After another rather tardy start, we eventually got going. It is getting harder and harder to get off to bed early, since the midnight sun means that it is never dark at this time of year. Consequently, most people on the campsite are still milling around til nearly midnight – it just doesn’t feel like bedtime!
After breakfast, Howard decided he was going to ‘tidy up’ the boot. For anyone who knows Howard, you will understand when I translate that to ‘make more mess’. He has an uncanny knack of creating chaos whenever he tidies. It may have looked messy, but at least I knew where everything was, before he created ‘order’! The morning was still pretty dull, so I suppose there was no real rush to get away.
When we eventually set off, Howard reluctantly agreed to indulge my photographic lust, and take me back to Nysford, the lovely place we had visited late in the day, on our first day in Lofoten.
En route we stopped off to look at Borge Kirke, a slightly ugly modern looking construction, that sits high up on a hill, with tremendous views. The reason for it’s modern design was that it had been burnt to the ground in 1986, and a more contemporary building chosen to replace it. Despite reservations over the external design, inside the church was quite stunning – very simple, but beautiful. The altar piece was a fine tapestry of Christ, and there were lovely contemporary stained glass windows, depicting the tree of life. We both really liked it, and found the whole building very welcoming.
I had hoped that by the time we reached Nysford, the weather might have picked up, but it remained a rather flat light most of the afternoon. Nonetheless, I thoroughly enjoyed myself taking photos. After coffee at the quaint little Baker’s, I went off to do some photography, whilst Howard occupied himself in the museum, and watched a film about the old fishing fleet. For such a tiny community, with an equally small harbour, Nysford, at it’s peak had five hundred fishing boats, and 1,500 fishermen – extraordinary!
Having re-united, and purchased a rather nice reindeer tea-towel for Oscar, we headed back to the car. We climbed up behind the car park, since I had a hunch that I might get a good view of the harbour. However, after climbing up over the rocks, it was clear that we were in the wrong place. So we walked back into Nysford, and clambered on some rocks there, to aspire to the view I was looking for. Still no good. Eventually, we established that you would need considerable skill in rock climbing to obtain the view that I had seen in all the postcards, and so reluctantly admitted defeat. However, as we were just about to head back to Oscar, a glimmer of sun appeared, lighting up the village for the first time all day. I negotiated another ten minutes off Howard, and rushed to take a few more photos. On the way back to the van, Howard very wearingly asked if I had all the photos I needed. Frankly, a silly question, as any photographer would tell you – you can never have enough photos! I responded that perhaps in the winter, it would look completely different. I won’t tell you his response, because it was rude – but it involved the phrases ‘photo geeks’ and ‘spending days adjusting the reflection off snowflakes’! I read between the lines, and decided that I had pushed my luck with the photography for one day.
In an attempt to appease the old man, I offered to drive back. We decided to take a detour on the way back to the campsite, to the tiny hamlet of Eggum, on the middle island Vestvagoy’s northern coast. This turned out to be a wonderful location. Pretty brightly painted wooden houses sat on the headland, dwarfed by the mountains behind them. We opted for a walk along the headland, passing by the remains of a radar station, built by the Germans in World War II to detect allied convoys. A little farther along the path, we came to another of the Skulpurlandskap sculptures, this one by a Swiss artist, Markus Raetz. It is the sculpture of a head, but quite extraordinary, since as you walk around it, it takes on different faces, and front on, it doesn’t look like a face at all. It goes without saying, that when I caught up with Howard at the sculpture, it was already wearing his bobble hat. What am I going to do about him?!!!
As we walked back to Oscar, many ‘Big Whites’ had parked up for the night. I imagine it will be a superb site for watching the midnight sun. We, however, opted to return to our campsite, where at least there is hot water and showers.
On our return, a lovely German family parked up next to us, came over as we were preparing tea, and asked to look inside. ‘Do you sleep up there?”, the wife asked incredulously. I pulled down the roof cover to show her where we slept. She called her daughter over to see. It may be my imagination, but I think they were admiring our new rug that we had just put in Oscar, along with my soft furnishings. I felt a moment of pride in our lad. Look Oscar – these people think you are wonderful!!
We sat outside, in the last of the evening sun, before deciding that Al Fresco dining was a step too far, and retreated into the van for supper. I have to keep pinching ourselves that we are in the Arctic Circle. Oliver, in his ignorance, asked if a ‘normal’ sleeping bag will do for his visit. Duh! I don’t think so! ‘It’s very cold here’, I replied!