Day 15: Tour de Lofoten

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Our random, very interesting and unique hostel host offered us to rent a car for the day and we decided to go for it. The price was right, the legs did not mind some rest and we were all keen to check out the area some more.

The first stop was Undstad. With a bike it would be quite an effort required to get there, as there is a steep hill leading up to a skinny tunnel bringing you from one side of the mountain to the other. As you come out of the tunnel, a flat valley floor appears in front of you along with the great, grand ocean. The little area is completely surrounded by nature. Ocean on one side, steep mountain walls on three sides.

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We had previously heard of Undstad because it is known as a surf spot. As we drove closer to the ocean (without surfboards) we were not sure if we were hoping to see waves or not… Whatever we were hoping, there were no real waves. However, had the temperature been another 15-20 degrees Celsius, the beach would have been a great spot to spend the day!

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We drove back up the hill where we picked up a guy who was walking. He was happy about a lift since the school bus twice a day is the only form for public transport connecting Unstad to the outside world. We got to talking about whale meat somehow and the guy told us we could buy it from the house to the right in the next intersection. We rang the bell and a girl came out. She showed us the meat (hunted by her dad) and we decided to buy a little piece to prepare for dinner – …when in Rome!

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The next stop was the Viking museum at Borg that my dad and Sivert wanted to check out. Kyler and I were happy to hang out and chat with random tourists outside, since we had just been there a couple days earlier. We got talking with a couple young and keen travelers from Switzerland. They were hoping to get to Honningsvåg, a fishing village a few kilometers up the road. We decided to check it out as well and gave them a ride. Honningsvåg still has a busy harbor, but now seems to serve visitors as much as fishermen. It has cute little cafés and quirky shops selling stuff for your home along with homemade candy.

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All over Lofoten one can see these racks of stockfish. They are cods hung to dry for about 4-5 months as a way to preserve the meat. The stabile, cold weather of Lofoten is perfect to protect the cod against insects while drying.

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After a wonderful day filled with beautiful scenery, strolling and chatting, we made it back to our hostel in Stamsund.

While Papa John took care of the whale meat (quote: “Big Norwegians need big food.”), we went to get potatoes and broccoli to go along with it. Neither one of us had prepared whale meat before and did not really know what to do. The locals told us to make sure we cut it in a certain direction in slices of about 1 cm thick and only to fry it for a short time on each side. It looked just like meat, and actually tasted just like meat as well.

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Just before 10 pm, the four of us were all packed up and walked over to the Stamsund dock to catch the Hurtigruten to Bodø together.

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