The 'most scenic place in Norway'

Trip Start Jun 13, 2006
Trip End Jul 07, 2006

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Flag of Norway  ,
Sunday, June 25, 2006

I was pleasantly surprised when I boarded the night train to Trondheim as I had a single seat with a curtain for privacy, and a package with a blanket, face mask and ear plugs inside! I was expecting a normal old train, and I was worried because I can never sleep on any form of transport. In the end, I did manage to get about six hours worth of broken sleep which was more than enough, and when I woke for the final time I realised that I was now in the Arctic Circle...

The train arrived in a freezing Bodo at 9.30am and I immediately paced to the ferry terminal as I was getting a boat to the Lofoten Islands at rest for the wicked! It turned out to be quite a rough three hour crossing, albeit amusing as people tried to walk in a straight line with very little success. I always think that people exaggerate in instances like this and over dramatise their actions, but I was proved wrong when I had to make a trip to the toilet...

It was cold and drizzly in Moskenes and furthermore, the Information Centre was closed and I needed to know the bus times to get to the tiny village of (don't ask how it's pronounced, but rest assured it's not even close to the 'a' in 'cat'). Luckily a kind Austrian guy was heading that way in his van, and so along with his wife and two children, I got there with the minimum of fuss.

The rest of the day was pretty uneventful, although I did venture to the pub to watch the match, accompanied by about twenty Germans. When the final whistle was blown and the Germans had won, the guy next to me simply stood up, clapped his hands once and said an approving "Ja," and off he went. Now that's German efficiency!

After a very early night, I woke up the next morning at 6am and glanced out of the sky! If there was ever a day when I needed good weather, this was it, so I wasted no time and was out walking at 6.15am. In fact, I barely stopped walking for the next 7 hours and must have covered 25km as I headed up the coast and back again. it was my most enjoyable time so far because for the first few hours at least, there was noone else around at all and the rugged peaks were always by my side.

I reached a village called Reine at about 9am, once voted Norway's most scenic place and it was easy to see why, with a mountainous backdrop and a gorgeous blue lagoon in the foreground. I felt really content because although I'd only covered a tiny fraction of the Lofoten Islands, at least I'd got a feel for the scenery and seen it in all its glory.

Back in , a tiny fishing village with a population of only 100, I watched the England match and felt completely embarrassed at what was a terrible performance. Luckily there was only a single Norwegian lady there to endure it with me, and we ended up talking about Svalbard (and Norwegian vowel sounds?!) which was much more entertaining than the game itself...
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