Thursday, 29 June 2017

Thursday 29 June - Å

Where’s Bertie? He's in a large car park, with a sea view (at least in the bit where he's sitting), in the village of Å, in the Lofoten Islands (Exact position: 67.87954, 12.97717).

We weren't sure whether this trip would bring us to the Lofoten Islands. The scenery is, by all accounts, stunning, but aside from my general rule of not going on ferries*, the place also has the reputation of having small roads that are rammed full of motorhomes and tour buses at this time of year, making us unsure whether we would enjoy adding ourselves to the numbers.

However, we were already just across the water in Bodø and the weather forecast for this morning was so calm that I was prepared to endure the 3.25 hour ferry ride, so here we are.

We had toyed with getting back from last night's midnight walk up Keiserstein (there's more about that on our walking blog at and heading straight out for the 0315 ferry, or getting a couple of hours sleep and going for the 0600 one. In the end we settled on the 0930, which would have been a good plan if I had noticed before 0730 that it doesn't come into service for the summer period until tomorrow. The 1100 it was then!

With both of the ferries used to date having been almost empty, it didn't occur to us that we would need to arrive early for this one, so we sat around and then went shopping before heading to the ferry terminal with just over an hour to spare. There we found so many vehicles queuing that we had our doubts that we would get a place on board (in which case we would wait until tomorrow, as there was forecast to be a breeze this afternoon).

There was space for us and the crossing (which was perfectly smooth) passed quickly.

Leaving Bodø

With the coastline of the mainland and plenty of little islands being passed on the way to the rugged coastline of the Lofoten Islands, there's more than just sea to look at in this route.

Arriving in Moskenes we followed the crowd and headed down to Å (yep, that single letter is the entirety of the village's name), a 4.5km journey that took an unfeasibly long time due to repeatedly meeting coaches on the tight road. I think we may have to do our driving early in the mornings before most large vehicles are out and about.

Finally arriving, we made like Goldilocks as we moved around as spaces became available, trying to find one that was just right (the main requirement being one that didn't require us to settle ourselves within the foliage of a tree). We settled in the end for a view, and not being backed into tree branches, rather than being level.

Joining the crowds, a look around the village was had this afternoon. It is indeed pretty...

...even if there is a bit of an odour by the racks of drying fish heads that haven't yet been taken down:

Cynical me wondered whether these are left just for the tourists as the cod drying season should be over by now, but we did see some industry going on around them that looked genuine.

Finally, I'll end with a bonus photo of a 'caravan' that is parked in this car park this evening. I think it may be home made...

(*It is possible to drive to the Lofoten Islands, but the distance to access them by road from the north end, driving all the way south to see them, before driving all the way back north again to exit, would have added several hundred miles to our journey. The current plan is to drive along the chain as far as Lødingen and getting the ferry back to the mainland from there. That ferry will save a bit of driving and that is only a one-hour crossing.)

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