We drove into the Arctic Circle about 15 minutes after we left the campground this morning. There’s a big tourist information centre/cafe and a small sign marking this amazing geographical fact. Amazing to us, because neither of us had ever thought we’d get to such lofty latitudes, although Greg has wanted to since he paddled his folding kayak in Iceland and Greenland 10 years ago. So we drove along for a while reminding each other that we’re inside the Arctic Circle. We were at high altitude when we crossed into The Circle and it was all quite bleak and typical high country terrain, and I noticed that the outside temperature was 6C, but when we dropped lower it all looked just like it has for the last 1000kms or so – fjords, forest, farms and little villages. And the temperature has hovered around 12 – 14C for most of the day.
When it was raining yesterday, we decided not to take the ferry out to the Lofoten Islands, even though we had read about how stunning they are and how it’s the highlight of any trip to northern Norway. It all seemed to be a bit of a waste in the rain, so we headed up the main road. Today the weather is better, and we have seen some blue sky and sunshine. At Bognes on the main road going north to Narvik, there is a ferry across to Skarberget on the main road, and there is also a ferry from the same point across to Lodingen on the Lofoten Islands. Greg initially drove to the queue for the ferry to take us across to the main road, then when we realised where the other ferry queue was going, he turned the car around so we could catch the one to Lofoten.
We’re currently sitting in our tent, surrounded by wildflowers, beside the water and overlooking some magnificent mountains. It really is breath-taking.