Engeløya - Angel Island

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Engeløya, Norway






Engeløya, Norway






angusfulton / film / Engeløya 2015






'FUCKING HELL NORWAY IS LONG.'


We crossed the Arctic Circle on some sort of moon-like plateau; an Arctic Circle Centre in a sea of excited white motorhomes. £10 for a slice of cake (welcome to Norway). We thought we'd said goodbye to luscious green to head a good 200km further North into a bleak 'Arctic landscape'. But as we descended from the moon, the boulders and straggly wind-swept Pines became dense forest, fresh and warm.






Straumen, Norway






After close to 2000km on and off the E6, up through Sweden and Norway, we turned off and West, into an 8km long mountain tunnel. EIGHT KILOMETRES.






Untitled






Beyond the blue, the Lofoten islands drew a continuous seismogram. Physical vibrations, a resonating horizon arc, wrapping you and the blue in from North to West. 






angusfulton / film / Engeløya 2015






'Mmmm something smells good!'

'…Yeah, it's reindeer bones.'


Engeløya, Angel Island. 
We met Eva and Clive, Norwegian and English, artist and film maker, and Astrid and Odin, their adult children, at their wooden log farmhouse, 200m from the sea.
Seven of us + two dogs inside and on top of the boat, overladen and off around the peninsula to Lundøya island. The sea gave us that perspective it gives of the land, little islands bursting with jagged dark emerald.






Engeløya, Norway






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






Engeløya, Norway






At the campfire we watched the sun not set but dip down for a midnight dance with the Lofotens, and return up to the sky.






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






200km further North into the Arctic circle than Iceland, the sun shone and the organic vegetable garden gave huge radishes, beetroot, spinach, asparagus and a daily basket-full of salad. Something to do with the Gulf Stream, 24 hours of light, and Eva.

We had special dinners of wild elk and wild reindeer, and fresh mackerel baked on the fire. Late night, daylight, fire laughter.






angusfulton / engeløya 2015  angusfulton / engeløya 2015






If you got the timing and the tide right, standing on the end of the pier, mackerel could be caught by the bucket-load. The sea was 'cooking' with fish, as the locals say.






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






angusfulton / film / Engeløya 2015






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






In a cauldron on the fire went rye flour, linseed oil, soap, iron oxide pigments and water: a bubbling red ochre, and a traditional recipe for non-toxic, long-lasting, mould-resistant barn paint, commonly forgotten in the 60s with the arrival of plastic. We re-painted the house and barn, and inside set up a gallery, shop and cafe for Steigen Sagaspill art & culture festival.






Engeløya, Norway






Eva is an activist baker and bacterial collaborator, working with cultures and fermentation, inspiring and expiring with sourdough, keffir, yoghurt, rømmekolle… She explores how microbes can inspire collaboration and sustainability in human cultures. We are, technically, more bacteria than we are human. We need bacteria.






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






Between the sea and the steep green, we cycled 30km around the island, stopping for a lefse with brunost (Norwegian brown cheese) and rømme (sour cream). We visited the German gun battery, built by 2000 Russian prisoners of war in 1942. The freaky site used to be the freaky home for huge Adolf guns, able to launch a 590 kilogram projectile 54 kilometres. When the war finished, the guns were dismantled and recycled into stuff, like nails. We passed remains of viking cooking circles and burial grounds, and Engeløya's ancient standing stone, or 'would-be-standing' stone if a delivery-driver hadn't recently reversed into it, cracking it in half.






Engeløya, Norway






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






Engeløya, Norway






Engeløya, Norway






The midnight sun gives the kind of energy which climbs you up mountains at 11pm.
And rewarded us with the realisation that we were perhaps in one of the most beautiful places on the planet.






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






Engeløya, Norway






Engeløya, Norway






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






A witch clings to the Atlantic Ocean ridge of Mjeldberget. They say she climbed from the sea, threw a rope around the mountain and tried to drag it away to...
a) help her catch fish.
or
b) give as a gift to the troll she loved in the Lofotens.

... But the sun came out and turned her to stone. 4000 years, casting her presence over the village and its lives.






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






Mjeldberget






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






angusfulton / film / Engeløya 2015






Alcohol and tobacco are so absurdly expensive that unless you can get your hands on some moonshine or other less-illegal home-brew, the only kick you can really count on not to cause imminent zero account balance, is caffeine. Add 24hrs daylight in Summer / 24hrs lack of in Winter, and you've got a pretty guaranteed prescription for continuous coffee consumption.






Engeløya, Norway






Engeløya, Norway






Engeløya, Norway






At some point in a month of laughter, we joked about that Denmark conversation and the lack of sense of humour we were to expect…  


But Norway did have a viking amount of VIKING heritage references. VIKING adverts, get your hair cut with viking style at the VIKING hair salon. We went to one of Engeløya's sites of viking remains and watched their yearly viking play, Romeo & Juliet VIKING style.






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






Engeløya, Norway  angusfulton / engeløya 2015






Engeløya, Norway






'Dugnad' - the Norwegian term for getting all the neighbours/locals around to help with something... Like turfing the turf roof of your house... Or building a barn. A voluntary, collective effort to solve a problem or complete a task.






Engeløya, Norway






Engeløya, Norway






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






On the jetty below the house, an old post office backed on to a two-storey fishermens' warehouse. Creaking and wonky, one side half-sunk. The toilet seat made an off-white frame around a hole, dropping down to the smiling-blue seabed below.






Engeløya, Norway






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






Engeløya, Norway  Engeløya, Norway






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






Feeling like sea-birds in the kayaks, silent gliding, bums in the water. In ripples we heard the sudden gasps of porpoises coming to the surface for air. We waited for their short visits from their world... And scanning the bay, trying to listen over our own excitement, we followed them on their evening hunt.






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






Goodbye to Angel Island and this wonderful family, for the beginning of our journey South with the long-distant destination of Portugal.

Overwhelmed, really.
How full of kindness our journey is and has been, from India to Northern Norway; welcomed into homes and lives with warmth overflowing.
A compassionate reality.
We're not so different, after all, just humans, striving to be happy.






Engeløya, Norway






angusfulton / engeløya 2015






Engeløya, Norway






'...Breath reveals the invisible mystery that forms the essence of life – that which binds people, animals, plants, soil and air into an inseparable network...'
Eva Bakkeslett














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5 comments:

  1. What beautiful photos and words :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Fantastic photos and beautiful, poetic words:) Such a gift to have you here and your presence will always resonate.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi I love your blog, your journey to stay with Eva in the arctic circle looks awesome!

    In July we are travelling from Copenhagen with Spanish friends up to Lafoten, * for a cup of tea with EVA !!* who I did my M.A at Dartington with)! She gave me your blogsite details. We will go via Norway and back via Sweden, not Finland as you did. We have just three weeks. The will b four of us Mark, Anna, Casimir and Dolors plus our little labra-doodle dog Ghyllie. travelling in my van towing a micro-caravan (Pod) for our friends to sleep in. Do you have any recommendations for the Sweden Norway section. Interested in camping, foraging, bees and honey, swimming, archaeology, ecology, the wild. Did you wild camp? and or use sites.

    Any pointers or favourite things or more details of the journey? Hear from you soon? xx ANNA and Mark and little dog Ghyllie. My email is
    manikeleher@btpenworld.com
    www.dreamingplace.eu

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