Monday, 30 June 2014

Week 10a – Glaciers and Arctic Circle

Week 10a – Glaciers and Arctic Circle
Oh Norway – you are magnificent! Gorgeous drive north along harbours and sounds, salmon farms, impressive bridges, ferries, trawlers, islands, mountains with table-top clouds (and what a difference sunshine makes!) 

Steep lane to Namsos lookout - gun placements dug straight into stone. Plaque said warehouses were all that was left when Hitler bombed the town for his birthday....

Caught Lund to Hofles ferry, find ourselves saying "how pretty" each time we turn a corner. Good roads, tunnels, bridges following fjords. Flagged down motorist to interpret sign in Norwegian in middle of Vennesund ferry road – yep, road closed ahead. Long way round was pretty though, with jagged mountains, ice patches, moss contoured boulders, waterfalls, wooden churches. Along ferry queue, enterprising local kids were pulling cart selling coffee from flasks. Found free camp beside inlet overlooking low round mountains worn away by thousands of years of glacial activity. Looked so much like a lake it was a surprise to find (Atlantic Ocean!) starfish and sea snails in water. 


Continuing sunshine, reflections in still waters, and lots more ferry crossings - Horn to Andalsvagen, Forvik to Tjotta, then Levang to Nesna. Drove coast road, middle inhospitable with high rocky ice-capped mountains. 

Ferry queue provides maintenance break....


Admired magnificent Helgeland - one of world’s largest stay-cable bridges. In Mo i Rana saw "Ocean Man" in Ransfjord harbor, 10mt granite sculpture by Anthony Gormley, who sculpted the skinny statues on Lake Ballard in WA.

Stegasaurus Ridge...


Took boat to see Svartisen, Norway’s 2nd largest glacier, terraced waterfalls from melting ice. To reach Austerdalsisen glacial finger we had an uphill 3km round walk, over terraced rocks and lakes, water an opaque milky blue. 

Waterfalls looked like Snakes and Ladders!!

Water pounding out from rocks
Can you see us all....??

Sky celebrating our triumph!

Next was exciting Arctic Circle crossing on Saltfjellet mountain plateau. We hadn’t realized there’d been a concentration camp on site until we found memorials to Hungarians and Russians who had died building railroad in the extreme cold. Marker made of “Norwegian Rose” marble mined 100km north in Fauske. Enormously pleased to have crossed latitude 66 into land of the midnight sun!!


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