Day 8: The Fairlytale Island of Senja

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Where: Silsand, Senja to Andenes, Andøya
Distance: 64.5 km
Time on bike: 4 hr 16 min
Total distance: 613 km

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This is the place to go! The island of Senja is magical. Incredible mountains shoot up from the fjords, fog crawls over the cliff tops, the hills are green, the ocean is tropically blue and the roads are narrow and windy. What a beautiful day!

We woke up to rain still falling on our tent. With the hope it would soon end, we stayed in there for a little while. Around 10 am it started letting up and we decided to get going. That is after coffee, of course!

Senja is a popular destination for bikers and hikers. People come to bike or hike around the island, as it has a flurry of diverse scenery and attractions.

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Senjatrollet is the world’s largest troll. An entire park is built up around this road side attraction that is as popular with local kids as it is with German camper van tourists. Oh, and Canadian-Norwegian bicycle pairs, of course!

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After the last climb of the day, We enjoyed a well-deserved beer on the top!

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Climbing up is really hot, cruising down is really cold! Therefore, we fashionably suit up before going down.

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In Gryllefjord, the kids hanging out on the dock were really friendly and had all sorts of questions for us. The first one was whether we wanted to play soccer with them..! Our legs were not quite up for that, but we kept chatting.

We had time for food before our ferry departure and were recommended the local, Gina’s Cafe. Gina’s was the (only) place to be! Gina is an asian expat living in this very isolated town, she knew all the kids by name, was taking all the orders, making all the food, keeping the place clean and serving a birthday dinner upstairs. She did it all with ease and pleasure. It is really great to see when integration works so splendidly. We had a delicious meal and a nice meet and greet with the locals then hopped on the boat. What a nice visit.

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We are now in Andenes, known for its lighthouse, puffin breeding and whale watching. We will see what we can do about that!

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