A sleepy town called Bodo and a Maelstrom at Saltstraumen
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We're a bunch of restless people. Only when Instagram proves a destination is amazing or a blogger endorses it, we're drooling over the location and packing our bags! Unless travel is the thing that consumes us completely and it doesn't matter where we land!
As I delve further into the world of blogging, I can't put an amount to the number of world travellers out there. Many who've quit their job, many on an endless journey.Many who support only the beautiful lands, because we're also visual people. Yet as always, beauty lies in the eye if the beholder!
In this endless yet capsule sized world of ours, a lot of us sometimes miss out on the small and significant corners, that ask you to do but 1 thing - 'slow down'.
I hadn't heard of the fishing town of Bodo and given a chance I'd never prioritize it it over Bergen, Kirkenes, or Trondheim. But I had to include it in our plan, our ship left from Bodo to get to Tromso. Bodo is also a pit-stop for a lot of travelers on their way to the Lofoten Islands. A 3 hour ferry gets you to Lofoten.
Like a lot of travelers, I was the person who was forced to take a detour due to unavailability of transport options. It was the Holy week. Transportation was limited. Bodo was included.
I'd expected snow in April and was greeted with flurries in Bodo. I spent hours by the window, sipping coffee and staring at the archipelago covered in snow, white mountains staring at me from the distance.
After I'd finally got cosy, I decided it was time to step out, take a walk and get some Reindeer meat for dinner. After braving the cold for
an hour 10 minutes, I realised the whole city was shut, and the only restaurant open, was the one, at the hotel we were staying at! Good choices! So after I had one of the most simplest and most expensive meals of my life, I decided the next day would be the day I explored Bodo.
Another day had passed and the snow ensured I wouldn't see any polar activity. I called it a day.
The next morning, it was even whiter than the day before. After breakfast [which was thankfully included in the stay] I stepped out, this time determined to last longer.Locals had left the town to get together with relatives for Easter, other's weren't interested in exploring a part of their own city.
We had the whole city to ourselves!
We proceeded for a free tour of the city! After taking a walk by the harbour, we continued on the biggest path that wasn't completely covered with snow. The road didn't lead us to Bergen but it did lead us to some equally colourful houses, adjacent to a bright ochre museum.
The colours were in stark contrast to the white wonderland around.
I asked someone passing by for information.
The Nordland Museum was one of the few buildings that had survived the bombing in the 2nd World War. The entry fee was NOK 50 per person and it housed an interesting exhibition on the Lofoten Islands and the Sami people. That would have been interesting! Nevertheless, being shut I entered the Bodo Domkirke [Cathedral] and spent some minutes in silence and prayer. We returned back to the harbor and asked the receptionist at the hotel if she'd recommend anything more! Apparently we'd seen everything that Bodo had to offer!
Post lunch we proceeded to Saltstraumen, the strongest Maelstrom in the world! A Malstrom is a Nordic word that defines a powerful whirlpool. En-route we passed by the Aviation Museum, another place in Bodo worth a visit. An hour later we'd reached Saltstraumen.
It's important to know the timing of the tidal current to watch the power of nature at work. Every 6 hours, water is forced through a narrow strait at crushing speeds reaching up-to 37 kmph. Large vortices as wide as 10 kms in diameter were a spectacle as I watched by the shore.
Someone in the group gasped every-time a Sea Eagle flew overhead. Sea Eagles are a common sight in Bodo.
Snow had turned to rain and after spending a couple of hours watching sea gulls trying to catch fish and fighting against the current, it was finally time to head back and catch our ship to Tromso.
When it's a tiny city and you ask for recommendations, everything is a must-do! However it's cities like these that make you throw the map, wander and revel in the beauty of nature!
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Additional details to get to Saltstraumen - Bodo, Norway
- Bodo is one of the closest ports to get to the Lofoten Islands
- Ferries operate every few hours to get to the Lofoten Islands
- Norwegian and SAS operate flights out of Oslo to get to Bodo
- There are trains that connect Oslo and Bodo. It takes 18 hours! From Trondheim it takes 10 hours.
- If you wish to visit Saltstraumen, unfortunately public transport isn't great between Bodo and Saltstraumen. Your best bet is to get in touch with the hotel you're staying at and speak to them about a day trip to Saltstraumen
- Saltstraumen is located at-least an hour away and hence prices vary from £30 to £50 per person for a trip that lasts at-least 3-4 hours
- In addition to the Bodo Domkirke, The Aviation Museum and the Nordland Museum, you could also pay a visit to the Kjerringoy Trading Post located about an hour and a half from Bodo
- Mjelle is a lovely beach that is located en-route to the Kjerringoy Trading Post an dis a great location to watch the midnight sun!
- We stayed at the Thon Hotel and the view from our room was amazing! [Refer to the featured image! :) ]
- Another great experience is to explore the ancient glacier of Svartisen! However it is quite far from Bodo and would require you to drive down. Dedicate an entire day for the same.
Looking for more offbeat cities and villages to explore? Have you heard of Pals in Spain?
Have you been to any places no one's ever heard about! Please tell me too! :)
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