Paul here in the Capital city of Lofoton, Solvaer (ae should be touching and makes a vowel sound). Waiting for our eagle, fishing, ocean and probably not whale trip around the islands in this magical place. The whales hang out north of here but ya never know….one surfaced as we were taking the ferry across from Boda to Moskenes.
I’ll let the photos speak for themselves, this chain of isles was carved out by water and surf for millions of years and is like nothing I’ve ever seen in all my travels. Mindy says parts remind her of the Napali Coast of Kauai, Hawaii. Take a look and see for yourself. Yesterday driving here from Leknes after stopping at the Viking Museum in the afternoon sun was spectacular. The
national hwy and only ‘European Road” makes hairpin turns, goes every direction every 15 minutes and around every turn and thru every tunnel, WOW another amazing scene.
The people here totally depend on fishing for millennium and tourism for the past few decades and now the oil companies want to start drilling for oil off the coast…Mindy will share more about that but the climate connections are always near-by as we dig deeper into the culture during our brief visit.
Our ‘small world’ story’ linking the title of this post occurred on on first day’s journey to Bunes beach. We stopped at Amanda’s tea shop and WC setting off on the 60 minute hike over the pass to a secluded beach and start chatting with a woman named Jorunn Stromsvag, a quiet, humble village woman who heard about Mohammed Yunus (Nobel Peace Prize winner in 20XX) and his innovative microcredit plan to help women become economically self sufficient in Bangladesh. Jorunn took the idea and started organizing here in Lofoton in 2 villages (now it’s all over Norway). Yunus heard about this woman in Norway and came to visit this magical location and has been back 4 times since to hike and meet the organizers. He also invited a group of Lofoton women to the ceremony in Oslo where he received the Peace Prize where he gave a special “wave out” to the ladies of Lofoton…..pretty cool and what a sweet woman. She saw our ‘friendship card’ and asked how we were going to get around. We said “by bus” and she offered her car to use that her daughter had in Reine and what a difference having our own vehicle for 3 days has meant for our travels and discoveries to the little spots like Nusfjord where we rowed a boat around the fjord and discovered jellyfish, trashed fishing nets and memories of rowing Lake Minnetonka in my childhood with brother Pete.
Time to prepare for our ocean cruise, thanks for sharing our journey and I hope some of you can visit this gorgeous place and we all can keep it free from offshore drilling.
Mindy’s note: On the ferry from Bodo to Moskynes we met Katrine – a biology student from Tromso university who is part of the
environmental club there (DAVVIN). She was headed to Kabelvag for a rally against oil drilling in the ocean near Lofoten. (We have talked to many others since who had heard about the rally and are also opposed to the idea of drilling here). The area they want to drill is part of a unique habitat including the spawning grounds for cod – a critical fish to the history, culture and way of life of those who live in these islands. The conversation sparked for me why it was important for us to come here – to see the marvelous and magical place that this is and why it is so critical that it be protected. Life here centers around the fishing industry – it is a tourist attraction as well as part of the history and culture of the islands. To risk the environment that is critical to the fishing industry of Lofoten is to say that our lust for oil is more important than the heritage and way of life for the people who live on these islands. I don’t believe that this is true. The story of people here and the simple life they lead is important to be told – so that all will see the value of what is at risk here. It’s an issue of environmental and economic justice. Talking to Jurinn about microcredit in Norway I understand that this community has many small businesses that are vulnerable to changes in the environment. These are people who live a simple life that has a low carbon footprint – much of what they need to live is produced on the islands. We know there is a better way than drilling for more oil if we invest in renewables and that the planet can’t take us burning that oil anyway if humans are to survive.