Well it wasn’t stormy anymore but it was bloody snowing – heavily! There was already a couple of inches of snow on the ground, in places where people hadn’t walked yet and it was only 9.30am.
I got up and had breakfast. I needed to go to the library to check my emails. The library was open from 11am to 3pm most days and later on a Thursday evening. You could use the internet for free and they gave you hourly time slots. When your hour was up then you’d have to go back to them for another hour’s ticket if you wanted to stay longer.
There were intermittent breaks in the clouds and now and again, for about 2 minutes, you could see the peaks of the mountains. I was done in the library by 12.45pm, so I decided to walk out towards Svinoya. It’s one of many little islets in the area which is connected to the town by a landbridge. Johanna was telling me yesterday that she stays in Svinoya and that it’s really pretty in the sunshine because you can see the other islands and the sea from the back of the islet. I thought that the Borsen Spiseri, part of the Svinoya Rorbuer, would be open for lunch but it wasn’t. So I just had a cup of tea there, which was good timing because it was like a blizzard outside with the snow.
Before I’d finished my tea, the snow had stopped and the sun came out again. Before I left Amsterdam I had reserved a place for the Winter Safari boat tour, which is run by Svinoya Rorbuer on a Saturday. I checked at Reception of Svinoya to see if they were still going ahead with the boat tour. They said it would depend on the weather and they would let me know tomorrow.
So I had a window of opportunity with the weather and decided to take a walk out to the left side of Svinoya. There are racks of drying stockfish dotted all over the islands because this is the time of year for codfish. The codfish migrate here from the Barents Sea to spawn. The fish arrive in late January or early February and the season continues till the end of April. They put the fish out on these racks and leave them out in the elements to dry. They cut the heads and tails off to make flour. Actually this year, the World Cod Fishing Chamionships are on in March in Svolvaer, from the 25th to the 26th March. I took a few photos of the area in the sunshine and it was really picturesque, with the red painted rorbuers by the water. On the other side, you could see the numerous little islands dotted around the coastline and the low lying mountains in the background.
By the time I decided to go back to town, it was snowing again. I was pretty hungry by this stage and wanted to find somewhere quick to eat. I found an Italian restaurant on the main square, called Fellini’s. It was very quiet and there was only one guy in there. Their menu was only in Norwegian but I could guess what was what. They had a mixture of pizzas, fish such as scampi and pasta dishes. When I asked about the scampi, they said they didn’t have it, so I ordered the Tagliatelle Con Carne instead.
Well the food came and it looked very apetising. It was tagliatelle of course, with strips of beef, paprika, onions and mushrooms in a creamy, peppery sauce. It was gorgeous. It cost along with a cola, 145 NOK. It was the second best dinner I’d had since I got there.
After this, I just had a walk around Svolvaer because I didn’t get much of a chance yesterday to explore the town. There are about 4 or 5 art galleries and studios in Svolvaer, which are open from 12 till 3 or 4 pm everyday apart from Sunday. Some of them are open now by appointment only. I went into the Danke Brygge and had a look around.
I had made a reservation for dinner that night at the Borsen Spiseri, just to see what it was like. It was one of the restaurants recommended by both guidebooks I had. Johanna also said that she might be working tonight and I said I’d drop in to say hello. So I got there at 7.15pm and was the only one there to start off with but shortly after, a group of 6 guys came in and there was a big table set up near the door, for a group who arrived shortly after.
The atmosphere of the restaurant was very cosy, with its wooden beams, small chandeliers and nice little nooks and crannies. I ordered the stockfish, which was baked and it came with carrots and new potatoes. It sounded nice on the menu and I wanted to try the local fare. Johanna came over to me just before my food came. She wasn’t working that night but said that she’d be there all day tomorrow, working for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I said I might come back over then, if I didn’t have the tour to Hov going on.
The food arrived and it was ok. I think because I had a late lunch I wasn’t so hungry and the taste of it didn’t appeal to me. I didn’t have a starter or dessert but the woman serving me gave me a big glass of wine. The service was very efficient and friendly. I would definitely recommend it, even though It is a bit on the pricier side compared to other restaurants. I paid 374 NOK for a glass of wine and a main course.www.svinoya.no
I walked back over the bridge, had a quick look around Lamholmen where the Rica Hotel is and a lot of rorbuers and went into Bacalao. It was packed. It looked like the whole town was in there. At first I thought they were playing bingo but actually there was a quiz on. There were no stools at the bar but there was a free space/ledge in between 2 teams. There were about 14 teams, each with between 6 and 8 people to a team. It was all hushed when I went in because the quiz master was in the middle of asking a round of questions.
It went on for another half an hour and when it was over, practically everybody cleared out. Well I suppose it was a weeknight, a Thursday, so everybody had to go to work the next morning. I didn’t stay long either and once I’d finished my drink I went back to where I was staying.