Mostly sunny today!! 48 degrees
We crossed into the Arctic Circle this morning about 7:15 am. The Arctic Circle is an imaginary line that circles the northernmost parts of the earth and parallels the equator. It forms a circle around the North Pole. The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of the world's five major oceans. It is north of North America, Asia and the Arctic Circle.
We had a lecture on Vikings - myths and reality. They did not wear horns on their helmets! They were not any more brutal and barbaric than any other people at the time. Even though the Vikings did raid plenty of cities throughout Europe including their own neighbors, it was actually only a very small percentage who were warriors. The majority of the Vikings were farmers, traders, craftsmen and merchants. Many Vikings settled more or less peacefully in places such as England and France; also Iceland and Greenland. They also loved to explore for new trade routes and traded with almost every country of the then known world, and in their search for new lands, the Vikings crossed the Atlantic and reached North America 500 years before Columbus. The Vikings originated in what is now Denmark, Norway and Sweden and thrived from about 800 to 1066 A.D,
We stopped in Bodo and took a city walk. It is located just north of the Arctic Circle. It has a university, the police academy, the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority, is headquarters for the Joint Rescue Coordination Center of Northern Norway, has the Norwegian Armed Forces headquarters for North Norway, and has the largest shopping center in the Northland (Nordland)!
I keep forgetting to tell you about the "gulf stream effect." The Gulf Stream system - from the Gulf of Mexico through the North Atlantic Ocean and partly into the Norwegian Sea - emits heat into the atmosphere in the north. That is why there are relatively mild temperatures in Norway.
We saw an illustration of the effects of ocean currents when we visited one of the fishery museums. What happened was, a shipping container filled with 28,000 rubber duckies was lost at sea in 1992 when it fell overboard on its way from Hong Kong to the United States. No one at the time could have guessed that those same bath toys would still be floating the world's oceans nearly 20 years later. The yellow ducks have bobbed halfway around the world. Some have washed up on the shores of Hawaii, Alaska, South America, Australia and the Pacific Northwest; others have somehow made their way as far as Scotland and Newfoundland in the Atlantic; others have been found frozen in Arctic ice. Today, that flotilla of plastic ducks are being hailed for revolutionizing our understanding of ocean currents, as well as for teaching us a thing or tow about plastic pollution in the process.