Monday, 7 July 2014

Week 10b – Fabulous Lofotens and Reindeer in the Land of Midnight Sun

Week 10b – Fabulous Lofotens and Reindeer in the Land of Midnight Sun

Sadly couldn’t wait 6 hours for tide to change to see full Saltstraumen maelstrom in action. Took Bodo to Moskenes ferry, lower peninsula of famed Lofoton island chain, full of skerries, islets, inlets and bindalsfaeringen (traditional boats). In our fabulous camp overlooking ocean we were ecstatic to see a pod of Orca whales swim by.

ImPOSSibly small....
ImPOSSibly tall.....

ImPOSSibly blue.....

Wow - Reine - one of world’s most stunning landscapes. Bay surrounded by craggy mountains down to sea, kittiwake cliffs dotted with picture-perfect cottages on grassy knolls, sea-birds crying and swooping, stockfish drying on racks, fishing boats reflected in harbour waters, all bathed in glorious sunshine. 

Found free camp at base of Gimsoystraumen bridge (clean, warm, lighted toilet!!). Stunning views on E10 north. Past town of Kong, and their "welcome" tree trolls.

GirlRob- you've never climbed a stile before??

Church dedicated to ski lifts???


Too soon crossed impressive suspension Tjeldsund Bridge saying sad goodbye to gorgeous Lofoton Islands. 
You're on candid camera...

Welcome to NorthLand.... peaceful snow-capped Bjerkvik sound, where Kreigsmarine submarine U64 sunk in 1939 by British, 8 days into first patrol during German invasion of Norway. In Narvik took cable-car to top of mountain for its spectacular panorama. 

Drove into Tromso in rain and fog. Stopped for reindeer soup at teepee village.

At Polaris, saw puffer and wolf fish, bearded and harbour seals, and superb films on aurora borealis and the majestic (largely uninhabited) Svardland. 


Peered in at M/S Pole Star, an original sealing vessel. 

Caught organ and saxophone concert of old masters incl Handel at Cathedral, only wooden one in Norway (had modern Resurrection triptych). Ate whale steak and fried speith. Walked waterfront, then drove loop around Tromso Island. The glacier-like Arctic Cathedral was inspiring, with its "Return of Christ"/Resurrection glass mosaic dominating the interior.

The Polar Museum in an old wharf shed documented arctic explorations (incl Roald Amundsen) heroes and hard life of Eskimos/Inuits and winter trappers (walrus, seal, arctic fox, reindeer, musk oxen and polar bear). Amazing true "blueness" of fjord that starts at Oteren, so many shades of blue from dazzling bright to deep indigo throughout day.  


Found site marking sinking of Tirpitz and further on the bunker, searchlight and cannons at Battle of Tromso museum (firmly closed on a Saturday!). Our men skirted padlocked fence and went trawling through "junk" including huge rusted anti-aircraft spotlights overlooking site of Sydspissen Concentration Camp. Rejoined E6 north towards Alta, magnificent views along fjords put Australia’s Great Ocean Road into perspective….


And the finale - a magic sight, wild reindeer crossing the lower snow slopes, a herd of approx 300. 

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