Road to Lofoten
I will say from the start that the flight schedule didn’t cause any issue and I will present again the arrival plan to the Lofoten Islands:
We left Bucharest at 7 in the morning, a short stop in Munchen and arrived in Oslo at noon. Then, we took a flight (from Widerøe) to Bodø at 12:30 and arrived in Bodø at 14:45. From Bodø, we were to take the ferry at 16:00 and arrive at 20:30 in Moskenes, in the southern part of the Lofoten Islands.
After we landed in Bodø, we went slowly towards the ferry, which the nice people of Bodø placed at the other side of the town. This way, you (the tourist) are forced to take a taxi to the ferry, for the simple reason that no bus takes you directly there (although in front of the airport there is a bus station).
After all, what can you do in a small town above the Arctic Circle? You need to make money from anything. But, they did not anticipate that a Romanian is a very resourceful individual! Therefore, we took a bus to leave us as central as possible and then we walked for about 1 or 2 km to the ferry.
When we got to the ferry, we were surprised to find the ferry doesn’t leave towards Moskenes. The reason was a very natural one: in March the entire Lofoten population and those from the continent go fishing for the so-called Norwegian Arctic Cod, which migrates down the coast from the Barents Sea, to spawn from January to April. Thanks to this annual event and because everybody goes fishing and there are nets everywhere, it just happened that one of the ferry’s propellers got stuck in some nets and it was under repair.
Great! What about us? What could we do?
Well, again there were 2 options. First, to wait in the local railway station until 2 in the morning when the ferry leaves for Lofoten…or…or…for the same price (25 euros/person), we can go right there for Lofoten, but not before we see the Norwegian Sea…for about 15 hours!
We decided to go immediately.
The long duration of the ferry trip was caused by its long journey. It left from Bodø to 2 small islands (Værøy si Røst), which were quite close to Moskenes and that took about 5 hours, then back to Bodø in another 5 hours and then, only then, the ferry finally left towards Moskenes, where it arrived at 7 in the morning.
The first hour was quite great, we stayed on the deck looking at the beautiful coast and the port of Bodø, took some photos, admired the seagulls flying over. All was great!
Then, as we looked in the distance, we noticed dark clouds coming over us and so, it began raining, then snowing and a terrible wind started blowing over our ferry. Of course, not knowing how to react, we started feeling sick and only one thought occupied my mind: how could I survive that giant washing machine for the next 14 hours?
Tip: In such cases, always stay as close as possible to the center of the boat, lie down and try to sleep.
Somewhere close to midnight, we arrived in the Værøy Island (though I may be wrong and it could have been Røst). It’s difficult to say, I know it was dark and many birds were heard flying above us. Actually, above me because I was the only one on the deck trying to recover after the wonderful sightseeing tour through the Norwegian Sea.
The ferry stayed there for about 30 minutes and being the first night in Norway, so close to Lofoten and above the Arctic Circle, I looked immediately towards the sky. At first I didn’t notice anything.
But slowly, something milky started to stretch over the sky. It was like the Milky Way descended much too close from the sky. Is this the aurora?, I started thinking…Slowly, that milky fog began stretching all over the sky, from one horizon to the other and the color turned into green, not so much initially, but then stronger and stronger. At that moment, I called my friends and we all stared at the sky, facing a phenomenon we only dreamed about.
The ferry started its way back to Bodø, where it arrived at 2 in the middle of the night. Then, we finally left towards Moskenes, Lofoten, where we arrived at 7 in the morning, at exactly 24 hours from the moment we left Romania.
The arrival to Lofoten from the sea is really impressive.
As soon as you approach the islands, you see the Lofoten wall. This wall is formed by the mountains that rise from the sea, leaving so little place for humans.
It’s like this place was built to impress at a grand scale and I could swear that was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen, if only 8 hours ago I didn’t witness the aurora borealis spreading all over the night sky.
In no more than 24 hours, wonders came one after the other, at such a short distance in time that my mind couldn’t process and store all that information.