Vesterålen

Northern Norway, Vesterålen

Vesterålen

Since the beginning of january I waited for the season to start. After all, I want to start writing this blog and I bought a kayak last year, that is still stuck in the snow. Flying up north into the world of ice covered islands was not what I expected but since I had the opportunity, I start here. Spring is late this year and the Vesterålen and Lofoten look like from a fantasy story. Sharp as dragon teeth the rise out of the grey waters along the norwegian coast.
We landed at the airport in Harstad and used a rented minibus to get to Ringstad, a 2 hours drive through the beautifull landscape. The steep cliffs and rocky slopes, covered with snow are always around you and it is hard to know, if they are part of the island, you are on or if it is the neighboring island. The roads wind along fjords and use gaps between the mountains, meaning, there are not straight roads but scenic views behind every corner.

Vesterålen

Fishing is still the main occupation for many people on the islands and it shows everywhere. Boats come and go to the many local fish factories. There are countless small harbors and fish is hanging out to dry in the cold winds.

Wildlife is still rare now. This early in the year you will find mostly the winter hardened animals that hold out through the year. Mooses are very often close to houses, simply because the houses are scattered over the entire island and there is no food on the rough mountains. It is quite easy to spot those animals, they dont seem to be very shy.

 

Most people come to the islands for fishing and I was out with the boats too, though I steered the boat and enjoyed the spectacular view. A common guest is the white-tailed eagle, used to fishing boats and looking for a share of the catch. These huge birds come close and there are great opportunities to take pictures and watch them dominating the seagulls in the fight for food.

Vesterålen Fjord

As for places to go or to stay, I don’t know much to say, since I stayed at a private residence and most places where still closed. There is a nice place in Ringstad though. A restaurant and hotel, combined with fishing and photography tours, run by an english/norwegian couple. They offer eagle safaris, fishing trips and kayak courses.

http://www.yttersiden.no
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