The Loftoten Islands continue to capture our attention and give it a spark. This last both figuratively and literally, as we land in Sund, a little town slightly off the beaten track and Christian gets mesmerised again by the works of a blacksmith, not sure what it is, if the attraction to somebody who spends his time playing with fire. As for me, I decide to set the rule as no more than one blacksmith per week and since we had visited one less than a handful of days ago, I decide to skip this one.
Sund is probably one of the few places that divides Christian´s and my opinion. He loves it and I struggle to find anything interesting in the place. But hey, it may just be me.
We are more in agreement as soon as we reach Hamnoy that the views of the little village/island are pretty spectacular, from the high bridge next to it. Flanked by mountains from North to West and by rocks and aquamarine waters South to East and of course beautifully carpeted with the typical fishermen red houses named Rorbu (Norwegian traditional type of seasonal house used by fishermen, built on land, but with the one end on poles in the water, allowing easy access to vessels – Wikipedia). Pretty as a picture in all its dimensions.
Following the narrow winding road and just a couple of bridges away, we find Sakrisoy, another little village/ island surrounded by mountains and aquamarine waters, beautiful as a postcard too, just with all the houses painted in yellow, with cods hanging to dry and also an old track full of dry fishes. I guess it´s a tourist decoy, but it´s quite nice. The sun is shinning and the temperatures are summer worthy. We sit in the terrace of the local restaurant-delicatessen shop, right above the aquamarine water, and we enjoy a portion of delicious prawns with a beer (alcohol free, since I have noted it is much cheaper, sort of less than half the price, and if it´s cold, I really do not taste the difference. But probably it´s just me).
Slowly we get to Reine. It could be that the nicest feature of the town, apart from the typical red houses, it its location, in a tiny peninsula off the east coast of Moskenesoy island, extraordinarily framed by the mountains and the sea around, like if it was a little shinny pearl inside an amazing oyster. The views from the E10 road, that offers an elevated position, are nothing short of spectacular. One of this rare places that you see for the first time and go, wow!
Reine also serves as a basecamp for a couple of excursions. On the first one we take the local ferry across the fjord to the little settlement of Vinstad, were we start the pleasant hike, along the fjord, to Bunes beach. The beach has the shape of a semicircle surrounded by mountains and is quite big, there are about 800 meters of white sand from the back of the beach to the water and I reckon about the same between the 2 natural walls on the sides. The only down side is that a sandstorm dismantles our picnic plans and we go back up the cliff about 15 or 20 minutes after we descent to the sand, as the flying sand is quite painful as it crashes against our legs, arms, face and everywhere, and it is everything but pleasant to roam around on the beach. Never mind, the landscape is beautiful. I guess the rough edges are part of it.
The second excursion we take with the agency Aqua Lofoten (https://aqualofoten.no/en/maelstrom-bird-islands/) in a Rib boat. Captain Alex takes us to the fjord to see a group of orcas. We are quite amazed to see them swimming by happily. It´s a group of at least 5 of them. A very happy encounter. From there, we follow the coast of the island. Along the way we see the sites of historical fishermen villages, which captain Alex brings to life with very colourful and insightful explanations. We are also lucky to find a couple of sea eagles before reaching the Maelstrom current, one of the strongest tidal currents in the world that inspired the likes of Jules Verne for a passage of Twenty thousand leagues under the sea or Herman Melville in Moby Dick. Quite fun to cross the current at warp speed on board of the Rib, commanded safely by the expert hands of captain Alex. On the other side of the current we find a great colony of gannets living in the rocks. Quite a special trip.
It´s my turn to invite Christian for a nice dinner, so we drive to the nearby town of Sorvagen, where we enjoy a 5 course dinner at fish restaurant Maren Anna (http://www.marenanna.com/en/about-01/ ), in an old house right next to the harbour. Nice atmosphere, great food, nice wine and friendly staff, including one waitress play backing to the background music, with full feeling and eyes closed while mixing cocktails (Steve Tyler would be proud, since Aerosmith seems to be one of her favourites). ¨ Your love is sweeeeeeet miseryyyy ¨ .