Halb 8 und es ist stockdunkel! So haben wir uns die Polarkreisüberquerung vorgestellt: kalt und es schneit. Auch Rentiere haben wir bereits gesichtet.
Today would be the first day in 24 days that we had fewer than 24 hours of daylight, the sun having set at 12:33am for a whole hour!
We left our overnight spot earlier than usual to watch an amazing natural phenomenon - the Saltstraumen Maelstrom; a series of whirlpools that form at mid tide as the water drains between two fjords via the 150m wide, 3km long Saltstraumen Straight. It is claimed to be the world's 'largest' tidal current, moving 400 million cubic metres of water with speeds of up to 20 knots. You can see a video of what we saw on VnWTravels' YouTube Channel here: https://youtu.be/up-WRRksAv4
Parking up with a group of other vans, we headed out, clad in waterproofs, to the apex of the large tall and long Saltstrambrua bridge that spanned the Staright, from where we could observe the spectacle from above. In the main channel, two wide bands of aerated water, whirling and bubbling like a jacuzzi, stretched downstream. It was difficult to believe this was the sea, not a river. Distinctively different colours of turquoise and emerald green were being stirred up and running alongside each other. We passed over Storeholmen, a midstream island on which a multitudinous colony of gulls was nesting and flying in to feed their fluffy speckled chicks, who huddled into the low vegetation or blended into the bare rock.
On the far side of the island was a narrower channel in which many smaller tight twirls of water travelled with the current in lines almost perpendicular to the flow. These weren't infused with air like the larger ones and their cores were dark.
On our return a speedboat boat came powering through the comparatively calm middle line between the two large bands of cauldrons (as they are known locally). However, when it hit the point at which the two whirlpool strings met it was pulled from side to side and struggled to keep its course. Rather them than us!
After a warming cuppa and biccies in the van we had a wander down to the shore under the bridge to take in the maelstrom at close quarters. Many whirlpools were over 5m in diameter and it was interesting to see a marked difference in the height of the water bubbling up compared to that of the calmer sections. We spent quarter of an hour or so in a nearby centre that sold a few souvenirs and had an impressive photographic display of underwater scenes, many of them close-ups of fish or marine minibeasts, printed on large glossy boards (although we doubt they were taken in the Straights).
Moving on and inland, we entered the Saltfjellet-Svartisen National Park and found home for the night in a restplace in Dypen Nature Reserve. Parked overlooking white water rapids bordered with trees and cradled in between two steep rocky slopes it was a beautiful spot. When the rain abated that evening we sat on one of the round wooden picnic tables with a glass of whiskey while Will did his best to keep a fire going in a stone circle with the slightly damp wood he'd collected. Swatting at the odd mosquito, we toasted to what would be our last night within the Arctic Circle for a while.Read more
Und weiter nach Bodø. 👍👍😀
First stop today was the ferry from the end of the Lofoten islands across to the large town of Bodo. Not a huge place by any means, but definitely the largest place we've seen in a while! The ferry ride took about 4 hours, very smooth. Had an overpriced hot dog on board for lunch, did a bit of video editing and some writing as well as there was naturally no wifi.
Once we'd disembarked it was around 2pm, so we just started heading slowly south. Not much planned and no real target since we didn't need to reach our next proper landmark until tomorrow, so we just stopped at a convenient-looking spot on the highway.
Rain and possible snow was the forecast, so we opted for a cabin instead which turned out to be half caravan, half cabin. Interesting combo. A little cramped and very dated style but it was cheap and adequate. Managed to finally see the midnight sun at basically our last opportunity, as tomorrow we'll go below the arctic circle again.Read more
Von unserem Nachtquatier ging es entlang der E6 weiter Richtung Norden. Letztes Jahr Baustelle, dieses Jahr Baustelle aber auf langer Strecke neue Fahrbahn und Wegführung. Schon interessant zu sehen, was in einem Jahr geschafft wurde und wie unberührt teilweise dennoch die Natur drum herum ist. Wir legten einen Zwischenstopp ein um Fotos zu machen.
Kurz vorm Polarkreis füllten wir in Mo i Rana das erste mal Gas auf. Die Flasche war zwar noch nicht leer, doch da wir noch nicht genau wissen wohin die Reise geht, wollten wir auf Nummer sicher gehen. Frischwasser gestaltete sich etwas schwieriger, doch auch dafür wurden wir fündig.
Da jetzt alles aufgefüllt, leer & frisch ist, haben wir uns entschieden wieder frei zu stehen. Es gab dieses Jahr noch nicht einen Campingplatz für uns... Irgendwie herrlich!!
Am Polarkreis angekommen, hatten wir mit etwas Schnee zu dieser Jahreszeit bereits gerechnet, doch was uns dort erwartete...Ein Traum in weiss. Letztes Jahr hatte dieser Ort etwas dunkles und beängstigendes, heute wirkte er auf uns direkt viel einladender. Drei Mal Polarkreis - drei Mal komplett andere Stimmung. Heute halt so. Die Straßen waren frei und die Temperatur lag bei über 0°C. Also wunderbar.
Jetzt gerade macht Daniel Feuer, dass Essen ist vorbereitet, Handyempfang gleich null & die Nacht soll klar werden. Wir werden gleich essen & auf Polarlichter hoffen... Ruhe haben wir hier auf jeden Fall...Read more
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