Monday, 26 June 2017

Monday 26 June - Holand

Where’s Bertie? He's at a picnic area just above Holandsfjorden (exact location: 66.72451, 13.69796)

At about 10.30 this morning we crossed the 66 degree north line of latitude, thus passing into the Arctic Circle. Being on a ferry at the time gave us leisure to take in the surroundings as we slipped over this invisible line, above which the sun does not set in midsummer (footnote 1). Those surroundings were pretty impressive, although they would have been more so if we hadn't been on deck in the wind and rain and with the cloud down low.

Anyone who knows my aversion to boats will appreciate that we didn't chose to do this by way of a leisure cruise. The FV17 coast road from Mosjøen to Bodø is broken in many places by the need to
catch ferries across/along fjords. We have avoided most of these ferries on our northern progress by not having joined the FV17 until after Mo i Rana, but that still left us with two crossings, both of which were today.

Having opted not to try to aim for any particular times of ferries, but rather to arrive when we arrived (the worst case was having to sit at the side of a fjord, drink tea and read books for an hour and a half - no hardship), we found ourselves at Kilboghamn, for the first ferry, half an hour before the 10.10 sailing. It wasn't busy. Against a stated capacity of 60 vehicles, out ferry carried five (four motorhomes, one car).

The drive to the next ferry was but a short hop, but having failed to think about taking a flask with us on the first crossing, we broke it with elevenses at a nice picnic area:

Barely had we turned off the engine in the queue for the second ferry (12.30) when we were called forward, along with two other motorhomes and two cars. Ten minutes later we were rolling off the other side, passing a large queue waiting to go the other way. It's either more popular to drive this coast southbound, or it was just a time of day thing, related to most people doing both ferries in the same day.

We didn't have much further to go at this point, although we did make one more stop when we came across a view point for the Svartisen glacier, which is (apparently) the second largest in Scandinavia. It was certainly worthy of much oohing, particularly as seen across such green water (pity the colour doesn't come across in this snap):

The upper part of the left tentacle of the glacier was also, upon arrival, in view from the picnic area where we are residing tonight (cloud has now been covering it for some hours). Aside from a magnificent view, which had us agog for quite a while on arrival, this picnic spot also boasts toilet facilities better than I've had in many a hotel I've stayed in, as well as a motorhome service point (all free of charge).

A cruise liner nipped by so that it's occupants could take snaps of the glacier from a better vantage point than we managed.

My chat with the lady in the Tourist Information office here, about walks in the area, failed to mention the little circuit that starts from this very car park. Mick happened across some information about it and after a false start which took us accidentally past this well appointed house...

First view

Even better when the deck comes into sight. I was being dive bombed by a tern as I took these snaps.

...a backtrack put us on the right path, taking us down to a picnic-/view-point built out over the glorious green water..

...before undulating through woodland, sprinkled with information signs...

... back to our start point.

A mighty fine day really, even in the face of almost incessant rain, made yet better by the fact that we arrived at the end of our day so early and thus have enjoyed a relaxing (footnote 2) afternoon.

(1 Now all we need is some clear weather so we can witness the sun's failure to set.
2 Relaxing except for the incident where I discovered that one of Mick's 3-litre boxes of wine has sprung a leak. A bit messy, but it could have been worse if it had been left to leak for much longer.)

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