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  • Writer's pictureSElliott

Day 09 - Church, Trolls and the Battle of Troll Fjord

Updated: Jun 9, 2023

Today was an early rise due to our excursion leaving at 8:10 am. So it was up at 6:30, breakfast at 7am and getting ready to leave at 8am. We left the ship at the port of Harstad to catch the tour bus. First we visited the church where we had a small service. The church was completely different to British churches - there was a pretty mural above the altar.

Picture 1 - Harstad Church

From the church we went, through Harstad, to a small museum which told the history of the area and had a medieval farm. The museum was very comprehensive for a small museum and really interesting. At the medieval farm there was a lady, in period costume, who told us some information about how the farm would have worked and what would have happened there in medieval times.

Picture 2 - Medieval Farm

There were some lovely views from the museum across the water.

Picture 3 - Views from Museum

We then travelled across the largest island in Norway, Hinnøya, to the ferry over Gullesfjord at Flesnes. On the ferry we had tea and cake before disembarking to continue our overland journey to Sortland.

Picture 4 - Views from Ferry

On the way we stopped at a viewpoint where we could see a genuine Norwegian Troll! He had forgotten about the rising sun and had turned to stone!

Picture 5 - Stone Troll

At Sortland we re-joined the ship and continued south to Stokmarknes. This is the administrative centre for Hadseløya’s inhabitants and where Hurtigruten was founded in 1881. We went out for a short walk in Stokmarknes – there was a wonderful knitting/wool shop.

After leaving Stokmarknes we sailed through the Raftsundet, a thin passageway between the islands of Hinnøya and Austvågøy.

At the end of the Raftsundet is Trollfjord, a 2km long fjord that is only 100m wide at its mouth. This fjord is located under Trolltindan, the peak of which is approximately 1,055m above sea level. This location is also famous for the Battle of Troll Fjord. This took place in 1880 and was between the fishermen in the steam-driven fishing boats and the fishermen in ‘fembøringer’ (boats with sails and oars for five fishermen) over the huge quantities of fish in the fjord.

Picture 6 - Trollfjord Entrance

Svolvær is the capital of Lofoten, although it is not the historical centre. Above the town is Svolværgeita, or Goat Mountain, with its two horns.

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