We are at 70° North and this is where we start to head South back through Sweden, Denmark, Germany and Holland to the UK. Our grand finally was to go on a Whale Safari of which there be more about later. But first.
I will try and make this snappy as I am sure you are as keen as we are to get to the Whale Meat part of this Norwegian Island Sandwich. We were not that sad in leaving Lofoten, yes it is beautiful but you get to feel you are in a goldfish bowl as you drive around waving at the same motorhomes you saw an hour before. Because in reality that is all there is to do. You can’t lounge on any of the beautiful beaches and you can’t go for a drink in a bar.
The last pictures of Lofoten.
Our final resting place on Lofoten
There is quite a change when you cross into Vesteralen both in landscape and tourism. We are now seeing a more rugged, wilder Norway than we have seen before. We can actually drive for miles without housing, or worse; fish museums. We warmed to this place far easier than we warmed to Lofoten. It is not as dramatic as its southerly neighbour but it still manages to get your neck twisting and turning at the splendid natural formations. We opted to go up the Westerly tourist route and were not disappointed.
View from our site
Whale Safari 25/06/2016
For about 80 sovs you get a tour of the Whale Museum, which is not a Fish Museum, thank god, and a three hour cruise with refreshments in the Arctic Ocean in a retired trawler. The museum was interesting and now we know all sorts of facts about Whales and Dolphins. We know the Sperm Whale only has one nostril as the other one turned into a Sonar device enabling them to hunt Giant Squid at great depths. This is why the Sperm Whales are here in the summer. They like to fatten up before the mating season and so head-up from warmer waters to gorge themselves on Mr Squiddy leaving the women and children back in the Azores to eat the Whale equivalent of a Caesar Salad. It’s like me saying to Tracy, ‘look after the kids for a couple of months as I’m off with the lads to Turkey for a kebab, don’t wait up’.
The weather was not great the day we went with a northerly swell and squally showers. We learned later this was a good day for where we were. The ship heads out in an Easterly direction towards the continental shelf and is roughly an hour being tossed around in a washing machine. Some people were being a bit huey before we out of the harbour and by the time we reached the whale watching area there was only the crew, a little girl of eight and us not going for the chunder. Living on an Island does have its benefits.
The captain of the MS Reine sits at the top of the ship with an enormous pair of cans on listening to ‘Whale Sounds’ while at the same time steering. It was like watching Fat Boy Slim’ s dad playing Space Invaders while drowning in a freezing cold swimming pool. Anyway after about an hour we got our first sighting of a ‘spermy’, all 18 metres of him. Highlight of our two year trip? Absolutely. The most pleasing thing about a ‘spermer’ is that they like to stay on the surface for a while before heading back down for a calorie refill giving you a good chance of getting a piccie or two.
But before you see the pictures you can watch a short video here of a ‘Spermster’ on the surface HERE
And finally the pictures.
From the back
We were amazed how close we were allowed to the whales and all our pictures were taken with only a 200m lens. We spoke to some professional whale watchers who were equally surprised at how near we got. They claimed to have watched whales all around the world and had never been in such close proximity. So it seems this is the trip to go on. In all we saw 3 of these magnificent beasts before heading back after nearly 4 hours at sea. Tracy and I had soup while the rest of our European friends had sick bags.
A great finale to our time in Norway. Marvellous.
Love to All