Crossing the Arctic Circle

Day eighteen and as we head further north it is starting to turn a bit cooler. Our first stop of the day was the Nazi coastal fort of Gronsvik which was one of 350 defences built along Norway’s coastline. There was no one else there so we were able to have a good look around. I am not sure if dogs were allowed into all the areas but as no one was around Finn happily went through the trenches and tunnels with us. One of the huts had an old Jotul wood burner in it, obviously built to last, Pete and Ann you should be fine with the one we put in at Burnham Thorpe.

We did a little walk from the fort to a nice bay that the information board said was lovely to take a refreshing swim in. I think it would be a little bit more than refreshing this time of year.

Next stop was the ferry from Kilboghavn to Jektvik. I had tried to work out the timetable online and thought there was a ferry at 11:50. When we turned up there was no one else there but the waiting room was open and the heating was on so we assumed there would be a ferry soon. After a hunt round we found a timetable which was split into summer and winter, we had just crossed into the winter timetable so only every other ferry was running, therefore it was going to be a bit of a wait until 2pm. Not to worry we could have a walk and some lunch. Just as we were about to sit down and eat lunch a Norweigian camper zooms into the ferry line as though he is on a mission. Andy asks him when he thinks the next ferry is, he says 5 mins, we start bolting our food and packing everything away. Five minutes later he comes and knocks on our door, sorry it is now the winter timetable, the next one is 2pm, back to plan A.

Next to pull up in the ferry queue behind us is a BMW touring bike, the rider gets off and comes over to the window to say hi, he is from Birmingham and is touring for the next few months, ending up in Italy in January. We are the first British number plate that he has seen while in Norway, we have only seen one other, Julie and Jason. He came in for a coffee and a chat, it is great to hear other peoples stories about where they have been. He is also heading up to Northcape but he is camping and on a motorbike, rather him than me, I am looking forward to having the home comfort of heating when we get up there. While we were on the ferry we crossed the Arctic Circle. There is a globe on the shore to mark the line. You could tell the people who were tourists on the ferry as we were all out taking pictures, while the people who use this ferry as there daily commute were not particularly interested. This was our longest ferry route so far as it was just over an hour.

We got off the ferry went eight miles down the road and jumped on another ferry from Agskaret to Furoy. This was only the normal 15 min hop so no getting out of the van this time. Not long after leaving the ferry you could see the edge of the Svartisen glacier. Some of the tongues like the one we could see as we drove along lick right down almost to the valley floor making them the lowest lying glaciers in mainland Europe. The view was so good and it was getting on for five o’clock that we decided to stop the night at the next picnic spot. We are extremely lucky this is the second time we have free camped with a glacier view from the van. It really doesn’t get much better than this.

Overnight – Picnic Site N 66.724374. E 13.698606

Miles Walked – 5.5

Miles Driven – 53

Weather – cloudy with the occasional sunny spell, dry but starting to turn colder.

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  1. Well with a reference to Burnham Thorpe and ourselves, I will leave a comment and see whether you get to read it. Today is the equinox and from now on the nights get shorter. Ann is sat watching Eastenders (why?) so I am string at the Jotul wood-burner and thinking it is not going to be long before we have to light this. we are not going to bother with a holiday this year as we are living yours. Keep safe and keep writing!

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