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To Sortland on the Vesterålen

Home -> Europe -> Norway -> Travelogue Norway -> 28 June 2002

Friday 28 June, to Sortland on the Vesterålen

Quite early we leave the camping and drive back to the E6. But before we reach Andselv we turn to the right in the direction of Finnsnes (road 855) and the beautiful island Senja. At Gryllefjord we have to take a ferry to Andenes, but first we take the sideroad to Bøvær, a spectaculair road with many nice panoramic views. According to our information there must be a troll park somewhere near, but we don't encounter it.
Fjord at Krokelvdalen BergsfjordThe road becomes narrower and narrower, until we drive on a single road track, but still paved. Senja is a quiet island and there is not much tourism, although it is a beautiful place to be. On the southern side of the island there is a national park.
Bergsfjord BergsfjordThe view over the Bergsfjord makes the detour very worthwhile, even without the troll park.
Trolls park at Gryllefjord Trolls park at GryllefjordAnd then, when we are back on road 86 and drive towards Gryllefjord, we suddenly run into the park along the main road. Another example how little the Norwegians are concentrated on tourism. The travel guides refer to a remote village, there are no road signs and suddenly one passes the attraction, unexpectedly. But you won't hear us complain; we are quite happy that we have found the park after all. The troll on the left is nine meters high and hollow on the inside. According to the Guinness book of world records it is the biggest troll in the world.
Around two in the afternoon we arrive at Gryllefjord and again we meet our Dutch neighbours. Until now we have seen them only now and then and had only short conversations with them, but now we have to wait an hour for the ferry together and spend the two hours on the boat with them, so we get to know them a little better.
The island Senja The island SenjaWhile we leave the harbour of Gryllefjord and have a nice view on the beautiful coast of Senja, we finally introduce ourselves. He is called Peter and she is Trudy. A firm wind starts to blow as we leave the harbour and we are glad we brought sweaters from the car.
The boat to the Vesterålen The boat to the VesterålenPeter tells he sometimes gets seasick, but fortunately the crossing takes only two hours while the coast never gets out of sight.
On the boatThe way we look is all to blame on the wind. Or maybe we should have our hair cut...
The Vesterålen The VesterålenTwo hours can be very long on a boat and we are getting colder by the minute in this wind. Next time we should take a coat instead of only a sweater. But finally the Vesterålen appear before us, a group of islands north of the Lofoten.
We arrive at Andenes, on the north point of Andøya. Soon we leave the standard road to the south and drive along the west coast of the island, all the way to the southern point. Although the route is very beautiful, it takes a lot of time: a large part of the road is unpaved and we have to be careful about holes in the road and big stones.
The VesterålenAlong the coast, mountains arise from the sea, but the central part of the island is quite flat. Both the Lofoten and the Vesterålen are of volcanic origin and the different islands once belonged to one or two large volcanos and were only separated from each other much later.
The VesterålenVery idyllic sandy beaches can be found on the west and south coast of this island, but there is almost no tourism here. And when you are looking for a sunny beach, you probably wouldn't think about this place, far north of the arctic circle. Well, we did, although we don't dare go into the sea.
This trip on the smaller roads of Andøya costs us a lot of time, but we have all day and the sun is still shining (of course, it is shining 24 hours a day...) when we arrive late at night at Sortland, on the island Langøya, where we find a small log cabin waiting for us.
Cabin at SortlandYesterday we already liked the sceneries, certainly compared to the landscapes in Denmark, Sweden and Finland, but today was maybe even better. We are curious to know what else Norway has in store for us... The picture to the right shows a sunbeam at eleven o'clock, shining into our cabin. What a wonderful country!


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