Breakfast at the Svinøya Rorbuer was buffet style and very good, even though we’d become spoiled by the extensive selections on the Hurtigruten. They had granola and fixin’s, croissants, apple cake, hard-boiled eggs, lil’ smokey sausage thingys, veggies, meats, cheeses, and scrambled eggs. Oh and some small strawberries that were good and sweet. The young couple who had sat next to us in the cafe on the Hurtigruten for our last dinner were at the restaurant! I said “hi” but did not get an enthusiastic response… As we were eating our breakfast, a revelation occurred to me. I realized that people eating in the restaurant were using their “inside voices.” In other words, they were CONSCIOUS of their volume and adjusted it accordingly. The lack of this consciousness has become one of my biggest pet peeves of living in southern California. I realized that this must be part of my Norwegian background, because I so appreciate the ability to dine out and not have to listen to other people’s conversation. I realized I was surrounded “by my people”! 🙂
After breakfast we headed to Svolvaer’s tourist office. Marc was tense while driving… We found the T.O. And got a Lofoten guide and checked out a gallery next door with lots of local (and expensive) art by locals.
Next we went to the Lofoten museum or the “Lofotmuseet” It is described as “Experience the history of the Lofoten Fishery at one of the best preserved squires in Lofoten. On the site of the medieval town of Vågar (now called Storvågan / SKREI Experience Center) you’ll find the stately 1815 main building, authentic fishermen’s cabins, and boathouses featuring Nordland boats. The museum also offers picture-games and exhibitions on the Lofoten fisheries, ports and coastal lighthouses, traditional crafts and a beautiful garden with historic perennials.” The Lofotmuseet also has the home of the wealthy landowner Caspar Lorch which served as a stark contrast to the humble fishmermen’s cabins.
We walked to a viewpoint and got to watch a sea line and sea otter feeding at the aquarium nearby. We skipped the aquarium since we had just been to the one in Bergen.
The sun was shining when it occurred to me that we should not assume the rest of our time where would be so gorgeous… Marc checked the forecast and it was supposed to be overcast the next two days! We decided to hit some beaches while the weather was good. We drove towards Leknes and then went on a detour to Eggum along a touristy road.
It was 2:00 PM by the time we got to Leknes. We went to a restaurant in the T.O. Brochure called Johnsen’s Ferskvare. The restaurant was cute and nautical themed in a non-kitschy way. A young girl and boy were eating at another table. The men was in Norwegian so we asked the young waiter for recommendations. He suggested the cod. I got that and Marc got salmon which the waiter said did not have dairy. My fish arrived and it was in a curry cream sauce almost like an Indian butter chicken sauce. It had carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. There were potatoes with dill and a carrot/cabbage slaw. For 170 krone, it was so good and a good value for the money. Marc had salmon, potato salad, and green salad.
After Leknes we drove towards the Haukland beach, Marc seemed more comfortable driving by then, the fact that he was driving a sweeeet Mercedes seemed to help! The beach was really beautiful, white sand and super clear water. We hung out for an hour. It is so odd to see a white sand beach with snow-capped mountains in the background. As we left a family showed up and a girl went into the water—crazy! We are bundled up in layers and they are in t-shirts and jeans.
We decided we didn’t have time for the Viking museum as we had a reservation at 7:00. The clouds started rolling in and by the time we got back to Svolvaer it was raining. I was concerned by how much time it took to drive such short distances and it really didn’t feel like we had seen that much. On the way back we stopped at a church, I went inside and there were about 8 people inside who looked at me like I was an alien! I quickly turned around and left—odd. It was late afternoon and there wasn’t a service going on…
Our dinner was a huge disappointment… We ate at the restaurant recommended by several sites/guidebook as THE PLACE to try the local delicacy: the Lofoten stockfish. We ordered a dairy-free version for Marc and I had “the regular.” Marc’s dairy-free version was completely lacking in originality… There were carrots, the stockfish, and like a hard-boiled egg on top? WTF? It was $40. Mine was just okay, it came with risotto and the chewy fish was wrapped in chewy ham/bacon. With two glasses of wine, it was $110. It’s the most expensive, worst meal we’ve ever had. We much preferred our meal at the little cafe we had lunch at earlier.
Back at the rorbuer, the tide is higher. We discussed what to do the next day and Marc passed out by 9:30. I stayed up until 11:00, the sunset is at midnight and sunrise is at 2:00 AM.