Back to the mainland, it takes a bit to adjust from the colourful cosiness of the Lofoten islands, to the majestic serenity of these giant mountains that reign the kingdom of the coast, with their greenish greyish sharp magnificence. We navigate the coastal road, Kystriksveien (FV17), and despite the weather that continues to be like an annoying fly behind your ear, coming to bother now and again, we get speechless with the beauty after each bend of the road.
The Norwegians also take good care of the resting areas along the road, with thoughtfully designed buildings, benches and so on that add to the surroundings, rather than interfering with them.
When the weather gives us a break, we take a boat across the turquoise blue waters of the glacial lagoon and start a hike to one of the tongues of the Svartisen glaciar, which is Norway´s second largest glacier, with an extension of 370 Km2 and depth of 600 m at its deepest.
Being close to a glacier is always a magical experience, contemplating the blue white meringue like shapes and thinking that it´s been there for millions of years. One can only hope that they will endure a million more, not only for the equilibrium of the planet, but also to enchant our future generations.
The magic continues as we continue driving through the magnificent coast, enjoying sunsets and glorious landscapes.
Taking the coastal road, vs. the Arctic highway in the interior, implies taking quite an amount of ferries, which are expensive, but well worth it. We are on board of one of those, the one from Jektvik to Kilboghamn, when captain announces that we are crossing the Arctic Circle. A metal globe in the far shore marks the geographical point and the moment when we abandon the land of the midnight sun.
Trying to get away from the bad weather on the coast we drive inwards towards the pretty town of Mosjoen, which turns out to have equally bad weather. The town is wrapped up by some ugly industrial infrastructures linked to the production of aluminium, but the old town center is really pretty, with old wooden houses and plenty of little cafes to have a warm beverage, a nice piece of cake and the warm smiles from the locals. Finally the rain gives a little break, so that we can have a stroll in peace and take some photos.
We head of towards the coast again, with a stop at the Laksforsen, a 17 m high waterfall, with an impressive amount of water.
Along the way we pray to the gods of the weather that they give us another little break to hike up the famous Torghatten, which is a peak pierced by a hole of 160 m wide, 35 m tall and 20 m wide. They gracefully do and we have the chance to climb up to the capricious mountain shape and have a nice stroll to the surroundings, before weather hell breaks lose again the day after. We ground ourselves in Bronnoysund for the day, because it does not seem wise to drive through the winding and tiny mountain roads in the middle of the gale.
The day after the rain continues, but at least the wind has stopped, so we hit the road again, headed to Trondheim. Along the way the mountains are seeded with great amounts of waterfalls running down the step hillsides, which look like chalk scrawls on gigantic blackboards.
The rain has stopped when we arrive to Trondheim. It is a student city, which gives a good vibe, with wide avenues and little cobbled streets, lots of cafes and restaurants and a good mix of old and modern architecture. The city seems to have made an effort to transform all industrial buildings in modern offices and bars and restaurants, all with a tone of taste and excellent results. In one of those restaurants (Una, https://www.unapizzeria.no/), we invite ourselves to a delicious pizza, accompanied by excellent Italian wine.
From there we take a detour to the little town of Roros. It has a quite remote setting in the middle of the mountains. Its well preserved old town and coper mining history have granted it the recognition from UNESCO as a World Heritage site. It is well deserved. We marvel as walk through its streets, flanked by old wooden houses painted in bright colours.
The old mining facilities, and the miners quarters still preserve the timber houses covered in tar. It really feels the time stood still a century ago or so.
There are also a good handful of artists ateliers where you can enjoy their creativity and good work. We get mesmerised by the ceramics of Per SV. Dahl (https://rorosmuseet.no/en/per-sverre-dahl) and decide to buy a sculpture, which is now carefully wrapped in bubble wrap, waiting to get back home to stand in some place nice in the living room. This is before we try some funny hats at another gallery.