Sunday, 20 January 2008

1997 Land Of The Midnight Sun - Walkabout At Saltstraumen

Having spent five days of constant travelling it is nice to be able to leave the motorcycle alone for a day. So while I was enjoying a little peace Ian and Guzzisue took a walk to the waterside to watch the current and take some photos and then onto a road bridge to take some more photos of the current from above.

The Norwegians had just recently built an exhibition centre at Saltstraumen complete with a working model of the tidal pattern of the waters. There was also a film show in English explaining the history of the area. My friends were the only two people in this showing.

After looking around the centre Ian and Guzziesue went back onto the bridge and back to the waterside before before walking up the road to a small local museum of life.

Once inside my friends spent some time talking to the owner, who in the long winter months made quilts. She insisted on bringing out some of her finished pieces for Guzziesue to have a look at. Little did we know at the time but when we would return home Guzziesue would sign up for the City & Guilds Embroidery & Textile course at a local college. Guzziesue’s latest works can be found on her blog – Travel, Fibre And Thread.

The curator’s husband was the person who made the working model in the exhibition centre!

Although she was reluctant to go into too much detail she also told us about her father who used to go fishing for whales and also that we were experiencing the best summer for at least four years. We also learnt about her sister who lived down in Oslo that would insist on ringing her up every year to say when they were having their first drinks on the veranda. The normal reply would be to tell her to p**s off as there would still be several inches of snow at Saltstraumen.

Having spent some time in the museum my friends once again went to have a look at the ever changing waters before going to the campsite supermarket, where once inside they noticed lots of half empty bottles of drinks for sale. We assume these were for people to add their own homemade alcohol to.

Back outside Ian decided to open one of the freezers round the back of the campsite reception. This was full of fish that we can only assume had been caught from the whirlpool by people from off the site. Why he didn’t bring one back for me I do not know.

After tea we went for another walk back to the water’s edge where two German motorcyclists trying to fish without much success, although other anglers were having better luck. They had intended to go right up to Nordcap but decided that it was too far. We can agree with this because I think we were still 400 miles away from there and tomorrow we head back south.

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