Sunday, August 07, 2005

DAY 10 - a city, a boat and many islands

we leave nordkjosbotn to go further north - tromsø is the next destination. the first stop is just outside nordkjosbotn however, at the piggstein, a rock where many travellers have left their colourful traces. of course we add our signatures!

we've all been here!

first we drive along balsfjorden, then the road leads us away from the water, but around 30 km outside tromsø we are back, as the E8 winds its way along the fiords. the moment i see tromsø, beautifully situated on an island (tromsøya) between the mainland and the island kvaløy, i am hooked. it's a real gem. and a genuine city at that - with a population of over 60.000 it's the world's largest city north of the arctic circle!

we briefly stop at the ishavskatedralen, the arctic cathedral situated on the mainland, just before the bridge that leads us into tromsø. it's sunday, and very, very quiet. the tourist information has a few tips re hiking and boat trips, and we are lucky - there is a boat trip on the mailboat that very evening. a brief walk, and on to skittenelv, 25 km outisde tromsø, and still farther north, to a campsite next to the water. it's lovely out there, and since the sun's out, it's actually warm!

arctic cathedral, tromsø

we have a quick bite, then drive back into tromsø where we catch a bus to bellvika on kvaløy, the little village where we catch the ferry that goes out to vengsøy, laukvik, musvaer, risøy and sandøy on the verge of the arctic sea (as opposed to the rather more sheltered islands in 'fiordland'). the sun's out, the water sparkles, and it seems like the end of the world, even before we get to sandøy, farthest away from bellvika, and the northernmost point of our entire journey (above 70°).

at sea

with the wind it does get a little chilly outside, and i am glad i have my fleece jacket and my cap with me (and ON me!).

me inside approx. 17 layers of clothes

but anyway, i cannot sit still inside for very long (unlike mr lasse), it's too lovely, and too fascinating. all these tiny little islands, like dots in the sea - and then the bigger ones, where people live all year round! it's beyond me, and i know i could never live in such out-of-the-way places. believe me, out there, you'd better get on with your neighbours!

lonely out there

the cries of seagulls accompany us, and on a couple of islands, the whole population seems to have gathered for the arrival of the boat. little lighthouses are there to guide the boats during the darker days. the sun plays peekaboo behind ever changing clouds, thus continually transforming the scenery below. it's around 9 pm when we dock at bellvika and hop on the bus back to tromsø.

we go for a short walk, then drive back out to skittenelv campsite and go to bed.


day 10 photos

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