Journal: Pages 31-32

attendant's tired pre-flight performance of pretending to blow into a floatation vest. As always, I found comfort in not recognizing a single word -- a sanctuary amid a cacophony of Norwegian, Swedish, Danish and Finnish. Here, even the universal chorus of infant wailings -- not to mention their mothers' lullabies -- sounded positively musical.  

With no reservation, there was little chance I could drive a new Volvo S60 (another victory on my part, convincing Budget Car Rental to give me what they have at the price that was promised me) aboard the coastal steamer toward Stamsund at 15:00. I used the extra time before the 16:30 ferry to hike into town, buying some groceries for the upcoming two days in Lofoten.

Brilliant sunshine caressing the archipelago just west of BodÝ, as seen in a lounge chair at the rear open deck of the ferry -- It is finally starting to feel like a vacation!

Two hot dogs and some frozen chips (fries), nuked to order for close to $7? This is surely a low point in Nordic dining.

Exhausted, my numb senses could not properly register the initial impression of driving in the magnificent Lofoten islands.

The rorbu (sea shack) I rented from Wenche in Mortsund is perfect. Built strictly for the comfort and convenience of tourists, it nevertheless is situated smack in the middle of a fishing complex, surrounded by racks with thousands of cod hung to become dried stockfish. (The odor is not quite as strong once they are fully dry; now in late May they are ready for picking.) Views of the Lofoten Wall as well as the famously

Switzerland (2002, 2003) 1-2 3-4 5-6 7-8 9-10 11-12 13-14 [Liechtenstein 15] 53 
New Zealand (2002) 16 17-18 19-20 21-22 23-24 25-26 27-28
New Zealand (May-June 2004) 54 55-56 57-58 59-60 61-62 63-64 65 72 
Australia (2004) 66 67-68 69-70 71
New Zealand (November 2004) 73-74 75-76 77-78 79-80 81-82

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