We made a change to our plans yesterday. It was Sunday and still raining.
Our itinerary was originally to go out to the island of Lovund which is reportedly a very scenic island and the home to many puffins when they breed in summer. They return to on a specific day in April and then leave to migrate around Mid-August (now). Because it was Sunday, the very timetable was very unhelpful and we wouldn’t have reached Lovund until almost midnight, only to return early afternoon on the following day. It has been raining now for two days with strong winds, and we just couldn’t see the value in travelling all that way in poor weather. Instead, we called the folk at Oscar Brygge in Tonnes and arranged an extra night. We actually passed the ferry terminal at Stockvagen from where we would have caught our final ferry to Lovund in the afternoon at around 5.00 pm. It was still raining and unpleasant.
We had a break in the weather around the time that we left Vega. This gave us a few hours of respite from the rain and had a chance to grab a few photos without any rain drops on my camera lens.
We headed to the ferry terminal at Igeroy and found ourselves first in line. The ferry had been docked overnight and this was its first trip for the day. This one held 50 cars although there were only about 15 in the line as we drove on to it. It took about 50 minutes for the ferry to get back to the mainland from the island.
We would prefer to have traveled up the Atlantic Road but the Sunday ferry timetable didn’t’ make that very easy. Instead,. we drove the long way around though a town called Trarfors. We found a cafe that was open and stoped for lunch. It was run by a family of Syrian people who had somehow migrated to Norway. What a contrast this place is compared to the both the climate and the strife in Syria. We have noticed that a number of the roadside diners or cafes (as we might call them) are run by people from the Middle East. I hope that they succeed in their new country, and good on Norway for accepting them.
The scenery along the way varied from beautiful forest to stunning fjords.
We kept passing waterfalls that, with all the rain of the last few days, were flowing very strongly. At about the umpteenth one that we passed Jill said “Don’t you ever take me to the Grampians again to see the Silverband Falls” and then in a poor impersonation of Clint Eastwood added “You call that a waterfall,. This is a waterfall”. (And it was only a tiny one by the roadside).
We stopped for a few minutes in a little village where we found a house museum where the local people had constructed a replica of an old farm. It wasn’t open, but it was interesting to see the various styles of buildings with turf roofs.
At Mosjøen, pronounced ‘moo-sher-en’, we detoured to find an historic area called Sjøgata with its couple of streets of historic houses – Northern Norway’s longest cluster of 19th-century wooden houses and piers. This town has long been a transport ad trading hub. From the late 16th century until the 1820s, it was occupied by wealthy farmers as well as skippers and merchants who contributed to Mosjøen’s gradual expansion. In 1794, a member of the family received royal privilege to establish a trading post in Mosjøen.
In the 1860s, a group of Englishmen—the ‘salmon lords’—established The North of Europe Land & Mining Company, introducing the first industrial period in Mosjøen. Sawmill industry created ‘Klondike conditions’: People came from everywhere in order to get a job, to trade, and so on, and salaries were relatively high. These historic houses originate from this time. During WW2, Mosjøen became headquarters of the Nazi German occupiers between 1940 and 1945. and it is now in its ‘second industrial period’ with the a large aluminium plant that I assume relies on inexpensive power here.
We had one more ferry crossing in the afternoon from Levang to Nesna. This saved many miles of driving. We were aiming to catch the 3.00 pm ferry and we made it by the skin of our teeth,. It left two minutes after we drove on. (We could have caught a ferry one hour later but it wouldn’t have been very pleasant waiting in a bleak ferry terminal for another hour.
From Nesna (quite a large town), we followed the road to its end at Tonnes where we will now spend an extra day. This area of coastline (without the rain) would be very scenic. There are thousands of islands and when you get to a high viewpoint, they look wonderful against the horizon – some flat, others with high mountains and some are just tiny skerries or ‘islets’.