nordcapp & Vesterålen

Yeah, I know, I am slow and I am late, but it’s been a busy few months. And when I am busy with work and other matters, this blog certainly gets pushed away. Sorry for that, I will try harder this year. So I have had 2 entries part written for a while now, here’s the first, from the close of last Summer…..

Looking out to sea
An indian summer has come and gone, and autumn here in Øyer is certainly apparent, grey skies, cool days and wet times. This far north, the leaves turn early, it’s a scene about shutting up shop for winter, every day something changes, a slow orderly turning off from the Summer fire. Since the image above taken in late August in Vesterålen, whilst whale watching, much has happened. The last time I wrote on here, I was about to leave Trondheim, to head north to Nordcapp, and meet Satu who was closing down her work’s summer seasonal office. I had been north before, but in Canada, the tundra has a timeless & endless feel, the depth of field as you look across the vista, plays with you, and then you realise that there is so little in the fore and mid ground, it’s hard to know how far what you are seeing is away from you.

In flew up to Alta, the near last town in Northern Norway. It’s an exciting approach to the runway. On the glide path, you are over fjell, just west in the fjord, is the town and the airstrip right by the shore all in sight off to the port side. Then the plane banks hard to the west, seemingly just above the mountain outcrops high above the town, and then decsends steeply, then steeper still, than any other glide path I have been on, exciting if you like that kinda thing. From Alta, a long bus ride over the tundra, with only a few trees along the valley floor, soon the barren vista of the Arctic north unfolded. The occasional reindeer gives an idea of perception, yet it’s simply vast, and a scene of timelessness. Dropping off a plateau, we headed north up the Porsanger Fjord to the northernly town of Honningsvåg. A small port, where the summer cruise ships stop off that also has a small university campus. During our time there, we visited Nordkapp at sunset, hiked a bunch, saw lots of reindeer and had near 30˚C blue bird days, more Mediterranean than Arctic. We soon took the Hurtigruten, part cruise ship come part ferry to the Harstad. This trip threads in and out of fjords and islands, stops off on the way, and offers amazing views.

Nordcapp

Walk down to a fjord

boat in the fjord

Once we arrived in Vesterålen, we hired a car and headed to Nyksund, and much revived fishing factory village on the Atlantic coast. Closed down and force-ably evacuated in the late 60’s as fishing boats became too big to take the processed fish. A while later the place was re-populated by Germans looking to escape the norm, they build up a community and there now are some excellent spots to stay and eat, it’s a kinda of end of world feel to it, plus great expresso too. Well you might as well be ready if it was indeed the end of the world.

Nyksund

Nyksund harbour

small boat heading out of Nyksund

We’d come all the way here, as Satu, who runs her own blog, that she updates near daily, which is a little different to my approach, still she has a few bloggi friends, one of which is a Finnish fishermen who heads up a whale safari operation in the summer. So we jumped on board, and had a day out on the boat, searching for Sperm Whales. What a day, great fun, and once we found them, just amazing, in fact all of Vesterålen is like the poor relation to the Loforten islands, but no less spectacular. The Atlantic gulf stream makes land fall at Vesterålen, and the abundance of summer wild life high up in the arctic is simply, well just great. I am fully recommend a trip, exploring the area, get on the water too if you can, and eat some sushi, freshly landed fish washed in sea water is wonderful.

Male sperm whale, blowing in Vesterålen

A tourist delight, whale's fluke as he dives deep

I promise to bring the next entry soon, although that is from early Autumn last year. Lots of cool images though. On Friday I head south to start the season, so I must clear a back log of things before I go………

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