Skutvik: port of Lofoten
January 1, 1970
Skutvik has a really special meaning for me, It´s not only the port of Lofoten, Norway and Scandinavia and probably the world´s most unique landscape but It´s also the birthplace of my grandmother and finally some seventeen years later I am back with my family to visit grandmother in her birthplace.
Skutvik is quite a small place
It has It´s fishery business and also hotell, supermarket and rental boat company. And of course It´s harbour with ferries departing several times a day to Svalvaer and Lofoten. Lodging is quite expensive in Norway in general but one way to cut the costs a bit is renting homes. We however stayed with my grandmother and cut a lot of expenses by just doing that. We went to Skutvik by car from our town – Stockholm – the capital of Sweden and we went straight on without stopping. At first we were supposed to rest one night in Arjeplog but the house we were supposed to stay in was locked and no one close to let us in. So we continued the 17 hour long car ride to Skutvik. There are several places to cross from Sweden to northern Norway but the easiest and fastest is going along the swedish border close to Norway and cross at Arjeplog. Usually there´s a gas station and supermarket just before entering Norway in Arjeplog and everyone usually stops there to buy their supplies at a cheaper price than the norwegian standards, but since we arrived in the middle of the night we just fueled up the car and kept going.
We arrived at grandmothers place in Skutvik around 9 o´clock in the morning and were so exhausted that we just ate and went straight to bed. Northern Norway is never dark during the summer seasons but everyone knows to put thick curtains over the windows to adjust.
Accept eating great food, mostly fresh cod or salomon, we had a lot of great experiences in the area. For example It´s very common to see mooses walking around in your back garden in early morning. Our dog Charlie that we brought along just loved smelling everything on our walks and the threes in the area no matter if there were just outside your front window had marks on them after having been eaten by the mooses. My grandmother explained that she has a moose that comes every morning to feed of her trees outside of her kitchen window and with her she has two small calves. My grandmother was quite scared of course but my spouse – the nature lover and photographer – was amazed. After knowing that he spend every early morning laying in the grass spying on the mooses.
What to do in Skutvik?
You could either rent a boat from the local boat rental company, or from a local, but my suggestion is that you book ahead. The fishing tourism is large in the area and a lot of fishermen from all over Europe and especially the baltic countries spends every summer there and return home with fridges full of fish. We went to the nearest larger community – Oppeide – and rented a boat from the fishing camp. The prices were quite high and the staff quite rude but the surroundings were amazing! We rented the smallest motor boat they had. An older example and for that we payed 1700 crowns per twenty four hours. In the rental life wests and sea card was included but if we needed fishing gear we had to pay extra. And we geared up with a set for three people. The dog had to stay on mainland but me, my partner and our two fifteen year old boys went out. The norwegian waters are a bit tricky and you shouldn´t go out in a boat if you can´t read the sea card or have any experience in stearing motor boats, that can be fatal!! We set our sights on a small island about twenty minutes away and tried some fishing. And It wasn´t long until one of the teens had a large cod on the bite. My parner was fishing for halibut and his lure was much bigger that the teens. But he had a bite and tried to pull up the halibut but it got away unfortunately. Five hours later we were once again in the harbour with 15 cods all above 2 kilograms. My grandmother was extatic and the teens that had gotten to stear the boat was as excited as us. We had another go, just the two of us, me and my partner, but the engine wouldn´t start. This was 2 o´clock in the night and unfortunately we had no answer when calling for assistance. Nor did we get a refund when claiming not to be able to go out when we wanted to. But as compensation we could keep the boat until that night. So we went out again and got even more cods this time. And they didn´t charge us for gas, fortunately or else I wouldn´t recommend this place!!
Or as the norwegians say – go on a tour. You can walk anywhere and feel like you´re on top of the world when in Skutvik. The surroundings are amazing. But in Skutvik there´s a small hill that you can climb in just 20 minutes. But the view is spectacular. We took our dog and let the teens stay with granny and went up on the hill – Stormossen. From there we could see grandmother sitting outside of her house enjoying the summer sun. And we could see the ferry boats arriving in the harbour. So we stayed for a while and had our pick nic before heading down again.
- Experiencing the wild life
As said before, the wild life in northern Norway is just outside of your house, in your back yard. And you don´t have to go far to see several wild animals. There arn´t just mooses here, but also foxes, wolves, coyotes, falks and lynxes among many other wonderful creatures.
So let Skutvik become one of your stops on your next trip to Norway!!