. Landtmann + the 3 boys met us + we went to their house very charmingly placed, with an old windmill + small huts of old construction in the grounds, one of which is a small museum of local peasant appliances. Landmann [sic] + I rowed to an old village on the other side of the islands, Mrs. L. + one of the sons walking there. Village in the old style. We looked into a badstue (steam bath house), + called on two old batchelor brothers (peasants) who showed us their house, a passage with front + back doors passing through the house. The old men were very friendly. We walked back

 

[---FACING PAGE: Note: “Many Black-headed Gulls over the water, Swallows, Starlings, one Cuckoo (adult), Chaffinches, a few Mallards. Willow Warblers.” And a sketch.---]

 

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to the Landmanns’ house (about 2 kil) + had tea + cakes at about 10.30 pm. on a verandah, + turned in a little before midnight (still pretty light).

 

28th                             Early tea at 8.30, after looking at Landtmanns museum of peasant appliances. He + Mrs. L. + I went in his boat with outboard motor to a rocky islet in the outer Skerries. Very pretty, looking out over the Gulf of Finland. Back for midday + we then went in the schoolmaster’s motor boat to Borgå (Porvoo), an old world town, where lived Runeberg (the poet) + Edelfalt (the artist). The Cathedral is in ancient style with roof covered with pointed wooden slabs. In it the Czar Alexander I proclaimed the union of Finland + Russia + a bronze statue of him now stands where he then stood. We visited the Folk Museum which is quite interesting; + also some considerable earthworks with deep fosse

 

[---FACING PAGE: Notes: “A number of Eider Drakes + several Mergansers seen off the small island (which is frequented by adders + other snakes).”; “Borgå – Great Crested Grebes, a few Mallards + many Black headed Gulls. In the town some Spotted Flycatchers. Icterine warbler heard. Willow warblers, Chaffinches, Starlings, Sparrows, Swifts + Swallows.”---]

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whose history is not known. From Borgå I took the motor-bus at 6 p.m. back to Helsingfors (c. 1 1/2 hours), + the Landtmanns returned home by the motor boat. After supper in the Kamp hotel, I walked out to Ulrikasborgs park for the view of the S. Harbour from the ‘shipwreck’ monument. Back to Hotel + turned in at midnight.

 

29th                             Breakfast at 10, went to Tourist Bureau to arrange about my tour north. Bought some maps etc. at a very fine bookshop + went to the National Museum at 12 + stayed till 3 making notes. Then I took a motor bus to Fölisön, where there is an open air Folk-Museum, with very old church + belfry, farm houses, mills, church-boats etc etc. Stayed there + had lunch at 5 p.m. (first chance I had had). Returned to H’fors (Gräsviken) by small steamer at about 7.30pm.

 

[---FACING PAGE: Note: “Fölisön – Chaffinches, Willow Warblers, Redstarts, Great Tits (one hopped onto my table at lunch + took great beakfuls of my butter). Hoodies, Blackheaded Gulls, Herring + L-B-B Gulls, Common Terns, House Martins, Swifts Swallows. / Spotted Flycatchers”.---]

 

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30th-                             Spent from 10.30 to 1.30 in the National Museum. Reassembled two of their bagpipes, which had got badly mixed up. In afternoon I called at the British Legation on Mr. + Mrs. Sperling + had tea with them. Walked around the Brunspark + Observatory Park. Walked back via South + North Harbours, getting back about 7.30pm. Later I walked to Hesperia Gardens, where a large Election meeting was being held. Many brown-shirts wearing Swastika badges were there. No great excitement. Supper at 10.15pm, + so to bed.

 

July 1st                         Collected my railway tickets + coupons for northward journey. (£8). Then went to the National Museum for a couple of hours. Then went to the Zoological Museum (University) which

 

[---FACING PAGE: Note: “White wagtails with young, Chaffinches + Greenfinches ditto, Willow Warblers singing gaily, starlings + sparrows + Blackheaded Gulls”.---]

 

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was closed for the summer, but I was allowed in after Nordmann had telephoned to the porter. Saw the collection of Finnish birds which is not bad. Next I took the ferry from North Harbour to Högholmen to visit the zoo. Quite nice, with large aviaries + fair cages for quadrupeds. Lunched at 4.30 pm at the restaurant, with a young crane who with other cranes + storks is loose in the Gardens, + is very tame. Returned by ferry at about 7.0. + went up to the Russian church where a service was going on. Ritual dull, singing effective with unseen choir. Back to Hotel at 9.30 + packed.

 

[---FACING PAGE: Note: “Högholmen – Redstarts, wheatears with young, Willow Warblers singing, Garden Warblers singing + seen, Great Tits, Starlings, Chaffinches, Sparrows, White Wagtails with young, Twite, Spotted Flycatchers. The usual gulls + Terns. Swallows.”---]

 

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July 2nd                        Visited the Art Gallery. Wrote to E. Walked round about to Brunsparken. Lunched at Hotel at 5pm.

                                    Soon after 9pm I went with Mr. Golonwin (of the Tourist Assoc) + a lady (American) who was going to Leningrad, to the station where Golonwin saw us off by different trains. He had taken any amount of trouble in seeing to everything. My train started at 10.55pm. Very comfortable 2nd class sleeping car. Luckily I had a double coupé to myself + could keep window open (Finns don’t seem to like fresh air). Scenery monotonous almost all densely wooded.

 

3rd                                Arr. at Picksämäki about 8.30am had hurried breakfast in the station

 

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restaurant + changed into the Vipuri train. Arr. at Savonlinna (Nyslott) at 11.42am. Parked my kit at the Hotel + went for lunch at the casino. Left in steamer at 1pm for Punkaharju, arriving there at about 3.15. Walked up to Valtion’s Hotel + took room for the night. Had walk around in the woods, birds plentiful – the area being protected – Very delightful surroundings well worth a prolonged stay. Dined at 6.30pm. Found Hoguard (? sic) + his sister (Jersey people who had come out with me in the Arcturus) + had a walk with him along the ‘ridge’ about 4 kil. (ridge is 7 kil. Long). Very attractive, with lake on either side. Colour + reflections fine, after the cold wind had dropped. Got back to hotel at 10.30pm + turned in soon after. Very nice hotel + manageress who speaks fluent English.

 

[---FACING PAGE: Notes: “Lesser-black-back Gulls, Kestrel, Hoodies, White Wagtails, Black-throated Diver, Swifts, Swallows”; “Punkaharju – Siskins, Willow Warblers, Pied fly-catchers in nesting boxes (with young), Woodpigeon, Swallows, Cuckoos, Yellow Hammers, Fieldfare, Redstarts (abundant), 2 Sclavonian Grebes, 2 G-Crested Grebes, Housesparrows, Swifts, Garden Warblers. White Wagtails.”---]

 

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4th                                Up at 5.15am. Had coffee + taxied to station (10 marks). Took 6:40am train to Savonlinna. Arr. 7:35am. Left Punkaharju by the 6.40 am train. [this sentence is on the facing page] Parked my things in my cabin on board S.S. “Heinavesi I”, + went to the Tourist Bureau; in charge of a charming lady. Saw the view from top of a turret of the Bureau, + then went to see the castle (1475 a.d.) + went all over it with a most intelligent polyglot young guide. Lunched in the Castle. Well preserved building, added to by the Russians at a late date. At 11.30 I walked around Savonlinna. Went on board the boat at 1. Sailed at 1.15 for Kuopio. Nasty cold wind blowing + spoiling the effect of the trip. Called at several small landing piers + passed some tugs slowly towing enormous rafts of pine + birch logs, each several hundred feet long + perhaps 70-80 ft. wide. In the afternoon we passed General

 

[---FACING PAGE: Crossed-out paragraph: “Lunched at the casino. I went on board the S.S. “Punkaharju” leaving at 1pm. Arr. Punkaharju c.5.30pm (Valtion Hotel) Extremely nice + beautifully situated. Bird life abundant. Had a walk (willow warblers, redstarts, Garden Warblers (? or some other very fine songster). Yellow Hammers, Fieldfare. Wheatears. Dined at 7.0 + met Hoguard + his sister. He + I had a walk about 4 miles along the ‘ridge’ (seeing Great Crested + Slavonian Grebes Bed at 11pm.”; Note: “Savonlinna to Heinävesi. Magpie. Great Crested Grebe. Hoodies, Black-throated Divers with one young; small flock of Dunlin, Sand martins with nesting holes in a huge mound of saw dust, which had been there for more than 60 years. The cliff face riddled with martins holes. The only sand martins seen so far. This was near the second lock.”---]

 

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Jalander’s winter villa. [illegible] + his wife, the famous prima donna, Aino Acté, were on the balcony + waived [sic]. We went through many exceedingly narrow channels + through three locks before reaching Heinävesi at 9.45pm. The boat was to stay there for 4-4 1/2 hours, so I went ashore + walked up to the church (c.3/4 mile), + then walked a good way through a very attractive wood. The sun was setting at about 10. Lovely evening though chilly. I got back to the boat in time to turn in at 11.30pm.

 

5th                                Cast off at 2.20am. So I got up, dressed + was on deck well before 3. Fine morning but cold. Passed through a 4th lock. Scenery rather less interesting, though thoroughly typical. Arr. at Kuopio at 7.30am. Took Droski to station + parked my baggage there. Then walked to top of Puiyo Hill (c.8.45) from the tower on which a magnificent view with 60 kil. radius all round is obtained

 

[---FACING PAGE: Notes: “Heinävesi. Wheatears; ? Redwings singing”; “Heard Redstarts. Saw Blackthroated Divers.”---]

 

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over a great part of the lake region. Very well documented from the Tower. Charming young custodian speaking excellent English. Walked down again through the woods + back to Kuopio. yo lunch at the Adlas Hotel. (quite good). Droski to station for the 11.26am train to Kontiomäki + Vaala. Arr. Kontiomäki at 5.7pm. Had a meal of sorts + changed trains. Arr. Vaala 7.57pm went to Vaala Hotel. Surroundings not very interesting + rather poor in bird life. Had a 4 mile walk along the road (bad walking) to some rapids in the river. Staying night in hotel.

 

6th                               Left Vaala at 12 noon in a ‘tar-boat’ which was full up with passengers, one man rowing + the skipper steering with a long oar on port side. Shot the rapids as far as Nuojoa (c.2 miles). Walked to station c. 2 miles + went in train to Ojala noya (45 kil). Got into another ‘tar-boat’ (with only 8 passengers) + shot rapids

 

[---FACING PAGE: Note: “White Wagtails, Blue-headed wagtails, Willow Warblers, Wheatears, Hoodies, Magpies, Swallows, a few mallard. Herring gulls.”---]

 

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as far as Muhos – one rapid being 7 kil. in length + a fine one. Just caught the 5.30pm train to Oülu arriving there at 7.0pm. Walked 3/4 mile to Seurahuone Hotel. Dined there + had a walk in the gardens, over numberless small bridges over streams, with views over the river; continued walk around the town which is quite a good size but not very interesting.

 

7th                                Up at 5.15am. Caught 6.50 train for Rovaniemi, changing trains at Kemi (arr. 9.26 left 10.20am). Comfortable 2nd class well appointed. Arr. Rovaniemi 1.10pm. Put my things onto the Petsamo motor-bus + took a place + went into station to collect things I had forwarded direct from Helsingfors. Meanwhile the bus went off + I had a mile or so to walk with a boy carrying my heavy bag, while I took the hold-all, to pick up the bus in the town. Got all on board, had my hurried lunch at Lippoven’s Hotel + boarded the bus which was

 

[---FACING PAGE: Note: “Saw several mergansers + some mallard, a Common Sandpiper. Swallows, Sandmartins in sand cliffs. White + Blue-headed wagtails, Hoodies.”---]

 

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very full up. Left in bus at 2pm. A few miles N. of Rovaniemi we crossed the Arctic Circle. We stopped for coffee twice + a scrappy lunch at Sodankyla. The mosquitoes + large Tabanid flies driving us all nearly frantic. They were awful! Road quite a good one, but surface all loose stones. Reindeer grazing by road side + one cantering for 1/4 mile in front of the bus before getting out of the way. A good many Lapps about as we got north. Weather fine. Scenery mostly low forest, becoming monotonous, with few farm clearings. Scenery finer towards the end when hills appeared + the views were more open. Arr. at Ivalo at 11pm (294 1/2 kil). Knees + back having suffered severely from the cramped up position during long driving spells. Had light supper + went for a stroll. Sun well up above horizon at midnight + the effect very pretty. Turned in at about 1.30am

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8th                                At Ivalo. Had breakfast at 9.30. Walk along road to the road ferry + back along the Ivalo joki. Mosquitoes + Tabanids very bad. Was accompanied by a local dog. Had another walk in afternoon. Hotel on bank of the Ivalo R., but the walls around are not very interesting + the loose topped road very bad walking.

 

9th                                Left Ivalo in the Petsamo motorbus at 10am Stopped at Virtanismi, where Pasvig runs out of Inari Lake. (would be a good place to stay). Followed right bank of Pasvig past many lakes, stopping at Pitkajärvi, + reached Salmijärvi (453 kil) at 3pm. Changed into a small bus with Mrs. + Miss Peggy Priest + some Finns + drove several kil. to a landing at Tollevi (?) where we transferred to a small motor boat. Raining. Along Tölevijärvi to a portage. Boat there hauled over as a cradle on rails + reached the landing above the

 

[---FACING PAGE: Notes: “Willow Warblers, redstarts, white wagtails, Hoodies, magpies. Mallard (saw a mallard duck leading her brood across the sands to the river. Common Sandpiper.”; “Capercailgie [female] by road side. Willow Warblers.”; “Black-throated Divers, Arctic Terns, Common Sandpipers”.---]

 

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big fall above Koltaköngäs (Boris Gleb) at 6.pm. Walked the 2 kil or so into Boris Gleb. to the new Hotel which is very nice. Most obliging personnel + comfortable. Dined + had a walk through the wood towards Elvenaes. Midnight sun well up, + blazing into my room. Found letter from Mo, parcel + weekly Times.

 

10th                              Breakfast at 9.30am. Walked to Elvenaes which is connected up with suspension bridge. Scenery spoilt by large timber works. Great change since I was there in 1888. Caught in heavy rain on way back. Thunder. Got back at 3.30 too late for lunch, so had coffee + biscuits. Walked to the landing above the Falls + back down at 7 + had walk + sat for a long while on a small hill with splendid views. Stayed up there till 10.45. Glorious evening with sun not setting. Read weekly Times by sunlight. Got letter from E. Had been given some anti-mosquito

 

[---FACING PAGE: Notes: “Willow Warblers, White Wagtails, Lapland Buntings, Tree Pipits, Wheatears, Arctic Terns, Red-throated Divers, Common Gulls.”; “Herring- + Lesser Blackbacked Gulls, Laplaw Buntings, Wheatears, Willow Warblers, ?Garden Warbler, White Wagtails, Mergansers, House Martins, Redstarts, Fieldfares.”; “Redwings, Red-spotted Bluethroat, Red-throated Divers.”---]

 

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stuff (Tar, oil + vinegar) by the Hotel Cook. Seems to be effective + better than muscatol as it lasts longer.

 

11th                              Good deal of rain about. Had a 4 1/2 hour walk over the hills + got some very fine views. Got pretty wet as it rained part of the time [Wheatears, Blue-throats, Willow-warblers, Redwings. Rough-legged Buzzard, Bramblings + pepits with dark patch on breast]. Did not meet a soul. One or two other short walks + looked into the two Russian churches.

 

12th-                             Wet day, but cleared for a time in afternoon. Had a good walk over the hills starting up from near the fall, in different direction from yesterday. Very pretty, past a small lake. Got back at 6pm just as a very violent thunderstorm came on with a perfect deluge of rain. In evening watched a Finn catch a salmon for a boat (c.30lbs) on a thurdoch with spinner.

 

[---FACING PAGE: Sketch, labelled: “Midnight sun July 11th from my bedroom window”.---]

 

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Sat out overlooking the river, talking to Miss Priest, Major Cecil Collins (retired + living in Finland), Mr. Skinner (late of Teddy Hall, Oxford) + a jew from Iraq, who was making a year’s tour all over Europe.

 

13th                              Had sleepless night with acute neuralgia of neck. Walked to the upper landing with Mrs. + Miss Priest to see them off in the motorboat to Salmijärvi. On way back I watched a Black-bellied Dipper which frequents the rapids above the big fall. Had a rest on my bed + then went walk along the shore at low tide. Sand-pipers, 8 Widgeon, Arctic Terns, [illegible] + Lesser Black-backed gulls. Redwings, Bramblings, Willow Warblers + Pipits (? sp.).

                                    The Hogaurds turned up from Salmijärvi in the Evening.

                                   

[---FACING PAGE: Sketches, labelled: “Boat with rowlocks of reindeer antler”; “Black-bellied Dipper on rapids above big fall at Boris Gleb. White Wagtails, Willow Warblers, 8 Widgeons at low tide below Hotel. Hoodie. Rough-legged Buzzard.”---]

 

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14th.                             Fine day after dull morning. Had a delightful 6 hour walk over the hills. Probably not more than 10-11 miles, as I sat about watching the birds a good deal. Passed 4 small lakes. Got above the mosquitos + a nice cool wind helped to keep them quiet. Fine view over the far side. Lots of spotted orchin. Got back for dinner. Had walk with Hoguard to the big fall + watched the timber coming over in bulk. The Black-bellied Dipper was under the same rock above the fall as before. A flight of 8 Widgeons passed in V formation up the river. Red-throated Diver fishing + flying around in front of hotel. In the evening a Gray-headed Wagtail roosted on the top of the decorated iron finial of the church, singing its song at intervals for hours on end. Redwings were feeding round the hotel.

 

[---FACING PAGE: “Mealy Redpole, Bramblings, Willow W., Wheatears, pipits, Bluethroats, Rough-legged Buzzard, Black-throated + Red-throated Divers, Lapp Titmouse (?), Arctic Terns on upper small lakes.---]

 

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15th                              Saw some redstarts near Hotel. The Hoguards went off to Salmijärvi + Petsamo at noon. After a light lunch of a small herring I went for a walk over the hills at 1pm. Seeing the usual birds. Fine + warm. Came back by the path to Elvenaes. Paid my hotel bill (650 marks). Walked to the Fall + back with Boris. Packed till 12.30a.m. in broad daylight even though cloudy.

 

16th                              Had prepared to get up at 4am to leave in motorboat at 5am for Kirkenaes but just as I was getting up I was told that the Norwegian mail boat had been delayed by fog, + would be several hours late. So turned in till 8. Then learnt that the ship could not sail till afternoon, + later that she probably would not leave Kirkenaes todday [sic] at all. Had walk through the woods + down to the shore. Measured the old church outside – overall, 10 walking stick lengths + 9 inches x 6 w-s-l + 6 inches. Porch + doorway very low –

 

[---FACING PAGE: Note: “Same band of 8 Widgeons, one Golden Eye, Great Black-backed Gull. Divers terns etc. / ? Green Sandpipers. / Blue-throats, willow warblers, Redpoles, Pipits, Bramblings, Wheatears, Redstarts. Redwings nest on brick.”---]

 

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Flock of Redpoles (Mealer, ? Houlbolli) in the Lapp village. In the evening I saw a small motor boat full of people arriving, they evidently knew little of boat management +, when broadside or to the very swift current, some of the men got up + started moving about, the boat promptly capsised + sank. The one girl + 6 men luckily were able to stand but I expected to see some swept-off their feet + carried down, + I kept a look out for this. But in an amazingly short time 5 or 6 boats were on the spot, with Finns + Lapps (the village policeman etc), + all were quickly rescued + brought ashore. + the motor-boat was later secured. After waiting all day I eventually got off in the hotel motor boat at 10.45 pm for Kirkenaes. Boat stopped above Elvenaes + was tied up to a barrel, while one of the men took the pass-ports + after disappearing into the bushes (no house visible) reappeared after some time with the pass-ports visés. Stopped at Elvanaes to put down a couple of men.

 

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Herr Klark was there + I was able to say goodbye to him. Then on down the Bögfjord past Trifan’s cave (no longer used, I believe, by the Lapps, as a shrine for placing offerings in). The sun was blazing up the fjord. Arrived at Kirkenaes at midnight. A very nice young Norwegian Engineer (attached to the Iron-working Co. at Kirkenaes) who had come with me from Boris Gleb, took me in hand, parked my baggage at a little hotel, + took me all round Kirkenaes – to the Company’s officers’ mess, + round the iron works etc. Kirkenaes much grown since I saw it last, + gradually developing on town lines.

 

17th                              The Princessen Ragnhild arrived at the quay at 1.45a.m. [about 22 hours late]. Went on board (cabin 8). Sailed at 2.45 am. Turned in an hour later. Arrived at Vardö at 8.45am. Too short time to go ashore.

 

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Found Vardö greatly grown, but with [illegible] smell, from stockfish. After leaving Vardö there were enormous numbers of gulls (Common, Herring, Lesser Black-backed, Kittiwakes) in patches over the small-herring shoals. Also many Arctic Skuas (mostly of the dark phase, c. 9 dark in 12). Puffins + Guillemots, Black Guillemots, a few Cormorants, one Fulman Petrel, + some Oyster Catchers. Called at Mohavn (w. of Nordkyn) at 4pm. Oyster-catchers seen there. Called at Kjöllefjord, 6.20pm. Very neat fishing village kelders with drying stock fish. Hoodies + a pair of Ravens. Touched at one or two other small fishing villages. Midnight sun brilliant about 2 1/2-3 diameters above horizon. Turned in about 12.30am.

 

Tues. 18                                  Called at Hammerfest during the night (about 2am, I believe), but I was asleep + missed it. Called at Skjaervö at 10.10am. Went ashore for a short time. Very attractive neat village. Took two snapshots of it from

 

[---FACING PAGE: Note: “Guillemots, Puffins, Black Guillemots abundant. / Eiders with young broods.”---]

 

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the ship with snow mountain as background. A lot of snow still on the hills. Arr. Tromsö 2.30. Had a walk about the town + then walked across the island to the west side. Town much bigger than when I last saw it + far more houses in the surroundings. Sailed at 5.20pm. Arrived at Harsbad at midnight. Town not attractive, but some way outside is one of the oldest Norwegian churchest (11 cent) very plain + still used. Turned in at 12.30a.m.

 

19th (Wed).                  Up before 5am to see Sortland a village with a very fine surrounding of mountains, still considerably snow-covered. Turned in again till about 8.15am. Arrived at Svolvaer 10am, very different from 35 or so years ago, + grown very much. Rain, mist + a cold wind all day. Scenery much spoilt by mist + lack of colour. Arr. at Stamsund

 

[---FACING PAGE: Notes: “Lesser Blackbacked, Herring + Common Gulls, Black + Common Guillemots, Puffins, Arctic Skuas. / Many Magpies, also bramblings, willow warblers, Fieldfares, a spotted Flycatcher”; “Black Guillemots, the usual gulls, several Arctic Skuas (dark + light), Eiders numerous.”---]

 

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at 12.50pm. The place has been made by one man, who has built up a big fishery business from nothing at all, + developed quays + factory + stone buildings of considerable size. The huge stacks of codfish heads, ready for export for turning into patent manure (+ now, perhaps, the most valuable product of the fishery) were impressive, 40ft or so high. Then across the West fjord to Bodö, arriving at 5.30pm. Only stayed there about 20 minutes, so there was little time for looking around. Rain + mist all the evening. Off Fuglö quantities of puffins. Some gulls apparently still nesting on the island.

 

20th                              Mist + rain + little to be seen. But cleared up into a glorious day. Saw a par if Sea Eagles soaring round an island. Eider duck galore, Black Guillemots + Cormorants + Oyster Catchers numerous. Golden Eye, 2 Fin-Whales (? Rudolphi’s).

 

[---FACING PAGE: Notes: “Black guillemots, Arctic Skuas, the usual gulls / phot.”; “Quantities of Eider ducks. Black Guillemots. Terns.”---]

 

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Arrived at Throndhjem at 5.45pm. Passed a whaler going out (very dirty + rusty). Low tide + great numbers of Common + Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the mud flats, also Red-necked Phaleropes, ? Sanderlings, Oyster-catchers. Several House-martins. Went ashore + walked to the Cathedral, now practically finished + very nice. Spire had been heightened + the interior is nearly completed. Walked a bit round the town + went on board at 7.30pm when ship was due to sail. Did not cast off till past 9pm. Lovely still evening with sun setting for a short while.

 

21st (Friday)                Arrived at Aalesund 11.30am. The boat went to the northern harbour, but came away again with\out stopping + went a long way round a promontory to get to the South harbour, where we tied up.

 

[---FACING PAGE: Note: “Between Molde + Aalesund – Great- + Lesser-Black-backs, Herring + Common Gulls, Skuas, Black Guillemots, Eiders, Terns.

 

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I had about 1 1/2 hours ashore, but the town is not very interesting away from the harbours. We left there at 2.30pm. Perfect weather. Pass the Stadt point with perfectly calm sea, + reached Maalöy at 6.40pm. Very lovely scenery, mountains towering over us with deep water right up to them. Later we reached Florö + stayed for about 15 minutes. Then ran into rain + mist +, for a great change, darkness.

 

[---FACING PAGE: Note: “Great + Lesser Black-backs, Herring Gulls, Kittiwakes + Common Gulls, Black Guillemots, Eiders, Oyster-Catchers, 2 Great Northern Divers, Terns, Cormorants, Shags.”---]