ALONE IN LOFOTEN
April 28 - 30, 2015
The Lofoten Islands in northern Norway host one of the world’s largest fisheries. For the last 1,000 years, fishing has provided the primary livelihood for the vast majority of island residents. Northeast Arctic cod arrive in the millions in the surrounding Arctic waters between February and April to spawn. Had I known this prior to the long journey, I may not have arrived at the end of the season when over 17,000 tons of stockfish are hung to dry on a labyrinth of wood racks. The smell repelled tourists and residents, closed virtually every business, museum, and tour, and left me in some kind of self-guided twilight zone.
But it turned out to be a happy mistake. I had the whole place to myself. The only activities I planned took place after sunset. A permanent electric blue twilight soaked over a full moon until sunrise. I spent 48 hours sleeplessly exploring these daisy-chain islands. And when I returned to Oslo, my cousin Øistein recommended I burn my clothes. Being a true family host, he made me dinner that night. It was cod.