Norway 6 - Ferry To Moskenes

Nothing says adventure like putting out to sea.  Monday afternoon was that time and we were finally ready for the final leg to our actual destination. 

A view from the ferry in a roughly southern direction, having left Bodo 20 minutes ago

A view from the ferry in a roughly southern direction, having left Bodo 20 minutes ago

From Bodo, a 3+ hour ferry ride brought us to Moskenes, the southernmost ferry port on the main chain of the Lofoten Islands.

Yellow dots show Moskenen, the southern Lofoten ferry port. Topo overview from Apple Maps, detailed map from Norgeskart.no

Yellow dots show Moskenen, the southern Lofoten ferry port. Topo overview from Apple Maps, detailed map from Norgeskart.no

There is actually ferry service to some outlying, inhabited islands, such as Sørland, not connected by road to the main island chain.

Just leaving the port of Bodo, the ferry sailed past this hamlet, a tiny enclave called Kvalvika

Just leaving the port of Bodo, the ferry sailed past this hamlet, a tiny enclave called Kvalvika

Immediately upon entering the passenger area of the ferry, we got a sense of just how cold North Atlantic travel is, compared our more southern latitudes. Rescue gear on these ferries is quite a bit more serious than the life vests or even rescue rings we're used to seeing.  

On break.  I wonder if that's his dry-suit hanging over the railing?

On break.  I wonder if that's his dry-suit hanging over the railing?

Instead, we were greeted by full-body, dry, survival suits.  I guess the idea is that, as the ship is sinking, you need to allocate time to get yourself completely zipped into one of those things!  I just read where the waters in the Bering Straits was 12º F, so I wouldn't necessarily want to test the temperatures around Norway.

Rocky desolation - the ferry leaves Bodø harbor passing right by many, seemingly uninhabited, rocky islands.  

Rocky desolation - the ferry leaves Bodø harbor passing right by many, seemingly uninhabited, rocky islands.  

While the ferry ride itself is pretty average, the departure from Bodo is scenic and the view arriving in the Lofotens is spectacular

A classic and beautifully simple Norwegian scene - this house on the rocky bluff overlooking the fjord.

A classic and beautifully simple Norwegian scene - this house on the rocky bluff overlooking the fjord.

Given a late evening arrival in early September, we figured the sun would be setting at a similar time to our native New England.  We were wrong.  This far north of the Arctic Circle, early September sunrise & sunset times are more like New England summer time sunsets.  Although the ferry didn't arrive until 9pm, the sun was just setting behind the mountain chain which makes up the Lofoten Islands.  

Sunset over the the mountains which comprise the Lofoten Island chain - this was the view from the ferry as we approached Moskenes.

Sunset over the the mountains which comprise the Lofoten Island chain - this was the view from the ferry as we approached Moskenes.

As the ferry got closer the islands, this produced dramatic silhouettes of the mountains.  Despite a bitingly cold, north sea wind, many people were on deck taking photos.  What a great way to celebrate our first arrival in the Lofotens; beautiful sunset,  shadows hiding much of the detail, leaving us with tantalizing glimpses of what was to be enjoyed the next day.