Luck despite mistake with ferry. Arrival at Lofoten in the fog. Unusual place names. Island tour and swimming trip in the North Atlantic.

Travelogue Norway 2021

The next day we hit the road in the middle of the night. If this sentence with day and night makes any sense at all, especially since the term night is very relative in summer north of the Arctic Circle. Departure at four o’clock in the morning, anyway.

fox in Norway
The advantage of the early time: We see not only this fox but also our first (baby) moose. The latter, however, only so briefly that at first we take it for a chubby deer. Seconds later, it had disappeared into the woods.

Why we were on the road so early? Because we want to get our ferry to the Lofoten and have to be there one hour before departure. And probably because I made a mistake.

Google Maps Bodø fergekai
Based on this Google Maps representation of the ferry port of Bodø, from which we had to depart, I had picked out ferry routes to Værøy. Now, unfortunately, Værøy is a tiny island off the coast of Lofoten, where sea birds abound. Few ferries go there. On this day there were probably only two and the first of them very early in the morning. As an excuse I can say that I was very tired after the glacier tour.
Google Maps Bodø fergekai
If I had zoomed in or out a bit on Google Maps, I would have seen the other ferry routes and checked more closely where we actually had to go, namely to Moskenes in the south of the Lofoten Islands.

Thus we are standing in the queue for Værøy at the ferry port early in the morning and realize my mistake, while the cars next to us, the ones for Moskenes, are already being loaded. Our great luck: Both destinations are served by the same ship. The ferry company employee, to whom I excitedly report my mistake, just waves me into the other queue, we don’t have to change our ticket, no bureaucracy whatsoever. Phew … if we hadn’t noticed the mistake or only later, we probably would have been stuck on Værøy for a day.

The Lofoten Islands are a group of islands in the north of Norway, whose four main islands are very close to each other and are connected by bridges. According to the travel guide, the first view to the Lofoten is an unforgettable impression, how the mountains of the islands rise from the sea like a spiked dragon. Well, we didn’t see any of that, again everything was in fog.

Since we have to be back in Munich by a fixed date and don’t want to rush too much on the way back, we only have two nights and almost two days on the Lofoten islands. We try to see as much as possible during this time.

View of the village and the town sign of Å, Lofoten, Norway
Our first stop is the southernmost place on the Lofoten islands that can be reached by car: Å. A is, after all, the first letter of our alphabet, while Å is the last letter of the Norwegian alphabet. And only one letter! I thus claim that we are in the place with the most extraordinary name in the world! Otherwise there is a small museum consisting of historical buildings and a bakery with delicious cinnamon buns.
Lonely Planet Norway, Edition 2018
By the way, this is our travel guide that accompanied us the last weeks.
Hotel Eliassen Rorbuer, Lofoten, Norway
And this is the accommodation Malina chose for us. She wanted exactly this very typical type of red cottage and only found out two days after booking that it was the exact place from the cover of the Lonely Planet.
sunrise and sunset times on the Lofoten islands
This will make 07/24/2021 the longest day of our lives so far. There are less than three hours between sunrise and sunset. This means it doesn’t get really dark anymore. We haven’t seen any stars for quite some time at this point of our journey.

Of course, despite the long days, we did not manage to visit the entire Lofoten islands. We could only drive along the two southern islands Moskenesøy and Flakstadøy. But these are said to cover much of the beauty of Lofoten islands. In the following a few exemplary pictures, which however have no claim to cover the whole variety of the islands.

Lofoten, Norway
mountains and sea 1
Lofoten, Norway
mountains and sea 2
Lofoten, Norway
mountains and sea 3
Rambergstranda, Lofoten, Norway
Rambergstranda – Caribbean feeling north of the Arctic Circle
Nusfjord, Lofoten, Norway
The travel guide describes Nusfjord as “one of the loveliest villages in Norway’s north.” Strictly speaking, however, this is not a village at all, or not any more. It is a museum and a tourist attraction with a fairly substantial entrance fee. Pretty it is, but we wouldn’t have been too sad either if we hadn’t had come here. We were lucky, in normal summers without Corona it must be quite crowded here, the tourists come with buses.

As next and quasi last program point on the Lofoten we have planned a small hiking tour. Furthermore, swimming in the sea is on the plan, because after all this is the most northern point of our life. That means we’ve got to get in the water!

We start a little southwest of Fredvang and walk towards Ytresand. Before the path goes down into the bay, we turn left towards our actual destination, the “whale bay” Kvalvika.

Lofoten, Norway
small saddle with lake at about 150 meters altitude
Medvoll, Ytresand, Lofoten, Norway
Settlement Mevoll and in the back left the beach Ytresand. Hooray! Best bathing conditions! Surely it will be the same in the next bay, won’t it?
Lofoten, Norway
Another fabulous view. We started from somewhere down there.
Lofoten, Norway
Hmm … But what’s that in front of us?
Lofoten, Norway
So through the fog … It’ll surely be better on the other side.
Kvalvika, Lofoten, Norway
There it is, the Bay of Whales, Kvalvika. You can only get here on foot or by boat. And the bathing conditions are almost optimal …
Kvalvika, Lofoten, Norway
Malina first
Kvalvika, Lofoten, Norway
then I
Kvalvika, Lofoten, Norway
Bathing is fun!
water temperature Lofoten, Norway
Seriously, it was painfully cold at first. But after a short time, the skin even feels warm.
Lofoten, Norway
Shortly after leaving Kvalvika beach the weather is friendlier again. Maybe we have chosen the most inhospitable place and / or time for our North Atlantic bath, but nice weather bathing is for anyone.
Lofoten, Norway
One of our last pictures of the Lofoten before we start our return journey on the next day.

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