Andenes port on a cold wet summers day.
Norway. Where old sit alongside new in perfect harmony.
As I sat in the passenger salon of the MV Stetind gazing mindlessly out the window, the wind and rain lashed the windows as we made our way from the northern most
point of the Lofoten Islands, Andenes, towards the “mainland” port of Gryllefjord.
A young Swedish couple out for a weeks hiking who I had met on embarking had sat opposite me and she turned at some point and said
“How far do you plan to ride today?”
“Mmmmm I am not sure perhaps half way to Tromsø, (68 km) or perhaps all the way. Weather dependant” I replied as I waved a hand towards the window which was now covered in wind smeared water
“ You should try for as far as possible “ she countered .
“Why?” I asked, deep down fearing the answer.
“Because this light rain is due to get heavier tomorrow “ she replied .
That my friends about sums up the day.
Some stunning scenery however made the hills and wet a little more palatable. The road north toward Tromsø from Gryllefjord is basically a 1.5 lane country road that winds itself around some spectacular fjords and through numerous tunnels in the heart of the island known as Senja.
First up off the ferry was this delightful little bird house in the middle of a pond that sat beneath towering mountains blanketed in cloud with the last remaining drifts of snow still hanging on for existence.
Of course in this part of the world where there’s a road there’s bound to be a bridge and / or tunnel. In this case both at the same time.
As you enter the tunnels you are encouraged to push these buttons which then set off an electronic notification board to approaching cars that you’re in the tunnel.
You are also encouraged to wear a hi-viz jacket which the local council kindly provide in these boxes at the tunnel entrance . Once through the tunnel you simply deposit it in the box on the other side. If you happen to forget and ride some km further on with it still attached to you then fear not. There is a freepost address on the jacket you can send it back to once you’re home.
A 44 metre long platform that sits just off the road and some 300 metres above the Bergsfjord provides stunning views of the fjord and small hamlet of Bergbotn.
As I stood there enjoying the solitude and tranquility the moment was pierced by a very distinctive “ Blimey Wends, have a look at this for a view. Struth it’s a bewdy “ . Meet Wendy and Rod. They’re from Eastern Victoria (Lakes Entrance) and in her own words are doing a couch cycle tour of Norway for a week. When I asked what a “couch cycle tour” was she said that the itinerary is fully planned and all their gear is transported from one nights accommodation to the next. The tour company will also pick you up at any stage you feel the need and deposit you on a couch in that evenings destination.
The razor sharp Okshornan Peaks were quite breath taking.
Despite the inclement weather the fish farmers were busy at work with a stunning view at every turn to keep them entertained .
The view from inside one of the many avalanche tunnels that I rode through.
Literally thousands of waterfalls make their way down the mountains and empty into the fjords. You constantly get the feeling you’re riding through a Peter Jackson ( he of Lord of the Rings movie fame) movie set.
Bit of rain, bit of wind, why not add in a hill or two. Oh go on then. If you must . That 4 km took me 42 mins.
Passed an impossibly beautiful fishing village tucked away in a small inlet enroute called Hamn.
The Senja Troll Adventure Park. Classified in the 1997 Guineas book of records as the biggest troll in the world.
Just another beautiful view across another beautiful fjord.