We had a lazy start to the day on Stott. Breakfast wasn’t until 8:00 am and we weren’t going anywhere until later. It was a bright sunny day with no wind and the temperature was forecast to be 2OC. This is one of the nicest days we have had in Norway.
Our transfer back to the mainland wasn’t until 11:00 am so we enjoyed the sun in the area outside our cabin, having a chat with a fellow who was leading a boy’s adventure camp on the island. One of the young lads was interested in talking to us as he knew he had to practice his English. He could identify that we were Australians and greeted us by saying ‘G’day Mate’ with a big smile.
It took about 45 minutes to travel back to Ørnes on the owner’s small speed boat. The sea was as smooth as glass and we had a fantastic view of some of the islands that we passed.
We decided to have a quick lunch in Ørnes and that would leave us about three hours to do the 110 km drive to Bodo and still be in the line for the ferry to Lofoten one hour before it sailed. It’s a very popular ferry and I’m glad that we had a reservation.(Remember , speed limits here are low – around 70 – 80 kmh – so it takes at least a couple of hours to do this distance)
The road to Bodo became increasingly attractive with steep mountains and some great fjord scenery along the way. No other ferries today but a lot of tunnels. I had allowed about an hour for photo stops along the way and we used all of it.
About 30 kilometres south of Bodø we crossed a large bridge where two fjords joined. It was sign-posted as a maelstrom which means a very powerful whirlpool. We could see the turbulent waters as we crossed the bridge
The narrow channel that connects Saltfjord with the large Skjerstadfjord – creates the strongest tidal current in the world. Up to 400 million m³ of seawater force their way through a three kilometer long and only 150-meter wide strait every six hours, with water speeds reaching 37 kilometers per hour. Vortices up to ten meters in diameter and five meters deep at the eye of the vortex are formed when the current is at its strongest. This feature has existed for over two thousand years. Before that, the area was different due to the pressure from the glaciers that had covered Norway for tens of thousands of years.
We reached Bodø right on time and found out way to the ferry terminal. Bodø isn’t the most scenic of Norwegian towns. Most of the city was destroyed during a Luftwaffe attack on 27 May 1940. Six thousand people were living in Bodø, and 3500 people lost their homes in the attack. Fifteen people lost their lives. The town was rebuilt after the war in a much more simple architectural style.
The ferry from Bodo to Moskenes, on Lofoten, takes three and a half hours. It shares the terminal with the Hurtigruten and in summer operates three times per day. I must have spent $500 on ferries already and this one cost another $190.
It’s quite exciting to see the mountains of Lofoten rising from the sea as we approached the peninsula. I’m hoping that this good weather holds as this is the jewel in the crown of Norwegian scenery.
We are staying in another cabin at the town of Reines. It’s much more nicely fitted out than some of the others in which we have stayed and we feel as though we have a little more luxury around us. There s a superb restaurant here and we enjoyed a lovely meal. Interestingly, fish is the least expensive item on the menu.
The weather forecast for tomorrow is not as nice as today so after dinner I drove back up to the lookout above the town to take at least one photo with the mountain peaks visible and not covered in cloud. Here’s a sample of the type of scenery we hope to be seeing fin this area. It was 10.00 pm when this photo was taken., I had almost lost the light but with a bit of colour correction, I think it looks reasonable for that hour of the day.