Nordland-Highway 17

Nordland county stretches from Trøndelag in the south to the Lofoten Island in the north, even if Lofoten is part of administrative county Nordland. The main road north-south is E6. This runs inland, while Highway 17 runs along the outer edge of the mainland. This road connects all the coastal communities and is also the lifeline for all the island communities offshore. The coastline is intersected by a many fjords, and therefore a number of car ferries connect sections of Hw 17. In addition, a number of fast passenger boats provide a life important service to the coastal communities.


The population has for ages made their living off the sea, plus the add-on from cultivating small farms. The climate is heavily influenced by the Gulf Ocean Stream, making agriculture possible. The Arctic Circle intersects about the middle of the region. But low pressure centers sweep in from the North Atlantic Ocean, each winter causing very bad weather and hurricanes. For this reason, the population has through its history suffered many losses of life at sea. Even with the present day modern fishing vessels and technology, accidents do happen.

Two island communities are worth noting: Træna and Vega. Træna is located on the Artic Circle, some 40 km offshore. The geography is unique as the island has some tall mountains, Trænastaven being 338 m high. Therefore, these mountains are visible from the sea a distance of 100 km before even coming close to the mainland. Vega in the other hand, is mostly flat, and is known for the harvesting of eider down. The inhabitants build nests on land for the birds to select the best one. As eider down is very valuable, it has been a source of conflict even from the viking age.


The pictures below are taken during several trips by car and our motor home  through area. The perspectives are thus pretty much views from the road areas, as well as from ferries. The geography is mountainous, with the bare rock often "growing" straight of the ocean. Due to the tough climate, the mountains have no or very little vegetation. Also, the mountains are alpine in appearance, probably caused by a thinner ice shelf during the last Ice Age. The sheltered inland areas may be quite lush, as the winter temperatures are seldom very low as compared to the latitude.