Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Sights that caught my eye at Svolvaer, capital of the Lofoten Islands

After spending time in Trollfjord, Puppet Ponyo
befriended this smiley troll in nearby Svolvaer :)
 
Considered the capital of the Lofoten Islands, Svolvaer 
attracts some 200,000 visitors annually despite 
having a residential population of less than 5,000 people!
 
 Like such as the residents of traditional fishing communities
in Hong Kong and Macau, Norwegians dry fish 
-- and these are their fish drying racks! 
 
The first time that the MS Richard With called at Svolvaer, it was dinner time on board.  While I didn't venture ashore, both my mother and I couldn't help but notice some unusual structures on land there.  
 
As we stared hard at them to try to figure out what they were, the Norwegian man sitting at a nearby table noticed our curiosity and kindly informed us that what we were looking at were traditional drying racks for codfish.  Upon my asking him if he liked eating the dried codfish, he said yes most enthusiastically -- whereby his wife joined in our conversation to tell us that not all Norwegians were fans of this particular delicacy and she, for one, only deigned to eat it once a year, and only then because it was a traditional thing to do at Christmas! 
 
Looking back, I'm grateful to those fish drying racks for prompting that very lovely Norwegian couple to open up and get to chatting with my mother and I -- not only that evening but every other evening that we found ourselves sitting near one another during mealtimes.  And when the MS Richard With stopped in Svolvaer again -- this time on the southbound voyage -- I determined to go ashore and try to snap at least one good photo of those fish drying racks to remember not only that traditional food preservation method and the Lofoten Islands but also our Norwegian friends by.
 
If the weather had cooperated, I'd also have looked to try to get photos of the Svolvaergeita (AKA Svolvaer Goat!), a 589-meter-high mountain overlooking Svolvaer with two "horns" that daring climbers have been known to jump between!  Sadly for me, the Lofoten Islands lived up to their reputation for having some of the worst weather in the area -- and it was pretty gray and cloudy (not to mention cold!) during my short time there.
 
So I had to content myself with taking photos of things located closer to sea level like the fish drying racks, the colorful wooden buildings that I've come to associate with Norway, and yet another representation of a troll -- this one found by the entrance of the Svolvaer Magic Ice Bar, a popular tourist attraction whose interior was even colder than the already pretty cold outdoors that day! ;b

4 comments:

Bill said...

Hi YTSL,

I supplemented this entry by watching YouTube videos and the Lofoten Islands are impressive...Glad Puppet Ponyo "befriended" a happy troll...Second photo from the top has a magical storybook quality to it, and the fluted rock wall backdrop creates an enclosed scene of seclusion.

Bill

YTSL said...

Hi Bill --

The Lofoten Islands are known for their scenery... and bad weather. I think that ideally, they'd be impressive. As it was, I'm glad I visited but have to say there were other parts of coastal Norway that I ended up loving more. ;S

sarah sbk said...

Hi ytsl,

Puppet Ponyo looks like she's enjoying sitting on the troll's shoulder. Are the red buildings by the water private homes, stores, hotel? Looks like a place I'd like to stay at.

YTSL said...

Hi sarah sbk --

I think it's her big eyes that make it seem so but I got the impression that Puppet Ponyo was in a bit of shock upon being placed on the troll's shoulder... ;)

And if memory serves me right, those red buildings are part of a hotel. In any case, they're pretty cool looking, right? :)