Monday, 24th June – Kiruna to Svolvær

We were up early this morning to commence an almost 6 hour drive back into Norway, our final destination being Svolvær.

Keith didn’t like the authentic Swedish pancakes at the buffet but didn’t allow this to stop him from enjoying the provided whipped can cream – on his toast!

Our research had indicated that prior to crossing the Norwegian border the trip would be quite isolated. We’d stocked up on groceries last night and were prepared for breaks and lunch on the road.

The landscape was certainly isolated but it was also beautiful. Mountainous, rocky and with plenty of fast running rivers or conversely still picturesque lakes. All backdropped by beautiful and often snow capped mountains we found it far more interesting than we’d expected.

 

Our first scheduled stop for morning tea this morning was at the rest stop known as Pessisjokka Rastplats. It was a great spot with some tables and established fire-pits, all on the banks of Torneträsk, one of Sweden’s largest lakes.

On our way to the Tornehamn Parkplats we drove past the Abisko National Park.

The National Park was established in 1909 for the dual purpose of tourism but also for scientific research purposes. The Abisko Scientific Research Station was built in 1913 for biological, climate, ecological, environmental, and geological research. It contains on-site laboratories as well as off-site field research stations.

Permafrost, ground that remains frozen for 2 or more years, is common throughout the National Park as you can see in the pictures below.

Within 25 minutes we farewelled Sweden for this trip and crossed the border back into Norway. Our journey to the Lofoten Islands began on the well known E10 Highway. It’s known as King Olav’s Road, due to the monarch’s frequent visits.

As we continued towards the Tjeldsund Bridge there were a number of pull over points on the highway that we used to get some photos.

 

Just before we crossed the 1000m suspension bridge we found a good vantage point to get these photos.

The next pull over point gave us a view back to the bridge on the horizon.

We were so excited to commence our exploration of the Lofoten Archipelago. The weather however was disappointing, the overcast conditions didn’t allow the colours of the water to really show at their best. The sun did try and push through and we often got a hint of just how incredible the colours would be on clear sunny day.

We finally arrived in Svolvær and checked into our hotel. It was in a great location right on the water. In the picture below you can see the hotel. We had a balcony room with views across the ocean.

As the rain started to come down we rugged up and went out to explore this cute little town and found a lovely Italian restaurant for dinner.

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