Day 30. Wednesday 12 June.
We could almost cut and paste the start to today: an early flight (7.55 AM) so a disturbed night, again both rising well before the alarm (D had set for 5, unbeknownst to T). Our indirect journey to Bodo, the stepping off point to Lofoten Islands, took two flights with two stops, going from Point A (Bergen) north to Point C (Tromso) then south via Point D (Andenes) to our destination Point B (Bodo). Only enough time in the transit points to find coffee before the next flight: a change of plane in Tromso, but we didn’t even get off in Andenes. The original booking was a direct flight. Both Andenes and Bodo had bunkers and/or fortified aircraft hangers. There was a Navy plane at the first, and one fighter of some sort at the second.
Bus into the centre of Bodo then a short walk to the Sentrumterminale Kai, where D pestered the young man behind the counter about our ferry, just to make sure we were at the right place for the right vessel at the right time. He was very patient and even more helpful when D re-opened one of our two luggage lockers to discover that the fee of 60 Krone (about $10) had to be paid every time the door was unlocked, even though each fee lasted for 24 hours – provided it wasn’t unlocked in that time. Needless to say, we were unimpressed, (we had misinterpreted 60 kr per locking). But the young man was happy to place our bag and food (plus the wine for tonight!) behind his counter. The older woman to whom he turned to for advice didn’t seem particularly concerned or inclined to help. Rules are rules; perhaps that’s why things are so efficient in Norway.
As we had about 6 hours to wait we took a wander into Bodo, but there wasn’t much to see after the waterfront, so after a couple of Op Shops, where T momentarily eyed off a real handknit, then back to the terminal for a couple of hours – which gave T the opportunity to pick up her own knitting.
The queue for boarding was typical: it’s about getting THAT window seat, but as the 3 hour trip dropped off at a number of little stops, by mid-journey, there were window seats to spare. Upper deck camera moments were few, as an Arctic wind accompanied us, but at the Arctic Water Sports stop, D could appreciate the cheer of the anglers who had actually caught some fish, which they were cleaning. Interestingly, many folk wore single-layer t-shirts and bare ankles as the sun is bright, while T continues in multi-layers of wool. T just ate and drank the evening colours.
Arrival at Svolvaer, then a walk, with the help of Google Maps, to our apartment; thankfully the sun was still smiling, as no taxis in sight. Arrived with instructions for the entry keypad, which D couldn’t get to open. Tried – hash…code…star – and every combination of those three, to no avail but lots of cursing (forgetting most Norwegians speak very good English!) Then as D was attempting to confirm the instructions his phone ran out of charge – plug in the charger and wait. Eventually T knocked on the door of the house above and the owner disclosed the secret – D had was using the wrong sequence of numbers in the code. The apartment is spacious & new, but not what we’d expected, as it’s the basement of a family home and guess what the ceiling (wooden floor of above) means…yes, pitter, patter! Ah well, the unexpected of travel!