We started our trip from Bodø, a small industrial city just above the artic circle. The city itself is not very interesting, but it does make a nice starting point for a travel to the Lofoten, which lay a 3 hour ferry trip away to the east. After we checked in into our hotel we drove around a bit and ended up on mount Rønvik from where you have an excellent view over the city and the coast .
Close to Bodø you can find Saltstraumen which has the strongest tidal current in the world. The current is at strongest four times a day and you can only see its real power by seeing a boat struggeling to go into the wrong direction. On our way to Saltstraumen we passed this shed near the water, with a beautiful reflecting in the water .
After staying the night in Bodø we drove around a bit more, and ended up at the ruins of a fortress across Bodø's harbour. Here we relaxed and kept an eye on the myriage of ships entering and leaving the harbour . Later on the day we took the ferry to the Lofoten. From the ferry we saw Værøy , the first island we were going to visit, looming up in the mist. After arriving we "checked-in" into our rorbu, an old fishermans cabin. Rorbua are usually cheap, but sober, cabins which people now rent out to tourists to stay the night. We didn't say long there and proceeded to drive around on the island to see what's happening there.
As a typical island in the Lofoten, Værøy has ragged peeks and steep cliffs. The island is pretty small, so we quickly saw most of it. We decided that we wanted to see the sun rise, which meant we need to get up in the middle of the night, well, 02:00. As the Lofoten are so far north, we barely missed the midnight sun with 10 days or so. So, we got up at two in the morning and drove to the west side of the island, just to see the sun rise, just behind this mountain . Bugger.
The next day we first stopped by the shop on Værøy to buy the necessary material (bread) for our hiking trip to Fuglefjell (bird mountain) to see some of the wildlife on the island. We had a lovely 6 or so hour hike, and saw lots of seaguls , a couple of seals , a few eagles and some " toppskarv ". As we couldn't quite walk all the way to Fuglefjell, we crossed the island's mountain "ridge" to have a look at " Måstad ", the abandonned fishing village. We were all sweaty when we came back from the hike, so we decided to take a refreshing bath in the Ocean. Estimated water temperature: 15°C, estimated air temperature: 11°C. On the same day we took the ferry to Moskenes, and from there to Å i Lofoten where we stayed the night in another rorbu.
From Å we drove past Reine on our way to Nusfjord, "Norways best preserved fiskevær". In this old town they still process dried cod, by hanging them out to dry in the strong winds. They make a whole fuss about this there, and although it's worthwhile having a look, you shouldn't get overexcited. Our sleeping place was in Kabelvåg, 5 minutes south of Svolvær.
We decided to stay one more day in Svolvær to climb to Svolværgeita , a famous rock formation. As we didn't have proper climbing gear, nor the experience to climb at all, we instead hiked to the backside of the formation, where we took a picture of Svolværgeita with Svolvær in the background.
The view was magnificant from there. Too bad the weather wasn't a bit better as we got some rain, but that's to expect when you go to the Lofoten.
From Svolvær we continued our trip to Andenes on Andøya, which is not part of the Lofoten, but of another archipelago, the Vesterålen. Unlike the Lofoten the island of the Vesterålen are not littered with mountains, instead there are a lot of plains and lakes . Andenes is a very small town, with besides it's lighthouse , seemingly only one major attraction: whale safari. We wanted to do that the next day, but as the weather would get worse, we instead went almost straight away in the evening. The temparature was still only 10°C so we put on a lot of warm clothes (I used 5 layers) and got our photo gear as we wanted to put those whales on the picture ofcourse. We had a lot of luck as it wasn't very windy, so the sea was quite calm. After an hour steeming we approached the area where the whales appear. At this place the continental sheft abruptly ends making it an ideal place to see sperm whales and minke whales. We were quite lucky and saw 3 sperm whales and a minke whale. Unfortunately the latter one had also some whalers on its tail.
After the great whale safari it was time to start on our way back to Bodø, but we did that in two days as it was quite a long drive. The first part of the leg went to Lødingen, a very small town, but close to the ferry that would bring us all the way back to Bodø. As we were a bit early, we decided to drive to Harstad to do well... get dinner. Harstad is pretty boring, and so is Lødingen. But atleast in Lødingen you can rest.
On the last day we drove back to Bodø from where we took the plane back to Sandefjord. On the first leg the plane actually stopped in another place before continuing to Trondheim. First time that happened to me. We made it safely back home after this wonderful trip.