A nostalgy of the last Eldar

Un día ventoso en la isla de Senja
A windy day in Senja island

After ten days riding along Norway and writing this log, I’ve already exhausted my limited vocabulary of adjectives, having though barely conveyed an approximate idea of how irresistible, how majestically beautiful this country is, also despite so many pictures uploaded (only one third of those I took); but they’re all so pretty, so spectacular many, that selecting them takes me longer than writing the text; in which, by the way, I don’t know what other words to use for expressing my amazement without repeating myself. So, today I’m not even going to try; I won’t make fruitless literary efforts, but let the photos talk for themselves. And this short video, too. Continue reading “A nostalgy of the last Eldar”

Of vanity, phonetics and Arctic paradises

Marisma en Balsfjord, al sur de Tromso
Mud flats in Balsfjord, south of Tromso

Among all of Norway’s regions, brimming with surprising and magnificent nature, perhaps Lofoten archipelago provides the richest supply of panoramic views, so abundant they seem inexhaustible: the orography, the intricate maze of lakes and fiords, islands and channels, the overwhelming variety of landscapes, the villages, life, different climates… everything. No wonder this country is so extremely touristic despite its exorbitant prices, since whomever comes here for the first time will feel called to come back: for more narrowly exploring this fertile paradise of beauty o for longer enjoying the lovely places already visited. Continue reading “Of vanity, phonetics and Arctic paradises”

Bikers’ avatars: along Troms’ enchanting seaboard

Almost three hundred kilometres on my motorcycle from Alta to Tromso make for –by far– the longest stage during the past eighty days journeying to Nowhere; and also one of the most stunning. Not the case of Talvik, though, which is a sami village (rather a market), fifteen minutes away from Kvenvikmoen (where I’ve spent the night), stretching one hundred metres along the road and consisting of a few shops where a racially mixed bunch of people who still preserve some percentage of sami blood, armed to the teeth with wireless card machines, exhibit and sell at ridiculous prices their handcraft, charms and other presumedly traditional stuff, mostly meant for the bleeding hearts and the mighty wallets. Just another tourist trap.

Rosaura in Talvik, a sami market

Far from my feelings to gloat over the decline of races and cultures; I’m an incorrigible sentimental; but precisely for this reason I’d rather not fool myself: the harsh reality is that –same as many other ethnical minorities– the sami are almost totally extinct from Lapland territories. The last of them who were pure blood and led an authentic sami way of life must have passed away a bunch of decades ago and taken their folklore and traditions with them. What remains today is only good for some sensationalist or poetic documentary. Continue reading “Bikers’ avatars: along Troms’ enchanting seaboard”

Kjollefjord, a town gazing at the western sea

Kjollefjord mirando a poniente
Kjollefjord facing west

Often considered the most beautiful cruise trip in the world, Hurtigruten is a passanger line linking, on a daily basis, thirty four ports of call along the Norwegian coast, from Bergen to Kirkeness, crossing awesome fiords and going through stunning channels. The line has some dozen or so motorvessels luxuriously equipped: spa, pools, disco, shops, casino and whatnot; in other words, a tourist trap; but one which, thanks to perseverance, presence and frequency, has become part of this country’s scene almost as much as its famous litoral: it’s almost impossible, when routing Norway, not to run into some of the Hurtigruggen ships here or there.
This line started in XIXth century as a subsidised service for the most inaccessible or cut off towns along the seaboard, but as road and air infrastructures improved in time, it started losing such usefulness (along with the governmental aids); and if Hurtigruten still exists is thanks to having managed to adapt the business to those changes, and now caters mostly for tourism (though still providving a valuable cargo service). As tickets are rather expensive, most of the passengers don’t take the whole trip (eleven days return), but some particular stage along their holidays, thus enjoying a brief cruise trip whle at the same time saving the alternative long drive along the endless roads, full of bends, of the craggy Norwegian coast. Continue reading “Kjollefjord, a town gazing at the western sea”

Summertime lethargy of Slettnes lighthouse

On Norway’s northeast end, where East and West silently meet, present day Finnmark county –the largest and less populated– was for centuries land of the sami, called finnar (finns) by the Norge. Its coastline measures almost seven thousand kilometres (including the islands), i.e. approximately the same as from Madrid to here. If all that shore could be covered on a motorcycle, a rider would take two months (driving at the same rate I’m doing this journey).

La costa norte de Noruega alberga sus mayores colonias de aves
Norway’s north coast hosts some of the country’s largest bird colonies

Nordkinn, one of the county’s four peninsulas, is a region of fascinating nature and astounding scenery. Today, I will cross its one hundred miles of tundra, at the end of which –leaning like a balcony over the Barents sea– rises the emblematic Slettnes lighthouse,often considered the top of Europe. Continue reading “Summertime lethargy of Slettnes lighthouse”