Varanger – Mortensnes – Ekkeroy – Vardo or To the end of another Road

Our Home for the night Vardo Norway

After an interesting day we find ourselves at the end of another road this time the E75 parked next to the ocean at Vardo Norway. Vardo is on an Island and we could see it across the water. It still took us by surprise when a tunnel appeared and we went the last 2.8km through a subsea tunnel to the island of Vardøya.

Vardo claims to be the only town in the Arctic Climate Zone, not sure what that means yet as I thought there were towns further north, (perhaps it is because it is quite a large town and most of the other places we see are a scattering of cottages). We had a clear sunny afternoon but the wind was freezing and very Arctic Climate Zone stuff!! The port here on the Barents Sea remains ice free all year due to a warmer ocean current.  This is also the site of the biggest witch hunt in Norway. In the 17th Century about 90 people were found guilty of witchcraft and burned at the stake. Apparently the Norwegians still have significant dark time depression issues.

Still light as we write this, and Trish has put more cardboard under the bedroom skylight to block out the light as it is light all night (day).

What have those sheep dogs been up to?

We saw some magnificent scenery today. Quite different to what we expected. One side hills with old bits of snow the treeless arctic tundra? Going down to an ocean with surf, sunshine and sandy beaches with no people only sheep on walking along the beach, weird hey.

Ekkeroy

At Ekkeroy where there is a Cliffside bird nesting colony you can walk to, we also visited the museum (free) and Steven enjoyed fresh waffles made by a local girl serving, and at her recommendation some Norwegian brown cheese. Which had a different earthy taste they claim only Norwegians like. Steven seemed to enjoy it as well. We plan to stop here again on the way back and explore the area on foot.

Samai Stone Circle

Earlier today we spent a 2-3 hours at a place called Mortensnes Kulturminneomrade Cultural Monument Park http://www.visitnorway.com/en/Product/?pid=51928. One of the most comprehensive cultural monument areas in Scandinavia. The walk takes you past evidence of continuous settlement here for the last 10,000 years. Very interesting the walk starts quite high above the sea where the evidence of stone age settlement is where the beach used to be. As the land rises after the last ice age the evidence of settlements move lower down toward the current sea level. You walk through the stone age, iron age down to the middle ages and then to earlier this century to an earthen hut on the present day coast. A long walk but worth it.

Our Home in Nesserby Norway
Nesserby Norway

Our home last night was in Nesserby Norway.  Nesseby is usually one of the first places birders visit when they arrive at Varanger Fjord. Apparently the bay has traditionally been good for Steller’s Eider and the pool behind the church can be good for phalaropes, all we saw was the church and bird watchers, never saw Steller, not a bikini in sight, tried phalaropes behind the church but it was just to cold for that outside.

More Photos on next page click read more below…….

Vardo Norway (Night Time)
Vardo Norway (night time)
Pitt Stop were going to stay overnight but moved on (yes this an evening photo)
Where we stayed later that night (night time photo)

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