The Man of the Sea

Monday 16 September 2019,

(Most of this post written by FIONA Illingworth, whilst enjoying her well deserved holiday with me here in Norway)

10.00 am

Gosh, it is 10 am already. Half the morning is gone. We were up and at a viewpoint just by Ryggedalen Tunnel this morning, before breakfast. It is a stunning view. I did a bit of yoga whilst John took some footage with the drone. The landscape is looking amazing, resplendent in autumn colours, but so difficult to capture on camera. I spotted loads of cepes growing amongst the bracken and ferns, and what I think were blueberries, which are in season at the moment.

The plan today is to drive down to Bø and then take a circular route via Staumsnes. We saw some beautiful scenes as we drove down the 820 road last night.

We were the only vehicle at the rest area by Ryggedalen Tunnel last night. I think this route is off the main tourist trail. Given the stunning scenery, I suspect there will be a lot of stopping and starting along this road this morning. We’ve only just set off and we’ve stopped already!

12.12 pm Bø

We found The Man of the Sea sculpture and he was certainly worth the drive.

He is made from cast iron and crystal and looks very poignant, with rather sad eyes and enormous feet!

The piece was created by Norwegian Artist Kjell Erik Killi Olsen. He stands 43 meters above the bay at Vinje looking out to sea.

The bay itself is beautiful. It is so quiet here and you can just hear the gentle hum of traffic on the 820 road nearby. In addition to the sculpture, there is an exhibition about all the art works included in the project. I must say, I like some better than others, but then it would be a boring world if art spoke to us all in the same way. I also think that it is highly likely you would change your mind about a piece when you saw it in the landscape and in the flesh, so to speak.

1.40 pm

Still in the carpark by The Man of the Sea having had some lunch and now researching about where we go for the next few days. We are considering a drive to Harstad, followed by a ferry crossing to Senja first thing in the morning. It sounds fun!

We could, of course, simply drive along roads we have already travelled to get to Senja, but it feels more adverturous to take a different route.

6.40 pm

We have driven via Sortland to Harstad, which is still part of the islands of Nordland though I am not sure if they still form part of what is known as the Versterålens. I don’t think they are by the looks of the map. Good old google says that Harstad is located on the island of Hinnøya, and is the third largest town in Nordland.

We are only camping here overnight and catching the ferry across to Senja in the morning; we must be up early. It feeels right to return to Senja. The place where my trip to Norway began and now the place it will end.

7.55 pm

Amazing how the campsites vary. We are in Harstad and compared to some of the others we have tried, this does not compare well. The campsite near Myre, where we stayed on Saturday was fantastic compared to this. It had excellent kitchen facilities and free showers. This one, on the other hand, charges for a shower and the kitchen facilities are poor to say the least. A couple of hot plates is the best they can do and they seem to be taking forever to heat up the food! The campsite warden is friendly but this place certainly lack a woman’s touch for sure.

Cooking facilities!

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