Northern Lights in Bodo & Harstad, North Norway « Baltic Travel Company
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Baltic Travel Blog

Northern Lights in Bodo & Harstad, North Norway

Posted on October 8th, 2014.

Our journey started near the Arctic Circle, namely, via Oslo, to Bodo (in Norwegian Bodø), which, according to Norwegian, the Norwegian flag carrier of airlines, is the hottest city in Scandinavia right now. Bodo has approx. 50,000 inhabitants and is the capital of the northern municipality of Nordland in Norway. On our first walk by the harbour of Bodo, feeling the chill from the otherwise perfectly flat sea and through exhilarating scenery, we witnessed the construction of triangular wooden frames, which next year will become the world’s largest sauna-theatre. The wind built up and it was not possible to try the RIB boat in the harbour of Bodo, so we settled for a cosy lunch indoors instead with Norwegian salmon, fresh prawns together with fish of all sorts.

northernlgihtssaltfjellet_visitbodo

In the evening, we headed for the Arctic Circle and “Saltfjellet”, a mountain area in the Nordland county of Norway that divides the two regions of Helgeland and Salten. Due to snow on the Mountain, we were not permitted to drive in the bus but continued to the Sami family for dinner. We also visited their reindeer herd and, as it was snowing, got some great pictures in the dark. We enjoyed a lovely meal in the Sami camp with reindeer meat by the campfire inside in the Lavvu (like a tepee as the Native Americans call it, the Lavvu being more stable and sturdier though). Later on in the evening, we naturally went out hunting for the Northern Lights – but no luck that first evening so we slept the  night in Bodo in  anticipation of seeing the amazing Northern Lights another night.

The following morning we checked out from our hotel, after having enjoyed a tasty  breakfast, to continue our trip to see Saltstraumen, which is the world;s strongest tidal current. It is huge and  literally looked like your washing machine spinning your clothes at the end. It is located just half an hour from Bodo.

ribfishingsaltstraumen740VN

The plan was to visit Kjerringoy by ferry but due, to the wind and snowstorm overnight, we had to rearrange and continue back to Bodo for lunch – Bodo has a fine  selection of very good restaurants, cafes and coffee shops to choose from. Again we enjoyed a huge meal with lovely fish by the harbour. After a rest we went to the lovely restaurant Smak Restaurant in Bodo for dinner. It was a 6 course dinner, presented in the most amazing way and truly gourmet. Lovely. After an enjoyable meal we walked back to the hotel for more  Northern Lights spotting. Some of us were lucky enough to see them briefly,  shining beautifully over Bodo and the Sea.

Saltstraumen_quiet

After a peaceful sleep in tranquil Bodo, we continued to visit the Norwegian Aviation Museum, which was very impressive and certainly worth a visit. We enjoyed a guided tour and the guide was very enthusiatic about the Museum, a delight to hear her. Bodo has a long history for Aviation and the Military. After the Museum, we drove on to the Bodogaard Restaurant and Gallery, which showed an interesting display of art and antiques in the basement.  Lunch was enjoyed in the glass conservatory  with delightful Norwegian Salmon (I wonder if the Norwegians keep the best salmon for themselves). After an enjoyable lunch, we departed for Bodo Airport to fly to Harstad in very Northern Norway to continue our trip. We were in good hands as our pilot is specially trained to fly to the destinations that require the more skilled pilots, due to difficult weather conditions like snow, strong wind, snow storms etc.

Trondenesfort_740VN

Directly from Harstad airport in Narvik, we continued for the next meal (you are right, we constantly ate delicious Norwegian food) to Tjeldsund Kroa Hotel on the waterside  offering lovely log cabins, literally by the water with your own deck outside to enjoy in the summertime. Following an enjoyable lunch, we continued to Trondenes Peninsula to gain some historic evidence from the 2nd World War at Trondenes Historical centre and also enjoy the lovely Trondenes Church.After check-in to our hotel in Harstad, we continued to another Sami dinner in a lavvu, with  Reindeer, local dishes and lovely desserts, prepared over the fire and served by Sami people in local costumes. Later in the evening we stayed in the hotel in the sauna area, which had huge windows, to enjoy the sight of Northern Lights again, on our last evening in Northern Norway.

harstad_northernlights_740VN

After a good night’s sleep, we continued to try the RIB boats in Harstad. We were lucky that we managed a good ride out to the colder, more remote area, before the wind started to pick up and we had to return to their base in Harstad. We managed to see Eagles in the cliffs before we had to turn around to safer and calmer waters in the harbour. We had the thermal clothing, together with warm gloves and thermal boots, as it gets very cold out there. It was time for more food and we went to the Rokenes Farm to enjoy lunch. The food again was amazing, a combination of local Norwegian food mixed with salads. Again, they did not let us go without serving us lovely desserts to end the lunch in good traditional Norwegian manner. With our tummies full, we had to head to the airport in Harstad for departure back to the UK, via Oslo, after the Norwegians had shown us true hospitality,  their beautiful nature, the lovely people and food,  all to die for.

We hope you will join us on YOUR PERSONAL JOURNEY to the Arctic Circle and Northern Norway to try it all yourself.

Do contact us for more information or to tailor-make the trip of your lifetime.

HOW TO DRESS:

In order for your stay in Northern Norway to be as comfortable as possible, it is important to have the right clothes. Bring warm and comfortable clothes and shoes. We recommend wearing 100% wool or similar quality clothing next to your skin. Layer your clothing, so that you can easily regulate your temperature by removing or adding a layer. Outer clothing should be lined and windproof. Most activity organizers supply clothing for excursions, i.e. thermal suits, shoes, hat and mittens.

Photos: Visit Norway and Visit Bodo

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We never allow third parties to use your data and we do not keep financial information. We protect your data as if it was our own, because we're people too!


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