Getting up early from the campground we drove the 28 km to the ferry dock at Bodo (Buddha) to get there at 830 for the 10 sailing, as we did not have a reservation. There was no worry however since they was only 3 bikes to board.
The sailing to the Lofoten Islands takes 3-4 hours and can be a bit rough for the last part of the sailing.
Lofoten is an archipelago that even though it lies above the Arctic Circle it has very mild temperatures for this latitude due to the Gulf Stream. There is evidence of human settlement here for 11,000 years. There are 6 major islands, several minor, and hundreds of small islands connected by causeways and bridges. We unloaded the ferry to light rain. The islands are known for the coastal fishing villages, high mountain peaks, and protected harbors. The weather worsened, but still we tried to navigate some of the small roads to the remote villages.
Finally we had had enough by 4 pm and found a campsite just north of the largest town of Svolvaer. We did have some breaks in the rain for a bit of a walk along the shore.
It rained hard all night, which makes for a poor night sleep. It was still raining hard when we were packing up, which is always crappy. We headed out again on the E 10 north and after about 45 minutes we started to see blue sky ahead.
By an hour it was SUNNY and even hot. We pulled over to a rest stop and put up the tent to dry it out in less than 10 minutes.
We then had a really awesome day of sunshine and riding in Norway!
We left the E10 and took the E6 North.
We did a side trip to the city of Tromso, but checking out the camping here it really sucked so we backtracked to the route 91.
There are 2 ferries here are we decided just to go for it, since they are timed to depart in succession and so it is easier to get them all together. We had to wait about 20 minutes for the ferry for the 20 minutes crossing from Breivikeidet to Svensby.
From here it is a 20 km drive to the next ferry from Lyngseidet for 40 minutes to Olderdalen. Continuing another 28 km we found a camping spot at Rotsundelv. There were a couple of Dutch bikers here John and Anemika with whom we spend a nice evening.
The day started out with nice weather, but that changed quickly. Within 30 minutes we were riding in the pouring rain. We did however finally see a reindeer today and the Nordkapp sign for 240 KM!
We had originally planned to try to make it near to the North Cape today, but really we had had enough of the cold and pouring rain by 3 pm and we made for Hammerfest, which is by the way the most northerly city in the world.
This is an oil and gas town mostly and there are few tourists. The hotel had a 70% off sale because of some construction so we jumped at the change for a bit of luxury. We braved the weather to try and get in a walk and found ourselves at the Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society. This is a small free museum in the downtown. There are mementos of early life here in Hammerfest, a lot of stuffed animals, and historical photographs.
What an incredible difference a day makes since today it is 17 and sunny! Before leaving town we checked out the Struve Geodetic Arc.
“The Struve Arc is a chain of survey triangulations stretching from Hammerfest in Norway to the Black Sea, through 10 countries and over 2,820 km. These are points of a survey, carried out between 1816 and 1855 by the astronomer Friedrich Georg Wilhelm Struve, which represented the first accurate measuring of a long segment of a meridian. This helped to establish the exact size and shape of the planet and marked an important step in the development of earth sciences and topographic mapping. It is an extraordinary example of scientific collaboration among scientists from different countries, and of collaboration between monarchs for a scientific cause. The original arc consisted of 258 main triangles with 265 main station points. The listed site includes 34 of the original station points, with different markings, i.e. a drilled hole in rock, iron cross, cairns, or built obelisks.” Wikipedia
The replica of the largest Polar bear found is here also and makes a great photo op.