Svolvær is the biggest city on the Lofoten with around 4.000 inhabitants. When we walked into the centre with the busy little marketplace and the harbour you could see already the difference, there was much going on with many tourists and cafes, pubs and restaurants. At the dock, they offer tours to the Trollfjord among others, and you can buy fish and seafood right from a boat – I couldn’t resist and got myself some delicious shrimps! At the marketplace, there is also the helpful tourist information, where we got information on a ferry connection from Harstad to Tromsø, which we wanted to take a few days later.
After getting the first impression of Svolvær, we took a bus to visit Henningsvær, a little fishing village set on a string of small islands. We had read that it’s a bit like the Venice of the Lofoten. It wasn’t really, but it still turned out to be beautiful with the ocean around, the mountains and the Rorbu. We just walked around there and went to some rocks and wooden racks called “hjell“, where they dry stockfish or codfish, enjoying the views. We also found out, that the Norwegians really love their waffles – there were even children selling them out in their garden. We had some time left because the bus back to Svolvær would leave only after 8 p.m., so we got dinner at a nice restaurant, overlooking the water. I couldn’t resist when I saw that they offer whale meat. (*Whale meat and products are restricted btw. Visitors to Norway are not allowed to bring it outside the country), I had to taste it once in my life. My friend asked me later if I felt guilty, well I said no. It didn’t really taste good. Maybe because it also lacks spices. Being an islander myself and coming from a fishing village in the Philippines, fish and marine life is our life. We eat it. What I felt wrong about was that it was insanely expensive.
When we came back to Svolvær after a thirty-minute bus ride, it was still bright enough to walk around a bit. So we took a look at the little island Svinøya, which is connected with Svolvær with a bridge. In Svinøya there was a lot of Rorbu-accommodation, restaurants and there seemed to be a party for elderly people with live music – not exactly what we were looking for. But I got some beautiful photos of the otherwise less impressive area.