|Abisko National Park and Tornehamn, Sweden to Moysalen National Park, Norway||Week 63 20th -23rd July 2012|
| We got our second wind and headed towards Narvik.
The weather forecast is for about 10 days of rain so we might as well travel.
| Instead of following the E8/E6 we took the shorter (by
1km) route 87.
So far Norway's most patched road.
| Norway has lots of small scale farming.
One of the reasons for not joining the EU is the concern that the farming would be lost to the bureaucracy of common agriculture policy.
Before Narvik we headed towards Abisko National Park in Sweden.
We passed "The Big Troll" which looked closed and empty.
I guess trolls are frightening.
| The northern entrance to Kungsleden. In Abisko National
Park. Just over the Swedish border.
Its 2750 km and a bit more than 4 weeks since we walked part of the middle of Kungladen in Stora Sjfallet National Park.
About 90 km as the crow flies and only a bit more as the walkers walk.
We are also only 100 km west of Kiruna. We've described a big loop round the north of Sweden, Finland and Norway
| For today a couple of hours walk along the Kungsladen.
It follows the Abisko River which flows through the Abisko canyon.
|Its a bit narrow in parts.|
The first "meditationplats".
We'll walk as far as the base of the hill sticking out of Ali's right ear.
The park is in the rain shadow, so dry.
There's a small chair lift running up a hill on the other side of the river but (predictably) we avoided it.
| Accompained by birds.
Abisko was declared a national park around 1906 so the birds have had plenty of time to become used to people.
| By mistake photographed a different make of bird in the
A flock of these followed us for a while. As long as their type of tree prevailed.
| We stopped about half way along the lake.
The old and new style of fishing hut.
| The Kunglsaden just keeps heading south.
We must have started our walk early. We passed 30-40 serious hikers all headed south.
One Swiss pair were on a 5 day hike that would take them in a loop west across the Norwegian border.
We'd parked next to the Abisko Turiststajion.
Today's batch of hikers arriving. And yesterday's leaving.
The first campsite is about an hour along the track which makes for an easy first day.
The rail line is the iron ore line from Kiruna to Narvik.
| Abisko has a few signs about "no motorhomes" and
"no camping" in various car parks.
We had coordinates for a convenient car park a few km west of all the tourist facilities. So did lots of other motorhomers. Limited to 24 hours parking.
More than a car park it was Tornehamn, the next station and a former port on the lake Tornetrask.
The lake is 70 km long and was used for transport until the road was completed.
This is the view west from the old lighthouse site - a lighthouse on a lake!
A quick walk round the remnants of Tornehamn.
This is the navvy cemetery. The rail line was apparently the last of the navvy built lines.
Most died of typhoid or diptheria. Most Norwegians. The cemetery was expanded a couple of times.
Anna was 22. Employed as a cook.
| Single line with passing places. Electrified.
No noise from the tracks so it was always a surprise when a train passed and we were always too slow with the camera.
The western end of the lake.
We are just on the edge of the mountains. Noticeably wetter than Abisko a few km to the east.
| Railway architecture is distinctive.
This style of building was repeated at several stations.
Not sure of its purpose it was a little away from the track.
| The glow plug for the cooker hasn't arrived in Narvik. The
weather is lousy and forecast to stay that way.
We've decided to head to Lofoten, the string of islands to the west.
We've passed a few memorials for the battle of Narvik in 1940. There are six in the area.
We are near Bjornfell Station on Kuberg Plateau. Site of major battles.
| Narvik was important during the war for the iron ore
available from Kiruna. The port is ice free all year around.
We think the plateau would have been bleak in winter.
The Norwegians claim their victory at Narvik as the first defeat of the Nazis during WWII. The monument diplomatically describes their surprise when the Allies later withdrew.
| Headed along the E10, this bridge is near Gausvik.
We can reach all but the last two islands of Lofoten by road, a mixture of bridges and tunnels.
|For now we followed a small track from Kongsvika to find a camp for the night.|
| We finally figured out the power poles with lights were
for a snoscooter track.
We also saw a group of hikers head off up this track but were too slow to ask where it led. And asleep when they returned.
| So we continued our restless travels westwards.
The weather is holding.
| But not for long.
We've noticed fewer motorhomes this morning.
Either our imagination or the large number of Norwegians were just on weekend trips and are now all back at work since its Monday.
Or maybe they know something we don't!
| A short gap in the clouds. Squally is our best description
and the barometer is falling.
Its as windswept and wet as it looks. We suspect we'll be alone tonight! And we don't expect to be doing any walking tomorrow. We are looking towards Hadselfjorden and the open sea.
We expected a large sign and a big car park for Moysalen National Park.
This car park has a view. The one for the track into the park is a couple of km east. Its at N 68.4654, E 15.4412
We nearly missed the small sign hidden in the trees after consulting two maps, the gps, and simply working out where the valleys and rivers were.
Totally useless statistic .... the angle of the hill on the right is 55 degrees from the horizontal.
|Lofoten, Norway||Week 63 24th -28th July 2012|