Vesteralan Islands – Norway

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25th May 2019 – 28th May 2019

One thing you need to remember as you cross the border into Norway is not to have any potatoes in your possession, yes, you read right, potatoes. Apparently potatoes are illegal to import, as well as lots of alcohol. Luckily as previously mentioned we sailed through the border not seeing a human sole, potatoes and alcohol safely still in our possession. The scenery continued to be magical, a scattering of snow on the ground and the huge breathtaking mountains in the background. As we headed into the Vesteralan Islands, our first stop was on the edge of a cliff with the most wonderful view of the the Ofotfjord. Now this place gave me a restless night, firstly because it was really windy and second, David had in my eyes parked quite close to the cliff edge. He said, what do you think is going to happen, I say, we might topple over the edge. He rolls his eyes turns over in bed and off he goes soundly to sleep, while I am left thinking all sorts. Still alive the next day, we travel west and into the lush green scenery of the islands. I can’t believe how just behind us we leave a vista of white snow and now we are in what feels like a paradise garden. It is like we have just walked through a door into another world. The sun shone, the lime green colour of all the trees are so vivid, the lush green grass, spring has just sprung, as everything is coming to life. The daffodils are just emerging and so is all the other fauna. We parked in the small harbour of Borkenes and this was the perfect opportunity to try out the fishing rod. Tackle at the ready David set off, while I stayed in the van doing a spot of squashed yoga. The next thing, the door flies open, I’ve caught a fish, I’ve caught a fish David says. Chloe and I go rushing down to the quay and there on the end of his line is a cod. I couldn’t believe it and and neither could David, he said as soon as he cast the line, he thought he had got it stuck on the bottom again, he was hauling the line in only to find a fish on the end. What do I do with it he said, as I looked down at the fish I said ‘Oh put him back’ and that’s what we did. Not before taking the obligatory photos of the catch. David cast the line again and I could see the line pulling, I said, you haven’t got another one have you and all excited he said ‘I think I have’ and in came another cod. We put this one back as well. David’s luck then dried up, the line got caught and we lost the bait and retreated to the van to have lunch. Off he went again in the afternoon and Fishing Widow sprang to mind. No luck in the afternoon but the fun that David and I had with the earlier catch was just brilliant. I am so glad we bought the fishing rod, this is going to provide hours of fun and maybe food, if we get brave enough. We stayed here a couple of days and then headed to Sortland. As we approached the village, I caught something moving out the side of my eye and said to David, what’s that ? It was only a moose, yes, our first sighting of a moose. OMG, the excitement, it was the size of a small horse and we stopped to take photos. This needed to be recorded, how we had waited so long to see one. We went for a walk in the afternoon and were greeted by two young boys on bikes keen to know where we were going, who we were and where we had come from. They told us where there was some nice walks and said how nice Chloe was. We passed the local school the next day and it was playtime, it looked like there were only 10 children in the whole school ! We finally reached the furthest point North we are going on this ‘Once in a Lifetime’ adventure Andenes. With it’s rich fishing history and end of the road feel with the wind swept harbour on the edge of the Atlantic. We then took the road to Bleik and on this road is Andoya Space Centre, Norway’s only operational Space Cente. Of course it wasn’t open to explore (only 6 weeks in the summer) but here you can experience a virtual mission and send up a virtual rocket. I would have quite liked to have done that. We found a site to stay in Bleik, with views over a huge long sandy beach which wouldn’t look out of place in the Caribbean. Just stunning. Chloe was so excited, sand between her toes ! As I went into the reception to sign in, I heard the owner saying that we might see the midnight sun tonight. There were afew clouds in the sky but as the evening wore on and the skies cleared, we saw the most amazing spectacle we have ever seen, the glorious midnight sun. It’s midnight the sun is still shining, it is completely light. There are no words to explain it, magical, lucky to be alive, truly blessed. It will stay with us for the rest of my lives.

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