Saturday, May 25, 2013

Exploring Lofoten

Hei, hei! The Viking team has been having a fabulous time in Northern Norway, and it's time to catch you up on our travels. After leaving Oslo, we flew to Bodø, and then on to Leknes in the Lofoten Islands. From Leknes we rented a car and took the scenic route to Svolvær, where we checked into the rorbuer on nearby Svinøya, just across the bridge from the main part of town. What a great introduction to Lofoten, with an amazing view of the fjord, the mountains and, of course, the cod drying right outside our window. Dinner at historic Børsen Spiseri gave us the chance to sample some of the local delicacies.

The next day we explored the area, including antique shops and cafes. A highlight was the Viking museum at Borg, a center of Viking activity in Northern Norway. The museum's interpretive center and Viking chieftain village are definitely worth the stop.

If you long to get out and enjoy nature, Lofoten has plenty to offer. For me, the biggest surprise in Lofoten was the white sandy beaches and emerald water. Who knew? It's a paradise for birders, photographers and even surfers!

While in Lofoten, we explored the small fishing villages of Nusfjord and Henningsvær, which gets my vote for the cutest town on the planet. We spent our second night in rorbuer in the equally scenic town of Reine. (Don't be fooled by the name: rorbu might translate to "fishing hut," but we were definitely not roughing it!) Another highlight of our trip: kayaking in the crystal clear waters around Reine with Sandro, the owner of ReineAdventure. Herlig!

From Svolvær we got on Hurtigruten and traveled northeast to Vesterålen. I hated to say goodbye to Lofoten, so instead I'm choosing to think of it as "until we meet again."

Amy Boxrud is editor of Viking magazine. She lives with her family in Northfield, Minn., where she’s a member of Nordmarka 1-585.

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