Thursday, Sept 19
Based on the forecast, we thought today was going to a total washout or at least a drizzly all day kinda day. So we weren’t in a big hurry to get up and get out of the house. But, after spending a couple hours knitting and playing iPad games with full sunshine outside, we (well, I) decided the forecast was wrong. We could see some spotty showers off in the distance, but they seemed like the kind that passed in 5-10 minutes. So, we set off for the island of Sommarøy. We drove through periods of rain and even some sleet on our way to the island. Along the way, we encountered our first group of sheep on the road. Not sure if this will be a “thing” in Norway like it is in Scotland, but we’ll see. They did not respond to horn honks. Rob pretty much had to gently nudge one of them to get it to move far enough over for us to pass. There is a longish one-lane bridge that leads from the island we are staying on to Sommarøy. The scenery on either side is great.
During summer Sommarøy is supposed to be a favorite destination for its sandy beaches. They are no sprawling Florida beaches, but there are spots of sandy shoreline among the rocks. Today it was fairly deserted. We drove all around the small island. There was a pair of red houses and a garage with “green” roofs – the roofs were actually growing some kind of tall grass. The only public buildings on the island seem to be the Arctic Hotel (a rather fancy place form what I read online that was currently hosting a conference for the water & sewer authority – based on the number of orange and gray vehicles in the parking lot with the “vann og avløp” logo on the side). I needed to pee, so we stopped and used their restrooms. No one came to the front desk to greet us, so I guess they didn’t care that we came in. After answering the call of nature, we headed out to the hotel’s beach. Again, it was deserted. We parked and walked along a newly built boardwalk that ran from the sandy beach, along a rocky part and out to a short grassy/muddy path leading out to the rocky outcropping. We stopped to take some photos, but also kept our eye on a spot of approaching rain. It appeared to be headed our way, so we headed back to the car. We were about 30 feet from the car when it started sleeting. Good timing for us!
We stopped for lunch at the only other public building, a small cafe called Havfru Kro (Mermaid Inn). They had a pretty small menu, mostly burgers. But they did have in their display case some waffles folded into a sandwich with the classic Norwegian brown cheese inside. I wasn’t crazy about having a burger, so figured I’d better get the brown cheese waffle sandwich – not something I can get at home! The waffles had been made earlier. The server nuked mine in the microwave, so it was kind of soggy; one side was warmer and soggier than the other side. I think it could have been really nice if it were in a fresh waffle with a little crispiness to it.
It rained again while we were in the cafe, but stopped by the time we set out for home. So, we stopped at another beach before leaving the island. This beach had lots of blue shells and white coral washed up on it. I also found a few really small, really pretty pink shells and Rob found some round sea urchin shells.
As we wound our way along the fjords to our house, we were stopped just before one hairpin curve so that some trucks with large pieces of windmills could pass along the road ahead of us. They were in the process of installing new windmills way up on top of the mountain off to our left. There were several in place already. And further along, the ship that had brought the giant windmill parts was moored at the shore to deliver the parts to what must have been the closest spot that was deep enough for the ship and close enough to land to put out a gangplank and get them off.