Short but enchanting first visit

We left m/s Polarlys at Svolvaer on the southern part of its coastal voyage (journal under Arctic Circle. We had two nights on the Lofotens and we both hope very much to be back.


Short but enchanting first visit

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by davidx on May 9, 2002

I know we did not have time to do much other than determine to be back. Even so I can say that we can warmly recommend anything we have done.

We rarely eat twice in the same place on holiday so there is a message there. Henningsvaer comes right up to expectations and Svinøya surpasses them.${QuickSuggestions} Remember that everything stops on 1 May, whatever day of the week it is.${BestWay} On normal weekdays the bus service is quite reasonable in the islands but it does involve a bit of planning. There are boats from Svolvaer and much further south to Bodø early morning but if you want most of an extra day there is the togbuss to Fauske at 1545 from Svolvaer.


Svinøya Rorbuer

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by davidx on May 9, 2002

Rorbuer are the old sea houses where fishermen lived - in very cramped conditions during the season. Some have been built more recently specifically for tourists ubt this is the genuine article made quite luxurious. It is right beside the sea on an island connected by quite a steep bridge to Svolvaer. The reception is a living museum, an old shop and warehouse with many original pictures and articles. The firm owns a restaurant adjacent to reception - see dining entry - and sells take-away breakfasts for NOK 70 per person hwich easily suffice for lunch as well.

The rorbuer is extremely well equipped. Electricity is included in the price and provides good heat as well as light. There is a huge living room with a cooking area, a twin bedroom and a good bathroom with shower. It is possible to get larger rorbuer for more people. Towels and bed linen are included in the price.

Svinøya Rorbuer
Gunnar Bregs vei 2, PO Box 74, n-8300,Svolvaer
Lofoten Islands, Norway
[+47] 76 06 99 30

Børsen Spiseri

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by davidx on May 9, 2002

This is not cheap but it is really super food. There is meat for non fish eaters but the fish is marvellous. Both smoked cod roe and cods' tongues make excellent starters and between us we had baked cod, a sort of half dried cod and halibut with a deep-sea fish that nobody could translate. Whatever it may be, it was delicious.

Orange parfait and the chocolate confection, a sort of cross between a cake and a souffle were just fine.

Everything is cooked to order and it is no hardship to wait in the cosy dining room hwich was once a busy warehouse.

Børsen Spiseri
Gunnar Bergs Vei 2
Lofoten Islands, Norway, N-8300

Henningsvaer

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by davidx on May 9, 2002

Henningsvaer is mentioned in pretty well any guide to Norway as one of THE sights of the north Lofotens - to the point that you can only expect to be let down. There is no let-down. The ride from Svolvaer provides magnificent mountain and coastal scenery as well as a fine view of the cathedral at Kaupanger. The village itself enjoys an idyllic harbour and coastline and covers a number of small islands. As a place to stay it might only really appeal to mountaineers, canoeists and anglers beccuse there are better transport centres and there is not actually a lot else to do there once you have really examined the town but it is certainly very much a must-see.
Henningsvaer
Bus ride from Svolvaer
Lofoten Islands, Norway

Svolvaer and its environs

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by davidx on May 9, 2002

Three things call for attention. The first is the Trollfjord to which there are boat trips in the summer when the southbound Hutigruten ship also passes through - hopefully not at the same time because it is unbelievably steep and narrow. it is banned except in the summer because of the danger, particularly in Spring, of falling rock.



The second is the tremendous mountain scenery. I had heard of the Svolvaer Goat, a massive rock promontory with two bits between athletes and perhaps lunatics jump but I had imagined that this stood alone. In fact there are several wonderful ridges with masses of snow.



The third is not really a natural wonder but is the connected island where the rorbuer are situated. I had never imagined from my reading the terrific volume of cod hung out to dry with scaregulls apparently being quite effective. Then there are the ex-warehouses and fish-processing centres. There is a long mostly constructed promontory into the sea with a statue on a small island at the end where it is said that a hwale can often be seen. I am sure it can but it did not come for us!


Togbuss and tog to Trondheim

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by davidx on May 9, 2002

I am not cheating in submitting something called train and connecting bus as natural wonders though we certainly had no idea of this beforehand and of course it is the coast, mountains and inland lakes which constitute the natural wonders.

First I have to remark on another wonder, the efficiency of the transport system. You can tsart on a bus from Leknnes which arrives at the car ferry quay in Svolvaer - where we started - just in time for the car ferry which is met by another bus to the little town of Ulsvåg where another bus from narvik has just arrived to continue the journey to Fauske where there is about twenty minutes to the overnight train to Trondheim. This is literally all like clockwork. Now for the natural wonders. The mountains on both sides of the sea - Lofotens and mainland are great but for us the highlight of the trip was the busride from Ulsvåg to Fauske through tunnels and by frozen and some melting lakes at considerable heights with snowy peaks all around. This is a spellbinding treat for which you probably cannot prepare.

I include the train itself because every time I looked out during the night there was something which made me want to do it by day some time.

Togbuss and tog to Trondheim
Svolvaer/Skutvik Ulsvåg, Fauske
Lofoten Islands, Norway

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