This morning we are arriving in Bodø, Norway! We are still above the Arctic Circle, but in August, it is in the 70’s here! Looking at the scenery on the way to the Port of Bodø, we find ourselves surrounded by immense beauty and remote living. Bodø is the second largest city in Northern Norway and the 19th largest city in Norway, with a population of 52,000 and a density of 40 inhabitants per 102 square miles! This is truly away from it all! Living here, you can experience the Midnight Sun, which is above the horizon from June 1 until July 14, (44 days) and later in the year, the Northern Lights, between late September and late March, when Northern Norway is dark from early afternoon until late morning. Living in Northern Norway would take some getting used to!
Coming closer to shore we pass the Bodø Lighthouse (the featured photo )………and here the Lighthouse Keepers House……
I wanted to give you an idea where we have been traveling……from Harstad, further north and now to Boda….. (click on the map to get a bigger view) You can also see how close to Sweden we are……….
And, at one time, there must have been a larger fort here……
Ah, here we are the Port at Bodø! The fishermen are up and at it………..
and we see the newest lighthouse that was installed in 2017.
Here we can experience the old and new…….the modern buildings along the shore to the left and the original red fishing huts that are to the right. Is that snow on the mountain?
I love the peek-through of this photo……you can see that once you are past the impressive new buildings there is a really, small village, to be sure……..
In Bodø we are taking a bus out to the fishing village of Kjerringøy. But, I did manage to get this photo of some folks, who were already out and about…..
Not even a spit out of town and already we are in the wilds! There are many popular hiking and biking areas and good birding. with a large population of white-tailed eagles in the many nature reserves. This is nature at it’s finest!
Very rustic and very beautiful off the beaten path…….
Many times we had to stop the bus and wait on the sheep…………
The bus has come to a stop…….see the ferry coming?
Ah, the ferry is here, so we are going across the water to the other side at Misten…….Little has changed here over the centuries and the further we go, the more rugged the countryside.
We are going on to the Kjerringøy Trading Post, which has been here since the 19th century! I can’t wait to see it!
Things I learned about Bodø.
- It is pronounced Buda.
- In 1816, there were 60 men in Bodø, the women and children were not counted.
- By 1950, there was a port again here, after much bombing during WWII, when the place was leveled by the Germans. The old fort, that we passed on the way in, was taken over by the Germans during the war, but now it is used for weddings. The Germans built 300 defensive sites in Norway and 68 were in Bodø. After the war, Sweden made war reparations and built pre-fab housing outside the town with 8 families to a house. But, there was still no train service any farther north after the war years.
- Many of the animals and birds are protected under a Federal Protection Act. 25%-30% of the sea eagles live here.
- There is a 1500 kroner fine for not wearing a seatbelt.
- During Polar Nights ( December 10 through middle of January) there is no sun for 24 hours. In January, when the sun begins to come back, little by little, the kids in kindergarten have sun parties.
- Our tour guide in Bodø was nineteen year old, Helena. She told us there are 10 years of grade school, followed by your choice of a two or three year program of technical school or college. If you go to technical school or university you get 8,000 kroner ($914) a month to pay for your education and housing. But, after completion you must pay the money back. If you don’t finish you pay the money back too.
- There are 42 people that still live on the small island across from Bodø. They have one elementary school and one store there. It was named the Island of Witches and there were witch trials here in the 1600’s.
- The largest industry in Bodø can be found in the big white building at the Port. It is the herring oil factory. When there is a strong smell blowing towards the village people ask, “What is THAT Smell?” and the villagers reply, “Money!”