Rock Scratchings, into the Arctic, and a Maelstrom

North of Trondheim, our next planned stops were at Bølareinen and Bodø. The weather had now turned changeable again (intermittently bright / rainy) and was getting cooler. The landscape also changed, to rolling hills and trees immediately North of Trondheim, then into a much bleaker-looking landscape of rocky hills, snow and trees further North.

Those who read our previous blog, which included Kampington’s earlier trips to Europe, will know that we like a good rock carving. The scratchings at Bølareinen are only about 6,000 years old, but they’re good.. The most famous one is a life-sized reindeer (the first photo shows Mark taking a pic of the reindeer):

We also saw some quite weathered ones: a bear, a bird, and best of all, a skier. He was very faint and hard to make out on the rock even with the help of a handy diagram:

A bit further North, we officially entered Nordland, as demonstrated by a suitably tacky sign over the road:

From here it was a long drive through quite bleak (but beautiful, in a bleak kind of way) scenery up past Mo i Rana to the Arctic Circle. We stayed overnight on the car park at the Artic Circle Centre (which is appropriately located by the main road as you cross the arctic circle). This is essentially a large souvenir shop with a few stuffed animals and a café.

It was a tad nippy come evening (Kampington said 3.5 degrees outside) so we fired up the heating for the first time this trip. I told Mark it hadn’t been run for a long time (especially as we went away without Kampington last winter) so it’d be a good idea to blow the cobwebs out 😉 I expect I’ll be reaching for the little black heating switch more frequently of an evening whilst we’re this far North….

Our next stop was at Saltstraumen about 20 miles outside Bodø. Here, there’s a very narrow gap between fjord and sea, resulting in very strong tidal currents. We checked the forecast online and got there when the tide was going out at 9 knots (the high point for today). It can apparently run at up to 20 knots….

Mark had been to Saltstraumen before, about 17 years ago when the ship he was working on called into Bodø and he cycled out to take a look. He remembered Bodø as a “nice little place” and seemed quite surprised at the spread of the place as we drove in. We’ve dropped lucky, getting one of the four designated motorhome parking spaces in the car park near the centre. We’re just waiting for the rain to stop bouncing quite so hard before we go out to explore ☔