Crossing the Arctic Circle

crossing the arctic circle

Day 7 of the road trip to Lofoten! Today we will be crossing the Arctic Circle, and end up in… well, the Arctic! Sounds very adventurous and might conjure up images of polar bears, dog sledding and igloos. But the Arctic is simply defined as the area north of where the sun barely comes up during the winter solstice and the midnight sun can be seen during summer solstice. Another definition is, the area where the average temperature during the warmest month is 10 degrees Celsius.

Regardless, we would be crossing it today.


Kilboghavn

We got up early and packed up our camp. We timed it well with the ferry from Kilboghavn to Jektvik. We were nearing the end of Helgelandskysten, and during this ferry crossing we would be crossing the Arctic Circle. It’s even announced on the ferry over the loud speakers right as you cross it.

crossing the arctic circle

A few hours and another ferry later we had reached the end of Helgelandskysten, and it also meant we were not far from Bodø. But before we went to Bodø, we would stop by Saltstraumen.

saltstraumen

Saltstraumen is the worlds strongest tidal current. Every 6 hours 400 million cubic metres of water forces it’s way through this narrow straight. The maelstroms or whirlpools that occur can be up to 10 metres in diameter, 5 metres deep and reach speeds of 20 knots here. Unfortunately at the time we were visiting it was almost at it’s weakest. But it was still a really interesting sight to see.

megu on a lighthouse
saltstraumen selfie

After Saltstraumen we drove to Bodø, the second largest city in Northern Norway with 41,500 inhabitants. The main reason for visiting Bodø was to go to the Norwegian Aviation Museum.

Northrop RF-5A(G) Freedom Fighter
Northrop RF-5A(G) Freedom Fighter

I’m a little bit of an aviation nerd at heart, so this was an absolute must! During summer it’s open from 10 am to 6 pm. The tickets cost 175 NOK per adult. And actually, the tickets themselves were really neat, as they were printed out like a boarding pass.

Fokker CVD

Fokker CVD

Usually when visiting museums in Norway, I always leave with a feeling that… It was just OK. They’ll have a small collection of things to exhibit, an that’s kind of it. I’m always left wanting to see more.

The Norwegian Aviation Museum is not like that. There are so many aircraft on display, it’s remarkable. Both military and civil aviation is covered.

Supermarine Spitfire LF.Mk.IXe
Supermarine Spitfire LF.Mk.IXe

The only thing I could fault them for is the mood lighting. It made it difficult to see everything clearly. The first area of the military exhibit covered the history of the use of planes in warfare. The most amusing story was how Norway traded fish for 4 Italian Caproni aircraft.

machinegun

Besides the biplanes and the Spitfire, my favourite of the exhibit was the F-86 F Sabre. I’ve watched the Sabre and Mig-15 from so many movies in my childhood, it was really nice to finally see one up close.

F-86 F Sabre
North American F-86 F Sabre

After we had finished with the military exhibit, we continued to the civil aircraft section. A lot of history and historical paraphernalia were on display, including posters and other advertising which greatly amused me.

There were a lot of really interesting aircraft on display, but unfortunately the low lighting made it difficult to really appreciate the exhibit and take photos.

Hønningstad Polar
Hønningstad Polar

With our visit to the museum over, it was time to our groceries sorted and the car fuelled up. After that was done we drove towards our next campground.

We managed to get to a place called Straumen, and found a place next to a river at Strømhaug Camping.

strømhaug campground

The sun was still high in the sky, but we were both feeling pretty exhausted and hungry so we wanted to get settled and make dinner. Todays dinner would be Tandoori Chicken.

pink sky

We slept so well during the night! We got a really good rest, and would be more than ready for the drive ahead tomorrow when we would be crossing the border and visiting Sweden!

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