Norway: Lillesand to Svalbard Coast


Norway: Lillesand to Svalbard

For the first time, Coast explores the spectacular shoreline of Norway to discover Britain's age-old link to the land of the fjords.


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Norway. The longest coastline in Europe.

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Mighty fjords carved by great ice sheets.

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It's a landscape written into the blood of the British Isles.

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Because we share a common heritage -

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brought across the sea by Viking boatmen.

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Now, it's British yachtsmen who love to explore Norway's coast.

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They come year in and year out,

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but for us, this a rare chance to meet our northern neighbours.

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In Norway, I'm joined by my usual Coast companions.

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There's a slot...

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Mark Horton is in search of the craft that sped the Vikings to our shores.

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-And this is a method that can't have changed for a thousand years.

-No.

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Alice Roberts meets the Norwegians keeping us warm in winter.

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So this is it!

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-I can hear it.

-This is actually the gas you're hearing - gas going to UK.

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Nick Crane explores the British connections

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to the most beautiful fjord in Norway.

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As an amateur geographer, this is one of the most exciting days of my life!

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And I travel high into the Arctic Circle,

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where the Vikings launched themselves southwards - towards Britain.

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Our story continues beyond our coast.

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This time, we're travelling a huge distance,

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along the shore of an entire country -

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one that's long, thin and mostly coastline.

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Norway's coast is just so much bigger than you imagine.

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If you followed all the ins and outs of every bay and majestic fjord,

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it's a trip of over 13,000 miles -

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that's over halfway around the world.

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These magnificent fjords

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are overlooked by huge mountains with vertiginous cliffs.

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And at its narrowest, Norway is just three and a half miles wide.

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To cope with their challenging coastline,

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the Norwegians have been constantly inventive,

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building roads across the sea,

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making their homes on tiny islands,

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and harvesting their natural resources for food and energy.

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On our journey, we want to discover

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what tips we in Britain can get about living on our coast,

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and to find out how our two countries have a shared history,

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reaching out in friendship and in wartime across the North Sea.

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We're travelling up to the Lofoten Islands,

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deep into the Arctic Circle.

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On the way, we'll pop up to polar bear country - Svalbard.

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But our starting point it Lillesand, in the south.

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This quiet, southern coastline is popular with Norwegians for summer holidays.

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And it's also a desirable destination for yachting folk,

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who travel across the seas from all around Europe for the thrill of sailing on Norway's Riviera.

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One of these yachtsmen is a Brit.

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Peter Walker left Liverpool to live here.

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But the coastline wasn't the only attraction.

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I met a beautiful Norwegian lady

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in England, she was working as an au-pair.

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Since then we've got three boys,

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and here I've been, living the most beautiful life I can ever think of.

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Is there anything about the lifestyle that you'd import if you could?

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Yeah, I would import a typical English pub

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and a fish and chip shop.

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Peter and his family made their home in Lillesand,

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a small town of 9,000 people and neat, wooden houses.

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The lifestyle revolves around boats.

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But navigating this rocky shore isn't easy.

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There's hundreds and hundreds of underwater skerries.

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It's a small rock, sticking out from the seabed. If they're not marked,

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and you don't know about it, they can sink your boat.

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Much of this curious coastline is hidden just under the sea.

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It's a mysterious, treacherous landscape,

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which keeps sailors on their toes,

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poking its head up above water, creating countless tiny islands.

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The only way to appreciate the beauty of what lies beneath is to get seriously wet.

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Are you sure about jumping into the water with lead weights on?

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What will I do if I jump in and I go straight to the bottom?

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-That should be tight so it doesn't slip.

-Everything about this is tight.

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Put your head down now!

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Snorkelling here is a real eye-opener.

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Above the surface it looks so black.

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Down here it's awash with colour and life.

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As you explore, you start to get a sense of a truly coastal country.

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No wonder Peter and his family love it here.

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Norway's southern riviera is a stunning surprise.

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I'd expected fjords and ice, not a myriad of micro-islands.

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But as we head northwards,

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the landscape starts to rear up out of the sea.

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It's more mountainous, with deep fjords carving through the rock.

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This is like Scotland on steroids.

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These inlets snake far inland,

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taking the coast deep into the heart of the country.

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Waterways like this were a challenge

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that spurred the early boat builders onto greatness. 1,200 years ago,

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after the Vikings had mastered their own craggy shores,

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they turned their sights south to Britain and beyond.

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Deep down the Hardangerfjord,

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Mark Horton is in search of their boat-building secrets.

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I can't believe I'm here in Norway, and about to find out how the Vikings

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made their most awesome weapon - the Viking longship.

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Boats are in the blood of the Norseman, both ancient and modern.

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Maritime historian Atle Thowsen knows the value the Vikings placed on their vessels.

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The boat was important to get transport,

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to get from one place to another, to get their food and so on.

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It was their way of communicating.

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This was the way to survive in, for instance, Norway.

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They got into the deep fjords, up the rivers and so on,

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to Paris or... Almost everywhere you could find the Vikings.

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These master mariners sailed west to Newfoundland in North America.

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Looking east, they navigated down the River Volga into the Caspian Sea, to trade with the Islamic world.

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And of course they came south to the British Isles,

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using our waterways to penetrate deep inland.

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So what kind of boats could cope riding raging seas,

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and powering through placid rivers?

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The Vikings have vanished into legend, but their boat design has stood the test of time.

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These waterways were tamed working with wood,

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and these skills have survived.

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Tucked away down the Hardangerfjord

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there's a yard that's changed little since the days of the Viking boatmen.

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Hi, are you Bjorn?

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-Yeah, I'm Bjorn!

-Hi!

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This is the most wonderful boatyard.

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Yeah, you think so? It's a nice place, very nice place.

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-There's that overpowering smell of the pine resin.

-Mm.

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This is the small boat workshop.

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And you will see two boats in here now, well, parts of a boat, this was just started a week ago.

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And this is a boat we're just about to finish.

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And you can see every stage of their construction.

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Yeah, well, it's a very nice thing to build two boats at the same time.

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So, here we are...

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The most important thing in a Viking boat was its keel -

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the backbone they built upon.

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-The keel goes down quite some distance.

-Yes, it does.

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-So the next stage is presumably to build up the sides?

-That's right.

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Most wooden boats normally start with a frame,

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then the planks are fixed on.

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But these boats are different.

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The planks are built up one at a time,

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each overlapping the last, placed at precise angles.

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This will be the lines plank that we use

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for building this boat.

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Oh! Not a wonderful architect's ship drawing!

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No! It's not something you get from a computer!

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And the numbers would be the degrees the plank has,

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and would be the width of the plank.

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And how do you measure that angle?

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We use this one,

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that's just a...

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simple use of the gravity.

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-So there you've got the angle of the plank...

-Yep, that's right.

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..at 27 degrees, that's there.

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-Yep.

-And here it is then at 27, which is there.

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So you just... There it is there.

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That's it. That looks about right.

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The Vikings built all their vessels this way.

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Their longships, their fishing boats, everything.

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This is the new one...

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'Once the planks are in place,

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'they must be secured with special nails which are a bit like rivets.'

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So, that goes like that, doesn't it?

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'This type of construction is called clinker.

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'Bjorn is trusting me to put the last nail in his new clinker boat.'

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-I hope I'm not breaking your boat!

-No. Well...well...

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It's as good as it gets!

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So what you're doing now is clinking.

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In Norwegian we would say clinking.

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-So that's the origin of the word "clinker boat"?

-Yeah, I guess it is.

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That's good. With the sound, you'll hear that the hammer will answer.

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An experienced boat builder will say that that's a good sound.

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The construction of these boats shows why they were so successful for the Vikings.

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Because the overlapping boards aren't tied to an internal frame,

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the boats are flexible, able to bend enough to ride rough seas.

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And their flattish bottoms can cope with shallow rivers.

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Ultimately though, they were replaced by a different style of vessel,

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with the planks fixed separately onto the ship's skeleton.

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That way, you could build bigger boats.

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But for me, these hills will always be alive with the sound of clinking.

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In open water, very big boats hold sway now.

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As the age of the Viking faded into the sea mist, their renegade trade

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was gradually replaced by more everyday commerce.

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On our journey north, there's a city

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which prospered as part of an exclusive trading club - Bergen.

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700 years ago, this was the commercial capital of Norway,

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with links to Britain and beyond.

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Bergen was the northern outpost of the Hanseatic League,

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a sort of early common market.

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At its height, this league of gentlemen traders

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operated out of ports around Europe,

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including Hull, Norwich, Bristol and King's Lynn, as well as Bergen.

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As long ago as the 14th century,

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it was one of the key cities in Western Europe.

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That harbour over there would have been teeming with sailing ships,

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ready to make their way back and forth across the North Sea.

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Today, trade is still key to our relationship with Norway.

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And in Britain, we benefit from one of their largest exports - fish.

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Look at that! Now that's fresh cod!

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-Is that whale?

-That's whale, yes.

-What sort?

-Minke whale.

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Minke whale. How big is that when it's full grown?

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-10 tonnes, maybe.

-10 tonnes.

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What a monster. It's the back legs of a king crab.

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Now, that would give you a fright if you saw it in a rock pool.

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I'd dread to think how you'd go about catching one of these.

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These crabs have come from the very top of Norway, right on the Russian border, near the town of Kirkines.

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The king crabs are newcomers to Kirkines.

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They've made their way there from Russia,

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and they're moving gradually southwards.

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They've already been spotted halfway down Norway's coast.

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Eventually, they might even reach British shores.

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One man who grapples daily with king crabs is diver Lars Petter Oie.

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The king crab were introduced to the Bering Sea by the Russians in 1961.

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The first crab we found here was in 1976.

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And ever since that, it has been increasing.

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Maybe one day you'll have the crabs even in Britain.

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It's always a challenge to be 100% sure where to find the crabs.

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But we have so much experience,

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so we know approximately where to find crabs.

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The biggest we caught here was 1 metre and 70,

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it's exactly my own height actually!

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And it was about eight kilos.

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But commercially it has been caught crabs up to 15 or 16 kilos.

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A crab like this, this is like four, four-and-a-half kilo.

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You wouldn't afford to eat it in London!

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This is, er, this is a lot of money actually!

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So, here's meat all the way from here and all the way here.

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As you see, it's very tender.

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And it's even sweeter than normal lobster.

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This is the way you should eat it, it's straight from the sea.

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-Skol!

-Skol!

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On my own journey up to the north of Norway, I'm coming to a spot

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that's a real emotional draw for me - a little town called Televag.

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It's a picture-perfect postcard type of place now.

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But in the Second World War,

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Televag was transformed to become a terrible example of Nazi oppression.

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I've got this photograph that was taken in 1945.

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I'm trying to position myself

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so that I'm where the photographer stood when he took the snap.

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It's important to remind yourself

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what this place looked like at the end of the war,

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because the town was completely erased.

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The story of Televag's destruction

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begins with the German occupation of Norway in 1940.

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Before long, Norway's resistance fighters

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looked across the sea to their British neighbours for help.

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Fishing boats started to ferry refugees and resistance agents

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to and fro between Norway and Shetland.

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This secret boat service became known as the Shetland bus.

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I've seen one side of the story already on Coast,

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when I visited Scalloway on Shetland.

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23, 28, 21, 21... Just wee boys.

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Just boys.

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Many brave young men died running the Shetland bus,

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and here in Norway, an entire town paid a terrible price

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for their part in resisting the Nazis.

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Barbara, can you show me a photograph of Arna,

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-show me what he looked like?

-Yes.

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Shetland lass Barbara Melkevik married a Norwegian member of the Shetland bus.

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He was called Arna, and was from Televag.

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I met him when he first came to Scalloway,

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he was going to work on the fishing boats,

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which they were to use on these secret missions to Norway.

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And I was not to ask any questions.

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-If I did, I couldn't get any answers.

-Right!

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On one fateful night, Barbara's husband, Arna,

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set sail from Shetland with a secret cargo on board.

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These were dangerous waters - as well as rough seas and strong winds,

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the fishermen had to avoid the constant threat of patrolling German aircraft and U-boats.

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But eventually,

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Arna's boat managed to reach a small creek just outside Televag.

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It was right here, in the dead of night on April 21 1942,

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that Barbara's husband, Arna, arrived to deliver two agents of the Norwegian resistance.

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Their names were Emil Gustaf Hvaal and Arne Vaerum.

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The two agents were taken to a house in the village of Televag.

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They managed to hide for a week,

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until their cover was blown and the secret was out.

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The Nazis stormed the house, and in the ensuing shoot-out,

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two SS officers and one of the Norwegian agents were killed.

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In a furious display of vengeance,

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the Nazis systematically destroyed Televag.

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Families were split up. Some were sent to concentration camps.

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It was the worst act of reprisal in Norway.

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Long after the war, Barbara's husband, Arna,

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struggled to come to terms with the devastation

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he'd unwittingly brought upon his home town.

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Just came bit by bit, now and again.

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He was so pleased that it was all over,

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and could get back to a normal life. But he didn't like talking about it.

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Televag wasn't wiped out by the Nazis,

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because those who survived returned to rebuild it.

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Their new town now stands as a testament

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to the resilience of Norwegian and British resistance

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to the tyranny that stalked these shores.

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Our links across the sea aren't just woven into stories of war.

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They're also etched in the landscape itself.

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Further north along the coastline, we're in the heart of fjord country.

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Wide openings reveal the start of giant inlets,

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some of which snake over 100 miles inland.

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Nick Crane has come to one of Norway's most famous fjords

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to explore a distant connection to our shore.

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Would you look at this?

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Geirangerfjord.

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What a view!

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And what a scale!

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This spectacular fjord is nearly nine miles long, and over 700ft deep.

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It looks extraordinary, very different to our terrain at home.

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But there are more similarities than you might think.

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It's almost impossible to imagine

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that the mighty forces of nature that gouged out this landscape

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are the ones that also shaped Scotland.

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Our connection to these rocks goes back millions of years.

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Here in Norway, we can still see how Britain was built.

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But to do that, I need to go high above the landscape.

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It's an epic story, with action that really is ground-breaking.

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We're heading inland to the uplands, to find out how fjords were made,

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see how the forces that shaped Norway and Scotland are still at work.

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As an amateur geographer this is one of the most exciting days of my life.

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'Ice - the irresistible force that can cut through rock.'

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What an amazing sight, this is like a frozen waterfall.

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This would have been a common sight in Scotland back in the Ice Age.

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What we're looking at is an almost vertical glacier.

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It's carving a U-shaped rocky trench out of the sides of the valley

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and carrying with it lots of rock debris,

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which it will dump further down the valley.

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It's an incredible sight, this is glaciation

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right in front of your eyes. It's happening right now.

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The Norwegian and British coasts are connected by water now.

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But go back 20,000 years, and the link was ice - a giant sheet of ice

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that stretched from Norway to Britain as far south as Norfolk.

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Our landscape still bears the scars of that moving crust of ice.

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It's eroded all but our toughest rock,

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sculpting the peaks of Scotland,

0:25:450:25:47

and gouging the deeply-carved valleys of the Lake District.

0:25:470:25:52

And what's so great about coming to Norway is you can see

0:25:540:25:58

what glaciers in Britain might have looked like 20,000 years ago,

0:25:580:26:03

before our ice melted completely.

0:26:030:26:05

Today, this monumental landscape seems to be at complete peace.

0:26:130:26:19

There's a timeless stillness about it.

0:26:190:26:22

But bits of it are far from still.

0:26:220:26:26

As the glaciers retreat inland, the steep cliffs either side

0:26:300:26:34

of the fjords no longer have anything to prop them up,

0:26:340:26:38

and every so often great hunks of land just fall away,

0:26:380:26:43

down into the fjords.

0:26:430:26:46

The rich vegetation covering the cliff sides

0:26:460:26:49

masks long, potentially lethal fractures in the rock.

0:26:490:26:53

Just look at this.

0:26:580:27:00

This chasm has been formed because the mountainside is splitting -

0:27:000:27:04

parts of it are moving at 20cm a year.

0:27:040:27:08

At some point in the next 300 years,

0:27:080:27:10

all this is going to thunder down into the fjord.

0:27:100:27:14

Up here on the mountainside, I'm meeting Kjell Jogerud,

0:27:210:27:24

whose job it is to monitor the impending landslide.

0:27:240:27:28

-Hello, Kjell.

-Hello.

-Very good to meet you.

0:27:290:27:33

Yeah. Nice to meet you too.

0:27:330:27:34

Can you tell me what is happening to this mountain.

0:27:340:27:38

Yes. Er, as you see beneath us here,

0:27:380:27:41

more or less everything you see is moving.

0:27:410:27:45

And when these masses hit the fjord,

0:27:450:27:47

they will transport down to the bottom,

0:27:470:27:50

cross the fjord, and move up on the shoreline up on the other side.

0:27:500:27:53

This mountain will reach the far side of the fjord?

0:27:530:27:56

Yes, yes. And they will set off deposits across all the fjord,

0:27:560:28:01

and create quite a large tsunami.

0:28:010:28:05

-A tidal wave.

-Yes, yes.

0:28:050:28:07

As the land slides into the fjord,

0:28:090:28:11

the tsunami will funnel down the narrow channels.

0:28:110:28:14

4,000 people live in its devastating path.

0:28:140:28:18

It's not a question of if the tsunami will happen, but when.

0:28:180:28:22

So the Norwegians have rigged this hillside with 300 sensors.

0:28:220:28:26

When the land starts to move,

0:28:260:28:28

they hope to have up to 48 hours' notice to warn everyone in the area -

0:28:280:28:33

by text message, automatic phone calls and sirens.

0:28:330:28:39

The tidal wave will come careering down this fjord, straight ahead here,

0:28:410:28:45

over the top of this ferry and hit Hellesylt behind us.

0:28:450:28:48

The wave is always going to search for open water,

0:28:480:28:51

so some of it will shoot up this side fjord, Geirangerfjord.

0:28:510:28:54

And at the end there, there's nowhere else for it to go.

0:28:540:28:57

At the very end of this fjord,

0:29:010:29:04

there's a little town called Geiranger - home to over 300 people.

0:29:040:29:07

I want to find out why they stay

0:29:070:29:10

when they know that a tsunami is inevitable.

0:29:100:29:14

This is Geiranger, and the head of the fjord.

0:29:190:29:22

When the tidal wave reaches here, it has nowhere else to go.

0:29:220:29:26

A catastrophic wall of water 40 metres high will smash into Geiranger

0:29:260:29:30

and reach the spot where I'm standing now.

0:29:300:29:34

All of these buildings will disappear in an instant.

0:29:340:29:38

One family has lived here for 500 years - almost 20 generations.

0:29:530:29:57

Thomas Grande has his home and camping business right at the water's edge.

0:29:570:30:02

He knows that one day in his lifetime, or his children's,

0:30:020:30:07

or their descendants', the tsunami will come.

0:30:070:30:09

Why do you not move to higher ground where it will be safer?

0:30:130:30:16

Er, because we have our roots here.

0:30:160:30:19

We like it very much here.

0:30:190:30:21

It's a good place to grow up, for Noah.

0:30:210:30:25

But when the wave comes, it will destroy your house,

0:30:250:30:29

it will destroy this beautiful bit of foreshore with the grass

0:30:290:30:33

and the ancient barns, the boatsheds, everything will go.

0:30:330:30:36

Yeah. Everything will go, because just materials.

0:30:360:30:40

The most important is that we can get away safely, and that we trust.

0:30:400:30:43

I think we will settle down again and move back and build it up again.

0:30:430:30:49

What does this piece of land mean to you personally?

0:30:490:30:54

I've been walking here since my first steps,

0:30:540:30:58

so it's very important for me.

0:30:580:31:01

I'm really moved by this place,

0:31:080:31:10

by the immense forces of ice and water which shape the fjords

0:31:100:31:14

and which tell us so much about Scotland's early days.

0:31:140:31:17

But I also wonder whether we Britons, who are facing rising sea levels

0:31:170:31:21

and a change in coastline, can't pick up a tip or two from the people there

0:31:210:31:25

who've learnt to adapt to nature's more ferocious moods.

0:31:250:31:30

Travel along Geirangerfjord and out to the open sea

0:31:470:31:50

and there's another symbol of Norwegian resilience in the face of adversity.

0:31:500:31:54

Here at Alesund in January 1904, a small blaze started in the town.

0:31:560:32:01

It spread rapidly through the tightly-packed wooden houses.

0:32:010:32:05

10,000 people lost their homes as the entire town burnt to the ground.

0:32:050:32:11

The tragedy shocked the nation,

0:32:110:32:13

spurring them on to rebuild Alesund completely in just three years.

0:32:130:32:18

Nearby, it took six years to build this extraordinary five mile-long expressway, the Atlantic Road.

0:32:230:32:31

Eight bridges skim across the sea,

0:32:310:32:33

buttressed by island stepping stones.

0:32:330:32:36

Since it opened in 1989, the Atlantic Road has laid claim

0:32:360:32:41

to being one of the world's greatest driving experiences.

0:32:410:32:45

You don't have to go far off the road to find another curious coastal construction.

0:32:500:32:55

Alice Roberts is on her way to Nyhamna,

0:32:590:33:02

to explore a powerful link to Britain.

0:33:020:33:04

Just beyond those islands is the North Sea,

0:33:110:33:14

which means that between here and home,

0:33:140:33:17

there's an awful lot of oil and gas.

0:33:170:33:20

Our North Sea gas may be running out,

0:33:250:33:28

but the Norwegians still have big reserves.

0:33:280:33:31

So, like asking the neighbours for a cup of sugar, we've had to come here.

0:33:310:33:36

This massive gas plant could be keeping you warm this winter,

0:33:360:33:40

because it'll be supplying up to a fifth of Britain's gas requirements.

0:33:400:33:44

A fifth of the UK's gas -

0:33:470:33:49

that's the equivalent of supplying the needs of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

0:33:490:33:54

The gas lies 74 miles out to sea,

0:33:590:34:02

nearly two miles below the waves.

0:34:020:34:05

It's gathered by platforms sitting on the sea bed, then drawn through pipes

0:34:070:34:12

all the way to the processing plant here in Nyhamna.

0:34:120:34:15

I'm meeting the plant director, Bernt Granas,

0:34:170:34:21

to find out what happens before the gas is piped to us in Britain.

0:34:210:34:26

First of all, we have to get rid of liquids.

0:34:270:34:30

And it's a process that starts in these huge pipes here.

0:34:300:34:33

So when the gas comes ashore it's not just pure gas.

0:34:330:34:37

It's sand, it's gas, it's water and it's antifreeze.

0:34:370:34:41

And how long does this whole process take?

0:34:410:34:44

From the gas when it arrive here on the beach, until it's on its way to the UK, it's 10 minutes.

0:34:440:34:49

10 minutes? And what about Norway, how much gas is used here?

0:34:490:34:54

-We hardly use any gas at all.

-So where do you get your energy?

0:34:540:34:57

We have hydro-electric power and for almost anything here,

0:34:570:35:00

and of course even this plant is running on hydro-electric power.

0:35:000:35:05

So you've got a plant here that's just cleaning up gas

0:35:050:35:08

-for export to Britain, but itself is powered by hydro-electric.

-Yes.

0:35:080:35:12

The Norwegians are fortunate.

0:35:140:35:16

They can fulfil many of their energy needs with hydro-electricity,

0:35:160:35:20

so they've hardly touched their gas.

0:35:200:35:23

But in Britain we've become addicted to the stuff,

0:35:230:35:26

so now we're forced to go to extraordinary lengths to get it.

0:35:260:35:30

The gas leaves the plant here and begins its mammoth journey

0:35:310:35:36

all the way to Easington in Yorkshire. 746 miles in length,

0:35:360:35:41

this is the longest sub-sea pipeline in the world.

0:35:410:35:46

So this is it. I can hear it.

0:35:540:35:56

This is the gas you're hearing, gas going to UK,

0:35:560:36:01

70 million standard cubic metres every day,

0:36:010:36:04

making up one fifth of the gas need.

0:36:040:36:08

How on earth do you lay a pipeline of that length across the seabed?

0:36:080:36:13

Well, it's quite impressive technology in a sense that

0:36:130:36:16

it's laid in 12 metre lengths, welded together, one by one,

0:36:160:36:19

and you put it on the sea bed as you go,

0:36:190:36:22

and in the duration of two summers you can do it.

0:36:220:36:25

I can hear this gas rushing through here at the moment,

0:36:250:36:28

-how many more years do we have?

-Well, you have at least 40 more years.

0:36:280:36:33

-And are you still looking for more fields?

-Always.

0:36:330:36:36

40 years, that's not long.

0:36:400:36:44

The world is facing up to the fact that we need alternative ways to harness energy.

0:36:440:36:49

But perhaps we can find some solutions to our future energy needs

0:36:510:36:55

using something else that we have in common with Norway -

0:36:550:36:59

our very long coastlines.

0:36:590:37:01

Wherever a river meets the sea,

0:37:040:37:06

you get a mixture of saltwater and fresh water.

0:37:060:37:09

The Norwegians' novel plan is to generate electricity

0:37:090:37:14

using salt and fresh water via a process called osmosis.

0:37:140:37:19

A good way to observe osmosis in action is to see how an egg

0:37:220:37:28

can be pumped up in size when it is immersed in fresh water.

0:37:280:37:33

Here are two ordinary hens' eggs.

0:37:360:37:38

First of all I've placed them both in vinegar

0:37:380:37:41

to dissolve the shells away.

0:37:410:37:43

What is left is a bag of eggy fluid in a membrane.

0:37:430:37:47

All the shell has gone. Now, this one I've left like that as a control

0:37:470:37:52

so we can see how big it was to start with.

0:37:520:37:55

The other egg I put in this glass of pure fresh water for 24 hours,

0:37:550:38:03

and you can just see the difference in size.

0:38:030:38:08

Just look at that.

0:38:080:38:09

So the membrane outside the egg is a semi-permeable membrane,

0:38:090:38:13

it allows water in,

0:38:130:38:15

but it doesn't allow the other substances inside the egg out.

0:38:150:38:19

So this is a good demonstration of osmosis.

0:38:190:38:22

The pressure in this egg is now quite enormous.

0:38:220:38:26

Water went in through my egg membrane making it swell up.

0:38:350:38:40

Now exactly the same thing would happen

0:38:400:38:43

if the fluid inside my egg was saltwater.

0:38:430:38:46

It would still swell up because the fresh water is drawn inside

0:38:460:38:51

to dilute the most concentrated salty water.

0:38:510:38:55

The pressure increases inside the egg and harnessing osmotic pressure

0:38:550:38:59

is the novel idea behind the Norwegians' power plant.

0:38:590:39:05

-Hello.

-Hi.

0:39:080:39:09

'I'm meeting Stein Erik Skilhagen.

0:39:090:39:12

'He's created a model to show osmotic power in action.'

0:39:120:39:17

We have three chambers with salt water,

0:39:170:39:21

and we have four chambers with fresh water.

0:39:210:39:24

So we've got alternating chambers of fresh and saltwater,

0:39:240:39:28

-and each one is separated by a membrane.

-Yes.

0:39:280:39:31

The pressure will increase and then when it gets high enough it has to evacuate somewhere.

0:39:310:39:35

-That's going to come out through these pipes here, is it, and then turn our turbine?

-Ja.

0:39:350:39:41

'Inside Stein Erik's clever contraption

0:39:470:39:50

'are four chambers of fresh water and three chambers of salt water,

0:39:500:39:55

'each separated by a special artificial membrane

0:39:550:39:58

'similar to the one around an egg.

0:39:580:40:01

'Between the chambers, osmosis takes place - water forces its way

0:40:020:40:07

'through the membranes from the fresh water into the salt water chambers,

0:40:070:40:12

'and that creates a pressure,

0:40:120:40:14

'eventually forcing the excess water out through these pipes

0:40:140:40:19

'and hopefully turning our model turbine.'

0:40:190:40:22

Starting to get some drips coming through.

0:40:260:40:30

Oh, look at that, off it goes, that's really impressive.

0:40:300:40:35

And the water that comes out here, that is brackish water - mixture of sea water and fresh water.

0:40:350:40:39

So that's spinning around nicely now,

0:40:390:40:43

so if you were to attach a generator to this, you could make electricity.

0:40:430:40:46

We think this is going to be a very good way to produce new renewable energy.

0:40:460:40:51

The pressure osmosis can produce is enormous.

0:40:540:40:58

An osmotic power plant could harness energy equivalent to nearly a 400-foot waterfall.

0:40:580:41:04

By exploiting this completely natural process,

0:41:040:41:07

far more electricity could be generated

0:41:070:41:10

than from a conventional water wheel driven by the same river.

0:41:100:41:15

The model may work, but scaling it up into a renewable resource to rival wind power is a big challenge.

0:41:190:41:27

Full scale power stations are still a long way off,

0:41:270:41:32

but for me, this is surprising and really promising science.

0:41:320:41:37

If the Norwegian prototype works,

0:41:380:41:41

then just imagine what that could mean for the UK.

0:41:410:41:44

We could look forward to a time

0:41:440:41:46

when we could produce clean, renewable energy

0:41:460:41:49

from the fresh water and salt water

0:41:490:41:52

that's so abundant along our coastline.

0:41:520:41:55

To travel along this coast by land,

0:42:030:42:06

you need time to spare and then some.

0:42:060:42:10

To speed up my journey I'm heading for Trondheim.

0:42:110:42:15

I'm not stopping in the port for long,

0:42:220:42:26

this is my springing off point to the far north.

0:42:260:42:30

Because Norway is so long and thin

0:42:330:42:35

and has that fiddly coastline with all those fjords,

0:42:350:42:39

it makes more sense to travel by sea than by road,

0:42:390:42:42

so they've got a ferry that travels practically the entire coastline,

0:42:420:42:45

so that's me all the way to the Arctic Circle and beyond.

0:42:450:42:49

This is nice, a bit posher than your average ferry, I must say.

0:42:550:42:59

This is one of 12 ferries that make up a scheduled service

0:43:040:43:08

that the locals call the Hurtigruten, or coastal express,

0:43:080:43:12

and it's a transport system with a special place in Norwegian hearts.

0:43:120:43:17

Since 1893, the Hurtigruten fleet of ships has been a reliable way

0:43:170:43:21

to reach some of the most northerly towns and villages.

0:43:210:43:24

In the early years, it was a lifeline

0:43:260:43:29

for the people living in these remote areas.

0:43:290:43:32

Day and night, the ships faithfully ply their way up and down

0:43:350:43:39

the length of the Norwegian coast.

0:43:390:43:42

The Hurtigruten service seems unstoppable,

0:43:420:43:44

even when the weather whips up.

0:43:440:43:46

The oldest ship of the fleet still steams by at an incredible pace.

0:43:500:43:55

That globe on that little island

0:43:580:44:00

marks the start or the boundary of the Arctic Circle,

0:44:000:44:03

so I'm just about to cross it

0:44:030:44:05

and I'm waiting nervously for a siren to blow, actually.

0:44:050:44:08

SHIP'S HORN BLOWS

0:44:080:44:11

That'll be the Arctic Circle, then.

0:44:110:44:14

It's exactly the weather I was expecting, it's the wild north.

0:44:140:44:18

What I wasn't expecting was the arrival of a mythical sea god -

0:44:220:44:26

King Neptune.

0:44:260:44:27

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the Arctic Circle ceremony, King Neptune is here to say hello to you.

0:44:270:44:33

This I don't need.

0:44:350:44:37

Right, do your worst, Neptune.

0:44:450:44:48

Evil despot, that's what he is.

0:44:530:44:54

But Neptune's ice-breaker is nothing compared to Norway's most northerly land.

0:44:560:45:03

Beyond even the Hurtigruten's reach is Svalbard.

0:45:060:45:10

Svalbard is a group of Norwegian Irelands

0:45:120:45:16

on the way to the North Pole.

0:45:160:45:17

It's a tough place to live, but polar bears like it

0:45:170:45:22

and so does one Aussie photographer on the hunt for a good bear shot.

0:45:220:45:26

My name is Jason Roberts, I was born in Australia,

0:45:370:45:40

which from where we're sitting at the moment

0:45:400:45:43

is completely the opposite side of the globe.

0:45:430:45:46

I currently live on Svalbard

0:45:470:45:49

which is one of the most amazing places on the planet.

0:45:490:45:52

Adventure and outdoors is the reason why I come to Svalbard.

0:45:530:45:57

No beautiful girl involved.

0:45:570:46:00

Unfortunately we're too late for any good shots of the bear

0:46:030:46:06

taking a kill here.

0:46:060:46:08

We're too late for dinner.

0:46:100:46:12

I move from height to height, so the next stop will be up on the coastline.

0:46:170:46:21

We're following the ice edge, we have new ice out from the older ice here,

0:46:210:46:25

and more than movement, we're looking for the wrong colour.

0:46:250:46:30

Bears are more creamy yellow colour than the ice.

0:46:300:46:35

He's just walking, licking the air,

0:46:450:46:47

trying to smell for ringed seal lairs.

0:46:470:46:50

Not fussed about us at all - he knows he's a king.

0:46:500:46:54

Polar bears are generally quite good animals, we spend so much time

0:47:000:47:04

with some bears, you really feel you get to know their personality.

0:47:040:47:07

After many days, after weeks with the same polar bear,

0:47:070:47:11

you feel that you can come and find them two weeks later and say,

0:47:110:47:15

"Hi, good to see you again after last time."

0:47:150:47:18

Svalbard is a place that, like a lot of extreme things, eats into you

0:47:210:47:26

like a virus and it's harder and harder to get away from it,

0:47:260:47:30

and everything else seems so mundane, boring.

0:47:300:47:34

Once you get that polar virus in you it's very hard to remove it.

0:47:360:47:40

CAMERA SHUTTER WHIRRS CONSTANTLY

0:47:420:47:46

Totally awesome, totally awesome.

0:47:460:47:49

I could feel the snow around me pound as he went through the lair.

0:47:490:47:52

Hardly ever experience something like that.

0:47:520:47:56

More people have been on the top of Everest than have experienced that.

0:47:560:48:00

Totally awesome.

0:48:000:48:03

Back on the coastal express,

0:48:150:48:17

I'm on course to reach my destination -

0:48:170:48:20

the Lofoten Islands.

0:48:200:48:22

Few Norwegians get this far north,

0:48:220:48:25

but many are in awe of these mystical islands.

0:48:250:48:28

I can feel a knot of anticipation in my stomach,

0:48:300:48:34

but imagine how, over 60 years ago,

0:48:340:48:36

British Commandos and their Navy comrades felt

0:48:360:48:40

as they steamed, in secret, through these waters in 1941,

0:48:400:48:44

about to take the war to Hitler in Nazi-occupied Norway.

0:48:440:48:49

In the early morning of the 4th of March 1941,

0:48:550:48:58

the Germans occupying the Lofoten Islands

0:48:580:49:00

were utterly unaware of what was about to hit them.

0:49:000:49:03

Five destroyers and two ships carrying Commandos

0:49:050:49:08

were creeping up on the islands.

0:49:080:49:10

This was Operation Claymore.

0:49:120:49:14

They came into this harbour at Svolvaer under cover of darkness.

0:49:170:49:21

In early 1941, the German forces were supremely confident,

0:49:210:49:26

the masters of Western Europe,

0:49:260:49:28

but this raid by British and Norwegian forces was the beginning of the fight back.

0:49:280:49:33

Fish oil factories being used to make glycerine for munitions were destroyed.

0:49:360:49:41

German soldiers, officials and collaborators were rounded up

0:49:410:49:44

and the whole operation was filmed to show the folks back home that we were standing up to Hitler.

0:49:440:49:49

'In a daring and highly successful raid, British and Norwegian forces

0:49:490:49:53

'swept down on the Lofoten Islands off Narvik.

0:49:530:49:57

'We sank 18,000 tonnes of enemy merchant shipping and took over 220 prisoners.

0:49:570:50:02

'Stinging blows like this are swinging the war of nerves

0:50:020:50:06

'against Hitler.'

0:50:060:50:09

As the euphoria of success wore off,

0:50:160:50:19

the world viewed the raid on the Lofotens as a vital morale booster,

0:50:190:50:23

but with little strategic value.

0:50:230:50:25

Only a handful of people knew the true significance of this raid -

0:50:250:50:30

how a chance discovery here

0:50:300:50:32

would help change the course of the Second World War.

0:50:320:50:36

While the ships were blazing in the harbour over there,

0:50:390:50:43

a group of brave British soldiers managed to get aboard

0:50:430:50:46

an armed German trawler called the Krebs, which was out there,

0:50:460:50:49

between that big rock and the shore.

0:50:490:50:52

Before it sank, they managed to recover a priceless prize -

0:50:520:50:56

a set of wheels like these,

0:50:560:50:58

top secret rotors from a German Enigma encoding machine.

0:50:580:51:03

Type a letter on the Enigma machine

0:51:050:51:07

and it made these gear wheels rotate,

0:51:070:51:10

producing a message you could only read with another machine

0:51:100:51:13

with the rotors set the same way.

0:51:130:51:15

Not only were rotors captured in the Lofoten raid,

0:51:150:51:20

they also got hold of an Enigma code book.

0:51:200:51:23

All were sent back to Bletchley Park,

0:51:230:51:26

the British code-breaking centre.

0:51:260:51:29

These were vital parts of the puzzle,

0:51:290:51:32

helping finally to crack the Enigma code,

0:51:320:51:35

shortening the war and saving countless lives.

0:51:350:51:38

The Lofoten archipelago is made up of six main islands

0:51:480:51:51

which sit deep within the Arctic Circle.

0:51:510:51:55

These waters aren't as cold as you might imagine -

0:51:550:51:59

they are washed by the warm Gulf Stream

0:51:590:52:02

which attracts huge shoals of cod and the fishermen to catch them.

0:52:020:52:06

The town of Svalvard is dotted with evidence of the boom times of cod fishing.

0:52:090:52:15

Huts like these were built to accommodate an army of fisherman,

0:52:150:52:19

thousands of them sleeping two or even three to a bunk.

0:52:190:52:23

They came every winter when the cod in their millions arrived in the waters off the north of Norway.

0:52:230:52:29

With a big bounty of fish suddenly landing in their laps,

0:52:320:52:36

they needed a way to preserve it.

0:52:360:52:37

So the fish were tied in pairs and hung in the air to dry.

0:52:390:52:43

It's an age-old method for making fast food

0:52:430:52:48

that the Vikings knew all about.

0:52:480:52:50

Right, then, this is the dried cod.

0:52:560:52:59

Every March, these huge racks are festooned with the fresh fish

0:52:590:53:04

and it dries in the wind.

0:53:040:53:06

This is what the Vikings took with them on their epic voyages

0:53:060:53:09

because once dried, it's preserved and it'll last a long time.

0:53:090:53:14

Now, believe it or not, I'm supposed to eat a bit of this

0:53:140:53:17

after first tenderising it by beating it with this hammer, but...

0:53:170:53:21

I've eaten some things in my time, but I draw the line.

0:53:210:53:24

This is beyond rank.

0:53:240:53:26

If this is what the Vikings ate as well as being terrifyingly violent,

0:53:260:53:31

they must have had breath that would stun a monkey.

0:53:310:53:35

The Vikings didn't just keep the dry cod for themselves,

0:53:360:53:40

they traded it with other countries.

0:53:400:53:43

You don't really think of the Vikings as fish salesmen,

0:53:460:53:49

but as Christianity became more and more established in Britain,

0:53:490:53:53

the church began to discourage the eating of meat on Fridays,

0:53:530:53:57

so fish was on the menu instead.

0:53:570:53:59

Of course fresh fish stock started to fall,

0:53:590:54:03

and dried cod was in demand.

0:54:030:54:05

Trading cod with countries like Britain

0:54:070:54:10

helped make the Viking rich enough to indulge in some grand designs.

0:54:100:54:16

Here in the Lofotens they've reconstructed a Viking chieftain's long house,

0:54:160:54:20

based on evidence from archaeological remains nearby.

0:54:200:54:25

You could say it's the replica of a house that cod built.

0:54:250:54:29

-Hello, Margarethe.

-Hello, welcome.

0:54:290:54:32

'Archaeologist Margarethe Rabas is going to show me around.'

0:54:320:54:36

So what happens in here then? It looks like a bit of everything.

0:54:420:54:46

This is what we believe has been the living quarters,

0:54:460:54:50

most of the everyday life has been going on here.

0:54:500:54:54

How many people would have lived and worked in this building?

0:54:540:55:00

It's really hard to say, but an estimate is between 70 and 80 people.

0:55:000:55:06

-That's a big group.

-Yeah.

0:55:060:55:10

This is the great hall, and this room has been

0:55:100:55:14

the political and social centre also.

0:55:140:55:18

So, this is the heart, the beating heart of the community here.

0:55:180:55:23

What was found by the archaeologists

0:55:230:55:25

on the actual site?

0:55:250:55:27

They found everyday tools and things like that,

0:55:270:55:32

but also really precious imported items like glass and pottery.

0:55:320:55:37

There was glass imported from Britain found here.

0:55:370:55:41

These artefacts of commerce and conflict

0:55:450:55:48

show there were two sides to the Vikings.

0:55:480:55:50

We know they were war-like,

0:55:500:55:53

but they didn't just come to Britain to raid, they also came to trade.

0:55:530:55:58

The Norwegians have preserved the heritage of their seafaring ancestors

0:56:030:56:07

who reached out from this shore to Britain and beyond.

0:56:070:56:12

Records of their voyages were written down in the great Norse sagas.

0:56:120:56:16

Reading about it is all very well.

0:56:160:56:20

But if I really want to find out about how the Vikings got around,

0:56:200:56:24

I've to get aboard one of these.

0:56:240:56:26

This beautiful clinker-built longship is modern, but it's made to an ancient blueprint,

0:56:260:56:32

and the feeling on board is authentic and timeless.

0:56:320:56:38

HE SINGS IN NORWEGIAN

0:56:380:56:41

On a Viking longship on a fjord in Norway, brilliant.

0:56:420:56:47

HE SINGS IN NORWEGIAN

0:56:470:56:50

Listening to the old Viking song, I'm reminded of what we've found on our trip to Norway.

0:56:540:57:00

That memories of our shared histories across the North Sea

0:57:020:57:05

keep this country and our own fundamentally linked.

0:57:050:57:10

Our landscapes shaped by ice...

0:57:120:57:16

our common thirst for energy...

0:57:160:57:18

our reliance on the sea.

0:57:180:57:20

And the bond of blood between seafaring folk

0:57:250:57:27

whose lives have touched in friendship and in war.

0:57:270:57:31

For the first time, Coast explores the spectacular shoreline of Norway to discover Britain's age-old link to the land of the fjords.

Neil Oliver journeys deep into the Arctic Circle to reveal the little-known role that a British raid on Norway's Nazi-occupied Lofoten Islands played in helping to win the Second World War. In 1941, a code book recovered from a German trawler was a vital clue in cracking the top secret Enigma code.

On the Lofoten Islands, Neil also explores the traditional red huts which once housed lonely cod fishermen, squeezed in three to a bunk; today the huts are popular as holiday homes. Neil is challenged to taste the 'local delicacy' of air-dried cod - medieval fast food which sustained the Vikings on their epic voyages.

Meanwhile, Alice Roberts visits a processing plant that supplies one-fifth of Britain's gas requirements via the world's longest sub-sea pipeline. In 40 years, the gas will all be gone, but Alice discovers a potential new form of renewable energy - osmotic power.

Mark Horton searches for the design secrets of the Norsemen's fearsome longships, which propelled the Vikings to our shores. Mark meets boat builders who still use the centuries-old methods inherited from their ancestors.

Nick Crane takes a trip over one of Norway's most beautiful fjords to witness the great ice sheets. Theirs was the force which once sculpted Britain's own landscape; in Norway they are still at work gouging out the mighty glacial valleys. At Geirangerfjord, Nick discovers that this inexorable movement of the ice will eventually create a devastating tsunami.

And in the frozen landscape of Svalbard, wildlife photographer Jason Roberts is hunting for the perfect shot of a polar bear.


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