Our summer holiday this year is North of the Arctic circle in Sweden and Norway. We flew in to Stockholm and caught the sleeper train to Narvik. This left Stockholm just before 11pm, and wended its way North through the night, with us happily asleep until we woke somewhere around Gallivare. At around 11am we said goodbye to our sleeping compartment as we changed trains in Boden, and then it was up the hill to Kiruna, surrounded by huge iron mines, and then through gorgeous mountain country past Björkliden before a fantastic descent high above a fjord back down to sea level in Narvik, where we arrived at around 5pm. From our house to Narvik, by plane, train and airport bus: 31 hours, but a very pleasant journey on the train.
After a gorgeous sunset, the next morning we had a wander around Narvik before catching the bus to Svolvær, at the Eastern end of the Lofoten Islands. The bus trip was great, with a succession of tunnels and bridges, punctuated by views of increasingly pointy mountains. Arriving in Svolvær, we bought a map, tried Reindeer and Elk sausage, and then found a campsite for the night.
The next morning we decided it was time for some proper exercise after all that sitting on transportation, so we headed up the nearest mountain, Blåtinden. This was a lovely walk, starting through low forest and around a small lake before climbing steeply to a col, and then even more steeply to the summit ridge. The view from the ridge was jaw-dropping, with impressive peaks in every direction, the town of Svolvær below us, and hundreds of small islands in the fjords.
After lunch at the summit, we set off back down, with a brief diversion to the summit of a smaller peak, Tuva. We decided to press on to the Western end of the islands, so once we’d finished our walk we caught the bus to Å, the last town on the road. This led to the amusing conversation in the title of this post.
The bus ride was once again stunning, and we’re now camped on a cliff above the ocean, listening to the waves and the sea birds, and contemplating more adventures tomorrow…