Day 2 |
Aug 20, 2012

Leknes, Lofoten, Norway 

By Hans-Peter Reinthaler, Biologist

Co-ordinates: 68°07´N, 13°34´E
Weather: cloudy
Air Temperature: 17°C

Sometimes the sun appeared between the clouds as the Silver Explorer sailed through the inland passage in the northern part of Norway. Tundra vegetation, a cool breeze and the glacier-shaped mountains reminds that we are still north of the Arctic Circle.

It was a morning at sea with different varieties of activities for our guests. At 10 o’clock there was the mandatory Zodiac briefing and a destination briefing for today and tomorrow. In the destination briefing, our Expedition Leader Robin West gave a short overview of the activities for the afternoon and the day after. The briefings were followed by a lecture by my colleague Coleen Batey. She provided a brief overview of the Viking Age in Scandinavia, which is characterized by trading with both Sami reindeer herders and the towns of southern Scandinavia. The lecture also gave information on the Borg site in the Lofoten, which we visited in the afternoon.

After lunch the busses were already waiting at the pier to bring our guests on the afternoon tour. From the pier we left towards Leknes, the second largest city on the Lofoten. From there the bus took us directly to the Viking site of Borg on Vestagoy Island. After a short introduction by a local museum guide, our group went up to the replica of the biggest Viking long house found in the Scandinavian and European region. The archeological evidence is just 50m away from the replica and was found in the 1980s by luck by a local farmer ploughing the ground. In the rebuilt longhouse information was given on topics like how the Vikings lived, tools they used, their religious beliefs and their expansion into the south. After this very interesting insight into the daily life of Vikings the group went down into the museum to hear more about this interesting culture. The museum exhibits several archeological artifacts with excellent explanations. A visit to the museum souvenir shop rounded out our visit to one of the most important site of the Viking culture in northern Scandinavia.

From there the bus took us to the neighbor island of Flakstad. A short photographic stop on a beach gave a nice impression of the scenic and mysterious landscape of this archipelago. From the bus and at this stop I could observe some nice autumn flowers like Meadowsweet Fireweed, buttercups and bell flowers. With their whitish, purple, yellow and blue flowers they gave nice color dots to the lush green landscape.

The last stop of the tour was at Nusfjord, a picturesque fishing village from the beginning of the 20th century – now an open-air museum. Red and yellow wooden houses and huts, carefully restored, gave the impression of the once very busy fishing activities. The fishermen caught mainly Arctic Cod in this area and mainly in the winter time when the fish were coming down from the north for spawning. Nowadays, the village is a museum and a vacation resort where guests spend their leisure days enjoying a dramatic and beautiful landscape. Back on board, guests enjoyed our sail away with a cocktail on the outer decks as the Silver Explorer sailed on to our next destination and the fjord landscape of the Lofoten faded in the distance.