Seeing the bad weather coming slowly from the sea, there was not much point in doubting the forecast for next two days.
Instead of hoping for the best we decided to embrace the situation and think of plan B. Thanks to technology, we managed to search the Internet for options. Since before the trip, we considered staying at least 1 day in Rorbu cabins. These are very characteristic for Lofoten: old fishermen’s houses, standing on wooden stilts in the water for the easier fish picking. Nowadays Rorbuer are mostly tourist attractions and provide accommodation for curious visitors.
However, because of their popularity, it is quite hard to get a place in one of them during the summer season. Again, we must have been lucky, as we found a cabin for this one night we needed.
The car rental is in Moskenes and apparently consists of more or less 2 cars for rent. The ‘Sunny’ became our lucky vehicle for the next 2 days.
Before jumping on the car, we still had time until the evening to explore Reine and its surroundings. Reine is a beautifully located town, very charming for pictures. It also felt like a real hit of civilization – after 4 days in a tent we could have coffee and ice cream!:)
To spend the day ‘our way’, we decided to climb the closeby peak – Reinaknuten for a better overview of the area.
The climb is short (ca. 1h) but very steep with a lot of loose stones, so need to be careful and watch the steps (and heads).
View from Reinaknuten. Reine below.
Getting the car required an evening trip to Moskenes. I scheduled with the car rental the time to pick up ‘Sunny’ and went with Gustavo, leaving Ania and Gregor with backpacks in Reine. As soon as we arrived at Moskenes, the long promised rain has arrived.
Switching to 4 wheels freed us from sticking to one island only, so we decided to make the most of the next two days and go in the direction of Svolvaer. The plan was to sleep the first night in a tent as far as we get, then explore the area of Henningsvaer and Svolvaer and go back through Viking Museum (Borge) to the Rorbu in Sund.
The main lesson learned very soon: mosquitos also like cosy spots covered from rain and the wind…
We decided to stop for the night close to Henningsvær, in a sheltered valley next to the road. About a million blood-sucking beasts decided the same, so pitching the tents was a real race with time. Even after closing the zipper I had an impression that they try to sting through the walls!
Day 6 brought the main weather breakdown. And washed the mosquitoes (yupeee!). The clouds that came would have made our stay in the mountains completely miserable but at the sea level, they appeared quite picturesque.
Following our plan, we packed to the Sunny car and drove to Henningsvær. This trip was cut short, as the rain wouldn’t stop. Going forward to Svolvær had to be cancelled if we wanted to have enough time for Viking museum.
Located in Borge, the Lofotr museum is a reconstruction of the largest known Viking house, excavated in the late 1980s. The visit to the museum is an interactive journey through the long forgotten world. You can see, touch and experience the daily-use equipment, clothes and furniture. After seeing the inside of the museum, you can go out to stroll through the farm areas and get to row the Viking boat! 🙂 More info about the museum can be found on the webpage: www.lofotr.no/
After the leap into the history, we headed towards civilisation – Rorbu. This meant few critical things (numbers 1 and 2 took over as the biggest desires):
- We can have a warm bath!
- We can wash and dry our used clothes
- We can cook a big common dish in big pots
- We can stand straight while doing all of these
- We can watch the rain and clouds from warm inside of the wooden cabin
- We can sleep in beds
I have to admit, that this one night, even though not planned before, changed a lot our Lofoten experience somehow making it fuller. Rorbuer are, in the end, a must-do in here. Also, having still few days of hiking ahead (and some more behind), it felt REALLY good to refresh!
Viking museum in Borge.
We had to say goodbye to the luxury and come back to our wanderer lives. We have spent day 7 completely on the road, checking out all places which seemed interesting, stopping for pictures and enjoying the gloomy, heavy clouds above our heads. There are many ‘galleries’, ‘museums’, ‘antique shops’ or ‘handcraft centres’ around, so we never got bored. It was also the unique opportunity to do some shopping and try local specialties. Dried cod is a trademark from Lofoten, known all over the world, so it would have been a sin to skip it!
Dried cod is the main industry on the islands. Wooden racks full of hanging fish are the common view in the islands this time of the year.
Even with the clouds covering the sky, water still impresses with amazing colours.
Cod heads drying on the racks. These will be shipped to Africa, mainly Nigeria, where they serve as local delicacy.
On the road. The clouds hang low just above our heads.
Beach nearby Flakstad.
Carving on the entrance of Glasshytta.
Glasshytta in Vikten. A nice detour from the main road. Opposite there is a cosy cafe.
Cod drying on the racks
If only we could take some 🙂