|Reine: The children were delighted to be reunited with their dad|
After a delayed ferry, of several hours, we made landfall in Lofoten, we had been told to look out for the steep mountains rising out of the sea from the ferry but the mist had set in and we could not see them until we had almost docked. It was not really until the next morning that we could see the majesty of these islands and we fell in love.
For previous Norway travel, see here
As we had arrived late there was only time to dump our bags as we were to eat out. It was our first night with Brimble, our boat and being reunited as a family and it was the crews last night before they headed back to the UK. For those of you who do not know, Lofoten are islands to the west of the north coast of Norway and we had made landfall at Reine, voted several times in polls as Norway's most picturesque destination. The reason we came here... it was the picture on the front cover of the boat pilot and Mr H had proclaimed the previous year, "I want to go THERE!", pointing at the cover. So here we found ourselves.
A little about our boat, she is small in the conventional sense, 28 feet, but don't tell Mr H I said that, he is quite sensitive on the subject and she has taken good care of us over the years. We travel on her extensively and for an old girl, she was built in 1972, she is holding up very well. Back then they built boats to last, she is sturdy and strong and made of glass fibre. For those of you particularly interested, she was designed by Kim Holman and is a Twister, called such as he twisted the design on then sailing yachts and in her hey day, her class won most races as she was fast. When I say fast, not by modern standards, we tend to cruise around the 3-5 knots an hour (about 5-6 mph!) Anyway, those that like travelling and sailing, we have another blog if you would like to see where in the world we have taken her over the years, just click here
It is funny how you think you treat your children the same and that they grow up with the same influences etc, but when it comes to food my two are like chalk and cheese. Our eldest, our daughter, loves to eat meat, her favourite meal being a steak cooked rare, whereas, our youngest, our son, will nearly always order fish. so it was with trepidation that Miss H looked at the menu that evening as she had been warned that food served on these islands were strong on sea life. And indeed, all that was on the menu was ...fish! Oops! I on the other hand was in my element as with having a daughter and a husband who both would prefer not to eat fish, it was my opportunity. I had the BEST fish soup I have ever tasted in my life. On asking the chef later that evening what was his special ingredient, he informed me that he was not formally trained and had learnt all his cookery skills from his mother, as had his brother who was a chef north on the island, but that he could not share his secret, shame. so what did Miss H order, well, there was one mammal on the menu and with a nervous voice she ordered whale from the waitress.
|Best fish soup, I have ever tasted, worth going back for.|
|I meant to take a picture of the plate of whale but forgot! |
So instead took a photo to show how well it went down!
|The mist stayed all night in Reine|
|It was so atmospheric with the mist in Reine.|
|Mountain tops peeking through the mist.|
|Outside looking in, no wonder the Norwegians use |
lots of different lamps, lights and candles,
look how inviting it looks.
|The GSB in Reine|
|You can just make out GSB |
between the fisherman's huts
|Robua or Fisherman's huts.|
Our first night accommodation in Lofoten.
|After a late night everyone slept in, |
so I had some quiet crochet time
|The walk began gently|
|The water was so clear but cold!|
|It began to get steep beside the waterfall|
|Half way up, we were rewarded with a fresh water lake|
|Again, half way up and we were pretty high, this was as far up as I went, |
we had already walked for 3.5 hours, so my round trip was 7 hours!
|Half the family continued and were rewarded by this spectacular view, in all they climbed/walked for 9 hours.|
|The weather can change extremely quickly |
and we became soaked through on our walk.
Trying to dry out the boots with newspaper!
|Mr H and his crew before they left for the UK|
Sailing was a pleasure but like with any Norwegian sailing you have to have your wits about you as suddenly there can be rocks jutting out where you least expected.
|Norway's second largest glacier and the closet to sea level|
|Two very important crew members|
|Pod of killer whales|
|Occasionally we set sail with the children still sleeping!|
|Great colour use in the local bar|
|Shop front, so inviting|
|This was fantastic, outside a shop, the sign above the bench translates to:|
'Male parking', notice on the table is a newspaper and an ashtray! Genius!
|Every nook and cranny was inviting|
|Attention to detail|
|The obligatory drying fish that Lofoten is so famous for |
and apart from tourism makes most of its revenue.
|There are 20 puffins to discover within the surrounding area |
of Henningvaer, a long story as to why they are they
and many are an adventurous difficult climb to find.
|View from another walk. |
There are many bridges in Lofoten connecting the islands.
|The GS Thembi, sailed across the north sea |
and we were glad to see our good friends,
albeit for one day and night.
|We managed a quick swim in the arctic lake, it was 12 degrees|
Our third sail hop along the islands took us to the capital of Lofton, Svolvaer. It is a very small place! But we did manage to grab ourselves a shower, always a great thing to do. We have no running water on our boat and no real washing facilities either. It is all VERY BASIC!
|The obligatory photo of 'polar bear beer', |
brewed it claims in the northern most brewery of the world.
Quite a claim.
|Some of the numerous fish drying racks found all over the islands. |
During March - May the are filled with fish drying and
then sent mostly to Italy and Portugal.
|The famous goat mountain, where dare devil |
jump from one pinnacle to another!
|Loddingen, the official last/first port of Lofoten, |
depending on which direction you travel!
So then it was time for our last sail of the season before GSB was to be hauled out. It was potentially a difficult sail as we had to sail through Tjelsundet, a narrow fjord where the current runs strong, the direction depending on the state of the tide. Being sailors for many a year and asking everyone we met, you would think we would be able to find out when the current was running in which direction, but the answer was not so simple. so we set sail, fairly sure we would be OK, but if we had calculated wrong then we would be sailing backwards! Not a pleasant thought. The entire sail, the current did not make any sense to us and it was not the strength we expected, but whatever, we arrived at our final destination and all was well.
|Our final destination, just south of Harstad|
|Hauling out is always|
a nerve wrecking experience.
|The yard are lovely but they did admit |
to not being used to handling such 'small' boats!
|Almost ready for winter...|
|Knowing the GSB was being looked after|
I had time for beach combing...
|...and wine drinking!|
I hope you have enjoyed sharing my sailing journey with me!
Next instalment will feature my other passion...crochet ♥