Gold rushFebruary 28 in Norway ⋅ ⛅ -1 °C
Finally, close to our main target, wait for us!
Finally, close to our main target, wait for us!
The sommelier said that it will be an amazing season 2018/2019.
What is happening here?
Made an Excursion to Henningsvaer and Svolvaer. It was a 2 hours drive one way from Hamnoy. Since we did not saw the landscape on travel to Reine we really enjoyed so see all the Fjords and Mountains. We even found a Beach near Ramber which was amazing.
Hours after our tyre fiasco and all nighter, we were finally on the road again and, in spite of the horrible weather, got to enjoy some of the stunning views from the Lofoten. Who needs sleep or tyres anyway?
We didn't intend to go far today but we did need to move on because the toilet was getting full. Luckily Will had found a nearby restplace with another of the space age toilet cassette emptying machines. There was a boardwalk a few hundred meters long that ended at a vantage point over the fjord. When we pulled in there were only about 3 other vehicles but as we were emptying the place filled quickly with cars, vans and two coaches. There was a business in the air and people conveyed a sense of being rushed, something we had largely escaped further North. The Lofoten Islands provide fewer toilet and bin facilities, meaning there is some litter. It is also the first time since entering Norway that we have encountered signs asking you not to stay overnight. After we'd managed to avoid a third coach reversing at an unnerving rate towards us as we tried to exit, we reflected that these islands, famous for their scenic beauty, probably get deluged with visitors in the height of summer.
The scenery certainly was pretty. Small, low islands nestled in inlets, their grey rocks topped with thick moss, low growing heathers and wild berry bushes. Behind them, mountains rose precipitously into the clouds. We stopped just before the arching Gimsøystraumen bridge and took a short stroll through a delightful shoreside meadow brimming with yellows, purples and whites. Familiar Campions and Vetches grew beside plants we'd never seen before. On our return we saw a group of people photographing the ground. Upon further investigation we discovered they'd stumbled upon some Cloud Berries, a fruit that looks a bit like a pink blackberry and grows very close to the ground. There weren't many so we didn't pick and eat any, even though we were tempted.
Crossing Sunnlandsfjorden onto the small island of Gimsøya we soon came to another, shorter bridge that took us to Vestvågøy, where we turned off the main road, allowing us to slow our pace and find a small area of rough ground, overlooking the Straight between the islands. It was a tight squeeze to get in but the views were worth it.Read more
Feeling refreshed after a two night stay we were ready to cross over the Tjeldsundbrua Bridge onto the Lofoten Islands, famous for their beauty (and in Norway that is saying something!) On large Hinnøya we started to see light sandy beaches arching around coves. They were spotted with with piles of ochre brown seaweed and looked inviting. Verges bloomed with small bright wildflowers; purple clover, yellow buttercups and warm yellow Birds Foot Trefoil, backed by the taller white flowered cow parsley and occasional purple, pink and blue lupins. If Hinnøya was anything to go on, the islands would certainly live up to their reputation.
When passing through the colorful village of Kongsvika we saw paintings of trolls and 3ft tall homemade models of troll couples. Apparently there is an 'enchanted forest' nearby where you can follow the 'Troll Trail' to get a chance of seeing one! The islands seem more commercialised than the Far North and bicycles whose baskets were overspilling with flowers beckoned you to various enterprises, including garage sales consisting mostly of traditional looking wooden items.
Crossing over to the island of Austvågøya via a tunnel (no subterranean roundabouts this time), we stopped for lunch at a picnic site and a worker was laying on his stomach digging a hole by hand to put up a sign. He said they usually use a jackhammer but it was being used elsewhere and the sign needed to go up today. The sign said 'No Camping'. The worker added that it had no legal status and that he was still going to bring his camper van here!
Moving on, we found a lovely layby just round the corner from the village of Laupstad at the head of a fjord. We'd decided to slow the pace a little and it was before 2pm when we arrived. We therefore had the time and energy to take advantage of the sunshine and launch the canoe down the steep slope on our first foray onto a Norwegian fjord in the Arctic Circle! We passed a small islet and travelled down the fjord before angling ourselves diagonally against the waves and crossing over to the opposite shore before skirting the village at the head of the fjord and returning to our overnight spot. The water was clear and we able to see the mix of sand, rocks and weed beneath us in the shallows. It felt very special to be able to be out on the water with the towering spiky mountains, their recesses still full of snow and their streams gushing down the sleek bare rocks that yeilded to verdant green moss, shrubs and a few hardy trees.
One thing we've noticed about Northern Norway at this time of year is the lack of change between day and night. Because the sun doesn't set, there is little cooling and the morning mists are far less common. The colour of the sky remains quite similar and you don't get the amazing spectacle you otherwise would at sundown and sunrise. The steep angle of the land as it enters the water also minimizes the area of shore exposed at low tide. However, we've travelled south at quite a rate and are beginning to notice the dulling of light in the late evenings. The Lofoten Islands also have many areas with shallow shelving shores and as the sea emptied from the fjord we were parked by, it revealed a stretch of sand onto which the wading birds stalked. Vicky even went down with an umbrella and paddled out through the knee high water to the small islet we'd canoed past earlier.
Just before 9pm Will was looking out on the bay and what did he see? Another Sea Otter scampering accross the rocks! He called Vicky and she managed to watch too as it traversed the seaweed and slid into the fjord. We couldn't believe it, after not having seen a Sea Otter for years and years, we see two different ones, on two consecutive evenings more than 100km apart! Amazing!Read more
Auf den Lofoten hat das erste "Come together" der Teams des Baltic Sea Circle 2018 stattgefunden.
Nach Mitternacht sind wir als letztes eingelaufen und haben uns neben 2 super netten Hamburgern, die auch mit einem Feuerwehrauto (Audrüster Lampe) unterwegs sind, niedergelassen.
Einige von uns haben sich gleich mal in die 11 bis 12 Grad kalte Norwegische See gestürzt, um dann wieder fit mit anderen Teams am Lagerfeuer unseren Biervorrat zu vertilgen und die Erlebnisse auszutauschen.Read more
Matti wurde ganz schön durchgeschüttelt in der Nacht. Aber wie versprochen hörte der Regen gegen Morgen auf. So konnten wir ein bisschen dessen, was wir gestern mangels Weitsicht verpasst hatten, aufholen und viele schöne Panoramen schießen. Die Berglandschaft hier ist wirklich außergewöhnlich. Dazu noch dieses türkisblaue und absolut klare Wasser des Nordmeeres. Eine Farbkombination, die kaum auszuhalten ist, so schön ist sie.
Heute haben wir uns Svolvær und die Fischerdörfer Kabelvåg und Henningsvær angeschaut, die alle malerisch in diese grandiose Bergkulisse eingebettet sind. Abends mussten wir nochmal ins Campingplatzrestaurant, einfach weil's gestern so lecker war. Und in unseren neuen Windstoppernorwegerwolljacken saßen wir noch lange unten am Wasser und bewunderten einen sagenhaften Regenbogen.Read more
Greetings from Guest Blogger Anita. Last night, as sensible people were windng down at 9pm after an early, Arctic Circle start to the day, we arrived at Svolvaer 68'N. Pulling in to the quay, there was a poignant memorial to the women who have lost men at sea and behind that A frame fish drying racks. Svolvaer was a small town, and after a walk around we would have been happy to hit the hay. Alas, on reboarding at 9:45pm, an announcement was made that at 11pm we would enter Trollsfjord and that it was worthwhile seeing. Although it was cloudy we were also interested to see how light it stayed that late and so stayed up. Trollsfjord is only 100m wide (the ship is just under 20m wide) and can be visited in calm weather, which we had last night. The crew handed out delicious fish soup to sustain the crowds there. We didnt quite make midnight, and there wasn't sun, but the light was bizarre and wonderful to experience.Read more
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