Bodø and the Night Train

August 5, 2014

Today we were flying out of Svolvær at 11:45 am, and we didn’t really know how long it would take to drive there from Å. So we got up at 6 am, repacked our untidy packs, and headed out around 7:30 am. However it was raining quite heavily, so our plans of stopping along the way to see the sights dissolved in the rain. During the drive we went through 9 tunnels and over 14 bridges, of which half were on the first island, Moskenesøya. And we travelled through five different islands. The scenery was still spectacular, especially at the beginning of the drive. As we got closer to Leknes more farming started to appear and as we neared Svolvær the islands levelled out even more.

E10 bridge

So we arrived at the airport with plenty of time to spare. After a while we were allowed through security, which wasn’t a big deal and only took a couple of minutes. Then after us came an American couple and their daughter, and they were fuming and fussing about everything possible in a very loud and obnoxious way. We mentioned that we had been on the Hurtigruten and that there might still be increased security measures in place, and that just triggered another rant. It didn’t help that our flight was delayed by a severe electrical storm and they were worried about missing their connecting flight.

While we were waiting for our plane to arrive we watched three Coast Guard helicopters arrive. After turning off their engines the crew went off to meet some young ladies who then returned to stand by the helicopters for a photo-op. Neither of us was sure what was going on, but it made for interesting viewing. The American man, of course, was fuming about how that would never happen in the military back home.

Photo-op with helicopter pilot

Our flight was only 40 minutes late, and the flying time to Bodø was only 10 minutes so we were barely in the air before starting our descent. We waited at the baggage carousel for a couple of minutes and three bags came out, two of them ours. Apparently all of the others were going on the flight to Oslo, which had waited for our flight to arrive.

Bodø airport is right next to the town, so we walked the two kilometers to the train station and stored our large packs in the lockers there. By now it was past lunch time, so we decided to go to Peppe’s Pizza to have a largish meal and make that our main meal of the day. We shared a large ham and pepperoni pizza and each had a Fanta to drink. The cost for that was 316 NOK or nearly $50! However there was some pizza left so we saved that for dinner.

The day was quite blustery so after we did some food shopping we decided to go sit at the train station, even though our train wasn’t leaving until much later. The afternoon trudged on and by 6 pm the skies looked less threatening, so we headed out. This week there was a music festival in Bodø, and there was a free concert at the Domkirke, so we headed over there. It turned out that the concert was outside the church, so we sat at the one picnic table outside and had a nice chat with a Norwegian lady about hiking. At 6:45 pm the carillon player came out of the church and climbed up the bell tower, and the concert started. The concert was only half an hour and was very enjoyable. There must be a limited repertoire for the carillon, but the Bach Cello Suites worked out quite well on the Bodø instrument. It was interesting to hear the music that our kids played in Suzuki cello classes played on the carillon.

Carillon player

After the concert ended we headed back to the train station to eat our dinner, including the leftover pizza. While waiting for departure we watched them shuffling carriages around until they had a train ready to go to Trondheim. Then we got on and found our seats and suddenly, right on time at 9:10 pm, we noticed the train was moving. We had decided not to pay 850 NOK for a sleeper compartment, so we would be sitting up to sleep, like on an airplane. Soon we were passing beautiful scenery and large farms. However it actually got quite dark outside, so we went to sleep quite soon after the train left Bodø.

Night train to Trondheim

August 6, 2014

After a reasonably comfortable night’s sleep we awoke, not far from Trondheim. The train arrived a few minutes early, and we had to stand around for quite a long time waiting for the Oslo train. So much for worrying about missing the connection! For some reason our seats had been double-booked by NSB, but as we were getting off soon the other victims let us stay in our assigned seats. After the train finally left (on time) it zoomed through the countryside until it got to Kongsvoll, where we got off to continue with the next part of our holiday.

Next: Snøheim Death March