Journal: Pages 33-34

clear, shallow waters can be seen from the living room, which is supported by stilts over water; I was lucky enough to get the one at the very end of the pier, at the edge of the jagged shoreline. It was Kr 600 well spent.  

24 May 2003, Saturday: Mortsund - Vikten - Nusfjord - (Lofoten)

Warmth, clear skies, brilliant sunshine -- does it get any better than this?


The Tangrand family -- husband ┼svar Tangrand, brother ┼se Tangrand and wife Berit Arctander, with their children -- built their home and glass/ceramics studio (glasshytta) at Vikten, at the northern coast of Flakstadn°ya island. ┼svar's monumental metal sculpture -- which, in a commercial context, may as well serve as the logo of the Lofoten -- can be seen at a picnic area/scenic overlook along the E10, King Olav's Highway, that runs through the Lofoten and ends in ┼. I bought a mug from Berit.

Besides the huge commercial racks, private households also hang a handful of stockfish beneath the eaves. It's the local emblem of a proud yet waning lifestyle.

My culinary adventure began with the delicious "Lofoten plate" at Ramberg, serving samples of what's hung all over the islands as well as assorted grilled/cured seafood of at least six varieties (did I just eat whale meat?).


The highlight of reaching ┼, at the northwestern end of the E10 highway (the southeastern end is Tore, Sweden atop the Gulf of Bothnia), is a guided tour of the Stockfish Museum. Our curator and guide is the redoubtable Steinar Larsen, a seasoned fisherman and stockfish producer, who now runs 16 rorbu he is proud to have refurbished from the century-old shacks actually used by real cod catchers such as himself.

As pleased as Steinar is in preserving the stockfish culture as a vital Norwegian heritage, his feelings are nevertheless bittersweet. "┼ is dead," he lamented, acknowledging that the kind of fishing he knew here was long over, due to the decreasing market share of stockfish worldwide as well as the diminishing number of participants from the younger generations.

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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