It’s never easy for me to leave places, many memories but some stay behind in the shadows, I end up with mixed emotions both happy and sad. I will be very happy that I will have enriched my life with new amazing experiences, food, smells, views, excitement and adventure but sad that most of the fantastic people I will have met will be distance memories over time, and mostly to never meet again, but for a few unfortunate souls that will feature in future travels!
As we sat on the runway at Tromsø airport a scandinavian accent with eloquent English reminds me just how far north we are and preparing for take-off involves a trip to the ‘de-icier’, jeez, what’s that all about, a new one for me. Memories of cold UK winters with a screen scraper trying too remove ice from a frozen windscreen, using a combination of grunt, spray and warm water to expedite the process of removing ice in the cold breath of winter, this will be an interesting experience. My mind wanders briefly imaging a team of well covered individuals clambering all over the plane to make sure it’s safe to make our journey south to Bodø!
We are in a super efficient land of common sense and very soon a big elevated cab with an individual onboard, controlling a pair of high pressure sprays, dosing the plane with a pinkish fluid which has immediate effect on the frost and ice, soon we are heading for the runway, a pause for a couple of minutes as a twin prop plane lines up to land, and then we are off, heading into the sky and down towards my next stop, Bodø.
During the planning phase of my Norwegian adventure which had taken many months, I tried to find places of interest both from a culture perspective as well as cuisine as my main draw to travel is food, very closely followed by culture, and Bodø has it in lorry loads. Having got up a ‘silly o’clock’ and not wanting to consume plastic wrapped food which would probably contain more un-recognisable chemicals that ‘real’ ingredients I had planned to have breakfast when I landed. That’s actually more difficult that it seems as we glided into Bodø just before 8’o’clock and this sleepy coastal town didn’t seem to wake before 10:00! Bugger!
It took me quite some time to find a ‘cult’, ‘artisan’ eatery that was going to be open at a sensible hour, my taxi driver suggested the locals were lazy, she was up at 04:00 every day but this sleepy little town didn’t really awaken until 10:00 at the earliest. My destination was Berbusmel, a delicatessen that opened at 09:00, which seemed to offer the kind of food I was interested in.
I arrived in town at 08:15 so took a wander, rang the wife to catch up on happenings at home, luckily no dramas and before too long it was opening time, within seconds of 9 o’clock locals were clambering to purchase the wonderful delights inside. I entered, found a quiet corner to settle and enquired as to what was typical for breakfast, the suggestion was to try a ‘Svinenakke’! Oerrrr missus, sounds interesting, a Pork Ciabatta with Pesto, Cheese and Salad so definitely not your typical fry up! I did fancy something sweet as well and the ‘house special’ was ‘Skolebrød’ so one of those was ordered along with a Latte. Booooom, absolutely delicious the whole selection was perfect and I took my time to savour every bite.
I had arranged my onward transport for later that afternoon over to Lofoten, both Ferry and Plane were booked as the weather can change very quickly here, I didn’t want to risk not getting over that evening and miss the start of my time at Holmen Lofoten and the ‘Kitchen On The Edge of The Earth’ experience. I had already checked in, the flight was only 20 minutes and I could enjoy some scenery after I landed, on the drive up to Søvågen, the final destination. There were as couple of places I had planned to visit during the stopover, The Norwegian Aviation Museum, and the Jektefartsmuseet a maritime and cultural museum which also looked interesting.
The museum was really interesting, covering both civil and military aircraft and associated paraphernalia, I wandered though time, exploring the different craft and their specific role and history and before long it was close to lunch and my back was aching. I decided to miss the other museum and get back to the airport, I could return another day with the family, they would love this place. I sat down at the airport and decided to use the time to write the blog from the previous day before my creative spirit vanished. Soon, we were boarding the plane to Leknes, the airport on Lofoten.
A Dash 8 was to be our vessel of transport, no seats were allocated but I was in ‘Group A’, the 1st to board so had plenty of choice, settling down for the 20 minute flight we were soon in the air and on the way. There is something romantic about small planes with propellers, a vulnerability, they don’t fly high, seem somewhat flimsy but ‘Bernoullis Principle of Laminar Flow’ ensures that unless the wings fall off, it’s as safe as houses!
My First experience of landing at Leknes airport on Lofoten was a runway were people wandered about taking pictures and enjoying the scenario, a lovely, small and simple arrivals hall, and the gift of Dried Smoked Haddock, a local speciality that my driver and part of the Holmen Lofoten ‘family’ friend Håvar, the unknown correspondent at the other end of the numerous emails we had exchanged over the past 10 or so months kindly offered me. I munched away as we drove to Holmen, the scenery was exhilarating, stunning, rugged, unbelievable, you could see and feel Trolls watching as we navigated the windy roads. After an hour we arrived at our final destination.
………………….Until Next Time……………..L8ers…………..