Miles: 386 (not including ferries)
Total mileage: 3180
Fish Harry caught: 7
Fish Susannah caught: 1 (too small to keep)
Sea Eagle sightings: 1
Puffin sightings: 3
The Lofoten Islands are an absolute treat. You loose all sense of your direction and personal compass because of the mass of islets, headlands, fjords, lakes, all surrounded by dramatic craggy peaks. It is famous for fishing with the cod season being particularly fruitful. Because of the colder temperatures the cod are hung to dry, instead of being cured, on huge wooden racks and later sold throughout Norway and the rest of the world, it is one of Norways’ biggest exports we were told by a local. Whilst we were there they seemed to only be drying the heads which looked like crispy autumn leaves trussed up, flapping in the wind.
This is a tiny hobbit house/shelter made by two Norwegian surfer dudes who camped out at Kvalvika beach on Lofoten over winter. The house is built by beach debris and everything inside was washed up on the beach and put to some use, the small window is a washing machine glass door! The beach can only be accessed by sea or by a brisk hour walk from the road on the other side of the ridge. A lovely local lady told us the story and marched us off to find the house, sheltered between some fallen rocks below the cliff above. The house is still used by people as Kvalvika beach is now very popular with campers and has tributes and photos to the two guys who endured the cold Lofoten winter.
Fredvang bay and the extreme coast line beyond, found all over the area.
We splashed out on a fishing trip in which I had all the gear and no idea and caught a tiddler who has put back and Harry caught seven ginormous Haddock. We took four home and feasted on fish for days.
The cod fish heads drying in the fishing mecca town of Svolvaer.
The midnight sun at Stave beach
On the most northerly of the Lofoten Islands we treated ourselves again to a thirty eight degree hot tub overlooking the atlantic. The next evening feeling hungover and sorry for ourselves after a convivial night with two lovely Germans camping next to us, we booked the beach sauna, an eighty degree sauna right on the beach so you rush between that and the eleven degree sea…amazing.
In Tromso there is the most northerly Botanic Garden called the Arctic Alpine garden. My mum told me about it and it is supposedly a favourite of Monty Don! Every time I would get home from boarding school for half term or a weekend my mama would walk me round our garden at home to show me what was in flower or what she had changed. Due to this I have a soft spot for gardens and Monty Don certainly has good taste as it was beautiful and different.
Tromso’s Arctic Cathedral, the most northerly protestant church.