Lofoten Islands Part 1

Our year long adventure begins! First stop: arctic Norway. For fjords, surrounded by numerous grand peaks, dramatically rising out of the sea.

Lofoten islands lie off the Northern coast of Norway, above the Arctic Circle. We started our adventure crossing the icy waters by ferry from Bodø to the south west part of the islands.

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A single main road runs through the islands and our aim is to travel it from one end to the other, zigzagging from coast to coast. Our first destination was a place called – simply – Å.

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Å is an old fishing village although most of the fishermen’s huts, or rorbuer, have been converted into tourist accommodation.

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We stayed in a hostel curiously placed above a stockfish (or tørrfisk) museum (no, we don’t know what that means either). The view from our room came with complimentary seagull.

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Wherever you go in this part of the islands, there are wooden structures used to dry fish heads in their thousands. We don’t yet know why…

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We were quite awestruck by Å (incidentally pronounced “awe”) with its sea-level lake surrounded by snowy peaks.

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After Å we moved on to Bunes beach, which involved a fjord ferry trip from nearby Reine to Vinstad (the bustling metropolis from which the below photo was taken), followed by a 45 minute hike.

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We camped on the beach at the foot of the 602 metre Helvetestinden (Hell’s summit). Tent approximately 2 metres above sea level.

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A midnight wander around included a visit to the freshwater stream at the far side of the beach. Niina noted the water tasted of snow. Roger was none the wiser.

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The next day our return to Reine was via the next fjord ferry back – 24 hours after the one we arrived on. Recovering from our colder-than-expected camping experience, we stayed in Reine for a night, waking to quite a view the following morning.

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Farewell to Reine, on to Kvalvika beach next…

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