Viking Ocean Cruise Into the Midnight Sun Post #4, Lofoten

As we sailed into the port of Leknes with Viking Cruises, this magnificent church was on the shore and caught my eye. Lofoten (Norwegian “lu:fu:tn”) is an enclave of islands and a long-established district in Nordland Norway. It is infamous for its astonishing rugged mountains, protected bays and a pleasant summer conditions. Even though it’s located within the Artic Circle it encounters a warmer than expected temperature range.

 

Small Community with Church on the Way Into Leknes

 

The Lofoten Islands were settled approximately 11,000 years ago and the earliest archaeological sites are only about 5,500 years old, at the period from early to late Stone Age. Agriculture, livestock, and significant human habitation can be traced back to the Iron Age or roughly 250 BC. The islands extend from Norway’s coast into the Norwegian Sea or approximately 118 miles. These waters were outstanding for Norse communities and the waters have produced massive quantities of Cod as they spawn in the waters around the islands. 

 

Viking Tour Guide Lollipops

 

Every tour begins with what regular passengers label a tour guide with a Viking lollipop. This way whether you are wearing a headset or just listening close by you can always locate your specific guide as they each have their own number. This was actually the first time I was able to capture this equipment in a photograph. I thought it unique.

 

Lofoten Welcoming Troll with the Nomadic Texan

 

Of course as soon as I turned around we faced the obligatory Norwegian troll portside. Kim and I were novices in Norway and weren’t aware we would encounter a myriad more of these adorable creatures. Seriously how can you not love each and every troll you have seen, if you are following my posts? We each took our solo portrait with the Lofoten troll and moved on.

 

Kim with the Lofoten Welcoming Troll

 

We had occasion to witness several fish drying racks as we toured Norway. They were discussed in our pre-port discussions and we drove by a few outside of Bergen.  Stockfish is unsalted fish, especially cod, dried by cold air and wind on wooden racks along the shorelines. They are called “hjell” in Norway. The drying of food is the world’s oldest known preservation method, and dried fish has a storage life of several years.

 

Cod Fish Drying Rack

 

We drove over a back road under construction and were stopped at the island’s only stoplight. This light dictated which one way traffic could proceed across the one-way bridge. It was kind of hilarious give traffic patterns in major cities all over the world. Finally we proceeded to a wharf type area with various boats, ships and structures surrounding the harbor.

 

Ship in Village by Grocery Store

 

Village Houses Across Bay from Grocery Store

 

Along the harbor was what I am guessing is the only grocery store within miles beside a ship maintenance facility. I try to explore grocery stores in every country I visit since I was in the industry before. It’s always amusing to see the offerings and prices. It gives one a feel for what items appear to be important to cultures and which ones don’t. The conversion rate for Norwegian Kronor to US Dollars is ten to one with a Kronor equaling about $.10 in US currency. The blue labeled Cruesli on the middle shelf is $49.90 Kronor or about $4.90 US Dollars. That seems reasonable to me.

 

Village Grocery Store Muesli Section

 

The brownies on the top shelf are $68.90 Kronors or about $6.89 in US Dollars. This seems rather expensive. Of course being located in a remote area probably motivates one to purchase this type of goods. It looks like Toro has a monopoly on sweet cookies and treats.

 

Cookie Section at the Village Grocery Store

 

Beer in Norway has up to 4.7% alcohol or has to be purchased in a state owned Vinmonopolet. Beer between 3.7% and 4.7% ABV (alcohol by volume) is taxed at an astonishing 22.4 kroner per liter, while beer above 4.7% ABV is subject to 5.01 kroner per percentage point per liter. These rates are applicable to all alcohol, which goes a long to explaining why spirits are so expensive.

 

Village Grocery Store Beer Section

 

I walked by the fruits and vegetables aisle and saw something I have never seen before. Remember I’m from Texas and we eat peppers with just about everything. Depending on the dish, mild peppers may be used or extremely hot ones depending on who you are cooking for. As I walked down the section I spied these red peppers that I thought were a red Chili peppers. Lo and behold they were actually Paprika peppers. I can honestly say I have never seen these prior to this cruise. I have used the spice forever, but this was a new phenomena to me.

 

Village Grocery Store Paprika Peppers

 

 

As we left the harbor we encountered several groups of wooden row houses. It’s fascinating to me since they are in different colors, but don’t necessarily line up in the same color or have a pattern for rotation. I do think they are well constructed and appealing to the local masses. We saw similar housing in Bergen and afterwards.

 

Village Wooden Row Houses

 

We then moved on from the small community of row houses and drove into the countryside. This was on the way to the lakes with “beautiful” beaches the tour guide told us about. Of course we were all wearing jackets and sweaters but what the hay! This house particularly appealed to me with its cellar door on the front side. I am not entirely sure if this was for storing canned goods or a place to ride out severe storms. The ones my paternal grandparents had was used for both actually.

 

Country House in the Lofoten Islands

 

We then passed this group of Sea-houses on stilts. They are called Rorbus in Norway. A family, couple or individual can lease them and fish directly off the deck of their house. absolutely ingenious in my opinion. Most offer either shared kitchens and bathrooms or private facilities. They have apartments also which have seating areas for relaxation, and all have great views. The bedrooms have between 2-4 beds, while the apartments have 3-6 beds spread across multiple bedrooms in each apartment.

 

Pier Houses Called Rorbus Locally

 

Once we left the area with the Sea-houses we came upon this view as we headed into the “beach” areas. It was a beautiful country road with hardly any room to pass. At times the bus driver amazed me with his skills and knack for forecasting oncoming traffic. I’m not sure how this was accomplished.

 

Country Road to Lake Region of the Lofoten Islands

 

Then we came around a corner and I thought I was in the Caribbean. The Haukland beach lay before us and it was truly gorgeous. I don’t know if my photo does it justice. I seriously wonder when the temperatures warm up how people manage to swim in the cold waters. The bay was very protected and hardly any waves were present. Probably a great place for snorkeling, if underwater fish are present.

 

Haukland Lake Beach near Leknes

 

We only drove by this beach and didn’t stop for taking outside photos. The bus driver did halt his driving for a minute or so in order to take a few photographs of these wonderful beaches through the buses’ windows. On the way to Uttakleiv beach we passed this guard house below that the local ranger inhabits according to our tour guide. I’m not sure I could really live in such a desolate place. Of course if you consider the tourists that visit daily it might not be all that bad.

 

Beach House Near Uttakleiv Beach

 

Then Uttakleiv beach appeared and it was gorgeous also, but had a multitude of large boulders on the side. The stone appeared to be either a lava product or some type of granite. The entire side of the mountain appeared to be of this substance and over the years erosion had chipped away and strewn stones and boulders down the side and into the ocean.

 

Uttakleiv Beach Near Leknes

 

Uttakleiv Beach Near Leknes

 

One of my favorite photos was this naturally sculptured heart shaped rock at Uttakleiv Beach, along with a heart formed with small stones from the beach. When they were combined it was a very romantic gesture in this old man’s opinion. I have always favored romanticism in human beings!

 

A Naturally Sculptured Heart Shaped Rock at Uttakleiv Beach with a Manmade Heart of Stones

 

This plaque on the beach represents a very important piece of Norwegian history of this portion of Northern Norway. In 1814 the long distances meant that Northern Norway was not represented at Eidsvoll. Eidsvoll is mentioned in Old Norse manuscripts. In the 11th century, it became the site of court and assembly. Elections were held, but everything happened too late for anyone from the north to join the National Assembly.

 

Uttakleiv Beach Plaque Near Leknes

 

Christian VIII was the King of Denmark from 1839 to 1848 and, as Christian Frederick, King of Norway in 1814. During the dramatic events of 1814, the whole of the northern part was in constant deficit with regard to knowledge on what was going on in political Norway. The long distances and a problematic postal service brought news only weeks, or months, after the proceedings themselves. When ballots were cast all over the country for a constitutional assembly, the distance became crucial for Northern Norway. The messages reached Nordland, Troms and Finnmark too late for anyone from there to show up in Eidsvoll. Keep on reading and my next post will be in reference to Tromso.

 

 

 

 

*** Portions of our cruise were sponsored by Viking Ocean Cruises. All opinions, as always, are those of my own.

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65 responses to “Viking Ocean Cruise Into the Midnight Sun Post #4, Lofoten”

  1. Obalade Damilola says:

    Norway is one country I love to visit..I know little about the country though.. Your write up gives me the feeling I’m in Norway already

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Obalade,
      I can’t recommend Norway enough. It is certainly a favorite country of mine now. I had no idea how gorgeous it really was until our cruise! Wow it’ really fantastic! Thanks.
      Mike

  2. Meldred Judith says:

    With this warmer temperature, it is best suitable to get a livelihood here. It also has a magnificent view, where mountain meets the sea.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Meldred,
      It isn’t really a warm climate all the time. We were just very lucky. It was certainly gorgeous weather when ewe visited, but it can really get cold in Norway! Thanks.
      Mike

  3. itachi says:

    The neighborhood is like any usual neighborhood out there but the sea side is wow. It reminds me of cast away by Tom Hanks.

  4. Kay says:

    I love the mountain side and the houses design. I know it looks more like a storage room but it is okay. As long as it is functional I am okay with it.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Kay,
      Thank you kindly for your thoughts, but I am a little puzzled by your comment about a storage room. That’s an interesting thought! Thanks.
      Mike

  5. OGUNYEMI SEGUN says:

    The troll always catch my attention in your post but I wonder how the people would have love to tell wonderful stories about the welcoming troll. Norway is a beautiful country, I look forward travelling with you someday!

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Ogunyemi,
      I love the trolls and feel that they are a very different kind of mascot. I am not sure I have seen them in many other places around the world. They are different and I like them, but they can be fairly off putting at times! Thanks.
      Mike

      • OGUNYEMI SEGUN says:

        Mr Mike,
        Thanks but I would like to suggest that you should have a writing on all the trolls on a single post. I’m looking forward to read the article!

        • NOMADICTEXAN says:

          Ogunyemi,
          I think that is a great idea, but I have around 12 more blog posts before I can begin writing new ideas. It takes about a week to edit photographs, place the selected photos in a order of their occurrence and write my post around the photos, along with other thoughts that materialize as I construct the post. It is really isn’t as easy as most people think. I will definitely endeavor to write a post on the “Trolls of Norway”, but I can’t guarantee I can complete all the posts I plan to write and then add posts to my committed thoughts. I hope you can understand. Thanks again for your response and for the additional request. Hopefully one of these day you can visit Norway and see its beauty and all the Trolls! Thanks.
          Mike

  6. mary eyo says:

    So much to do with your cruise in Norway, look at the Troll with you. Lovely sights and sounds.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Mary,
      I love the trolls and they are everywhere in Norway! Obviously they are associated with the culture and are present in just about every city we visited. The trolls are present and have dedicated statues, etc throughout the country! Thanks.
      Mike

  7. kate123 says:

    What a way to have fun while cruising along. You capture very beautiful photos of your cruise. I love all the photos.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Kate,
      I appreciate your kind words and your compliments on my photography skills! Your kind words are appreciated! Thanks.
      Mike

  8. Kitty says:

    Awww that is sweet. Did I just see a heart shape on shore? I do not know your plans but with places like these a cruise is not such a bad idea.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Kitty,
      Yes maam you are correct. One of my photos was of an outline of a heart made from stones gathered from the mountain slides, etc. It was a genuine heartfelt moment when I saw this and enjoyed it probably as much as it sounds like you did. Thank you for your warm words and best of luck on taking a cruise!
      Mike

  9. John ita says:

    What a way to describe what you had during your cruise like nice mountains, protected bays and a pleasant summer conditions. These will make anyone day

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      John,
      We were very fortunate and experienced rather nice climate. It usually isn’t that good. It rains usually two out of every three days and is cloudy much of the time. I can’t tell you how fortunate we felt! Thanks.
      Mike

  10. Pennywise says:

    It would be memorable for me if I go on a cruise on an island like this,I’m sure I will learn and capture alot too.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Pennywise,
      Interesting thought. I agree cruise can be very educational and I always learn a great deal on every one we take. Viking Cruises always does an excellent job of capturing unique and different subjects on their tours that we normally wouldn’t think of. I hope your wish comes true and you are able to experience a cruise like this one day. Best of luck.
      Mike

  11. Kurt says:

    Norway is such a beautiful country that it is always the go to spot if a movie is looking for a royal or mystical vibe it is always a go to. Now I can see why? Just the shore alone will make a good show piece.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Kurt,
      Until our cruise I had never been in Norway and had no idea how gorgeous it really was. It was magnificent and I urge you to go if the opportunity ever presents itself. Thanks.
      Mike

  12. Jumbo says:

    This cruising will be so enjoyable for me if I’m opportuned to be on board of this too. Enjoy yourself life isn’t that hard.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Jumbo,
      I am glad your life isn’t hard. There are people though that have difficult lives and sometimes struggle daily. I realize I am a lucky man and appreciate every day left on this planet. At my age they all count! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
      Mike

  13. Obong says:

    Nomadic Texan Viking cruise is just an experience I will love to experience and explore right away. You made your post so inviting.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Obong,
      I am truly glad you feel that way. This makes me happy and I hope You are able to take a cruise before too long. Thanks.
      Mike

  14. mandy says:

    Viking Tour Guide Lollipops is a good idea especially new visitors to know their way around. You had an enjoyable cruise.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Mandy,
      The first time I was with them and saw them used I was very happy. Otherwise I would have gotten lost for sure! Thanks.
      Mike

  15. Oyeyipo Oladele says:

    Your experience on your trip to Norway is enough to put any interested fellow through for vacation trip to Norway. The Country Road to Lake Region of the Lofoten Islands is so neat and straightforward for safe driving. I really love your photoshoots, they are brilliantly captured. Thanks for this exposure post.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Oyeyipo,
      You are too kind. Thanks for your nice thoughts and I really appreciate your comments about my photography skills.
      Mike

      • Oyeyipo Oladele says:

        You are welcomed Mike.
        The truth need to be said as for you to keep progressing in it. Your kind of free life is so difficult to find in the outside world today. Thanks to you boss.

  16. Pietro says:

    I do not see any food feast he he. Seriously!!! I imagine a viking is like Thor when it comes to food so that said, A viking recipe perhaps but this is okay as well.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Pietro,
      Please stay tuned. One of my blog posts coming up will be about the food served on our Viking Cruise. You are correct. Their buffets were enormous and had so many choices. Thanks.
      Mike

  17. Wanda says:

    Norway has always been a beautiful country to me. I have been there before but never got the chance to roam around. This makes me wanna go back for a vacation this tine around.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Wanda,
      I would encourage you to go back and venture out from the large cities. Norway really is a beautiful country! Thanks.
      Mike

  18. Kelly snow says:

    The Lofoten Islands looks like where a cruise will fantastic with I and my fiancee. She so love to cruise and maybe surprise her with a proposal. Fond thoughts.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Kelly,
      Norway has several locations that would work well for your surprise proposal. It really is a romantic country full of gorgeous sites! Thanks.
      Mike

  19. Lovedey says:

    Taking a cruise on an island like this will be a dream come true for me. Life isn’t about work, getting off work and cruising around sure will help the body to relax better.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Loveday,
      You are entirely correct. One has to work hard and then play hard as we never know when it will end. Cruises are our favorite type of vacations! Thanks.
      Mike

  20. Roy says:

    The ship in village by the grocery store is very eye catching. So many things are photo worthy here!

  21. Ryan says:

    You do take amazing photos! Thanks so much for documenting this and sharing it 🙂

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Ryan,
      I appreciate your kind words. It does my heart good to hear you like my photos! I try very hard to pick the best photos I take at locations. Thanks again.
      Mike

  22. Meg W says:

    The Naturally Sculptured Heart Shaped Rock has to be the best photo in the whole collection. I can’t get over how lovely it looks!

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Meg,
      I appreciate your nice thoughts. Actually I think the heart stones were intentionally placed in that design for others to look at. I thought it was unique and took the photo to share. Thanks.
      Mike

  23. Howard says:

    Your sense of adventure is very admirable. I wish I was as outgoing as you are.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Howard,
      Even though you think this, I am actually not that adventurous. I am getting up in years and this has forced me to slow down dramatically. Thanks you for the nice words.
      Mike

  24. Patricia says:

    It’s impressive how you give some historical background with each of the places. Quite informative and well laid out 🙂

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Patricia,
      It takes quite a lot of research to insure I write the correct descriptions, etc. I appreciate your compliments. Hopefully everyone feels this way also. Thanks.
      Mike

  25. Kylie says:

    The Uttakleiv Beach is very rocky. I have never seen a beach like it before.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Kylie,
      I agree. It was interesting and to have so many rocks and stones it almost reminded me of some beaches in California with cliffs filled with boulders and huge rocks. Give me a white sandy beach with lots of sand any day! Thanks.
      Mike

  26. Oliver says:

    Norway has a certain beauty to it that can’t be found anywhere else. I will most definitely have to visit Norway some day.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Okiver,
      I think that would be a wise decision. I hadn’t ever been to Norway before either. It really surprised me how beautiful it really was in person. Thanks.
      Mike

  27. Ursula says:

    All the houses look so cute and beautiful. The Norwegians are great builders indeed.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Ursula,
      The Norwegians have great architecture in all capacities. Their wooden houses are very charming and appealing. I loved visiting the various cities and viewing homes and buildings. Thanks.
      Mike

  28. Daphne says:

    If I lived in such a peaceful countryside I would be the happiest woman on earth! This is so much better compared to the city life that I am used to.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Daphne,
      It is definitely very peaceful, but it is also very expensive and has one of the highest cost of living ratios in the world. Good luck with living in Norway! Thanks.
      Mike

  29. Grace says:

    I must say these Lofoten photos are the best from your entire visit to Norway. I’m in love with every single one of them 🙂

  30. Angel says:

    This has not been on my radar to be honest but this could change my mind. That said this place is giving a strong case for tourist to visit. I myself is intrigued by this.

    • NOMADICTEXAN says:

      Angel,
      Thank you very much for your nice comments. They make me feel great! I hope your wish comes true and you can make a cruise! Thanks.
      Mike

  31. Dazz says:

    I do not see any contact details. Perhaps you can add that for future articles. That way if anyone is and will be interested they can catch a ride for a cruise. A website would be nice.

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