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Published: July 16th 2016
Arrived by ferry at the port of Moskenes, at thoe western end of the chain of connected islands that make up Lofoten. The villages that the area is known for looked beautiful in the warm evening sun, with the steep cliffs rising behind as the backdrop. The campsite we'd planned to use was full so instead of a 200m drive we had a drive of about 40mins to a beach front site. The wonderful weather had changed abruptly on turning a corner, it was freezing, damp and foggy where we ended up! Knowing the Norwegian weather we just pitched the tent then drove all the way back towards the ferry, this time stopping frequently to take photos. Finally started cooking dinner at our freezing campground around 10pm.
The next morning we hoped to drive back into sunshine but it didn't happen, were glad that we'd taken time to enjoy the sun yesterday.
In spite of the weather we enjoyed looking around some of the villages at this end of the islands. The morning was spent in A, the westernmost village. It's basically a museum now and was interesting to look around with a good guide too (from the Canary
Islands). All of the small villages on the islands are based around cod fishing. During January to April there's a huge spawning of cod and hundreds of boats will go out and have done for centuries. What makes the villages so picturesque are the lovely red painted wooden fishermen cottages, often on stilts, now mostly renovated to stay in, against the foreground of still waters and background of steep mountains. In all of the villages there are big wooden frames that are used to dry the fish. There are some fish drying in a few places even now and the smell dominates. The museum guide showed us 19th century fishermen cottages, cod liver oil factory and boat house from the same era. Despite the cloudy skies there were lots and lots of photo ops.
Having enjoyed the villages we decided we needed to get out and do a hike so chose to do a marked walk from the village of Unstad to the village of Eggum. This involved driving further east and away from the most picturesque of the villages. Both of these villages are tiny, Unstad is based around its surf beach and farming, we didn’t
venture far into Eggum. It was a dramatic walk along a cliff edge, slippery in the morning from the damp mist, clambering over boulders along the sea shore, then a very pleasant easy stretch for the last hour or so into Eggum. Then back again. It didn’t rain and was a good way to spend the day.
On the way east from Unstad where we had spent the night is the Lofotor Viking Museum in Borg. It was an excellent way to spend a couple of hours. There was a big find of Viking treasure here by a farmer, they’ve reconstructed the longhouse and displayed the finds in the museum. It’s well laid out with lots of information on the high tech audio guides. The longhouse gives a good impression of what it would have been like inside.
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