Two weeks ago we decided to take a daytrip to Vannøya, an island north of Tromsø. It had been snowing during the night and driving conditions on some stretches were really tough – luckily we hadn’t changed to summer tires yet! The weather improved during the day so the view on the drive back was completely different…

Driving to Vannøya, taken at approximately the same place on the way out and on the way back... crazy! Vannøya from the ferry... hidden in a snow shower

After arriving on the island, our first stop was Torsvåg. I really wanted to visit Torsvåg as the lighthouse there is one of our measurement stations as well as a dividing place for our wind warnings, and I had never been there before. The lighthouse is quite special, it’s integrated into a house. Nobody seemed to live there though… I would have liked to visit, but there was nobody there.

Fish heads - yum ;) The lighthouse at Torsvåg

Nearby we found this small pier with a railroad on it…

A little railroad for (un)loading ships The railroad seen from the other side of the pier

There were also lots of snow buntings around. You can read a nice article about them here.

A snow bunting

Torsvåg seen from the pier – lots of fishing boats and a few fish farms. It was Sunday so all the boats were in port, and only some keen people were out in rented boats (one of them carrying a huge Russian flag :D).

The harbour of Torsvåg The harbour of Torsvåg

After visiting Torsvåg, we drove to the settlement of Burøysund, on the other side of the island. Quite a sleepy place…

Burøysund Old houses on the island of Burøya

Back on the western side of the island, we visited the enormous beach at Sandbukta – really pretty!

The beach at Sandbukta The sand was moving so quickly in the stream that it looked blurred even without a long exposure

Nice bend in one of the streams Sandbukta beach

There were some old boathouses near the beach…

Nice old boathouse near Sandbukta beach The same boathouse seen from the other side

We continued exploring the island and drove to the “capital” Vannvåg. A fishing boat had just come in and there were LOTS of seagulls around.

LOTS of seagulls - near the fish processing place of course ;) There are also lots of reindeer on Vannøya. This one has lost one of its antlers

Finally we reached the end of the road at Kristoffervalen. We had a nice lunchbreak in this little harbour :).

The end of the road: the little harbour at Kristoffervalen At Kristoffervalen

Nearby they were storing parts of windturbines that are about to be built. They’re building a wind farm with 18 turbines at Fakken. The turbines come from Italy and were stored on the quay – impressive to see how big the blades are!!

The MASSIVE blades of a windturbine ready to be built - they are 50 m long! Quite an impressive lorry arrangement to transport the turbines

Here are the first 3 turbines, and in the foreground the container houses that I assume are used for housing employees. Nobody seemed to be around now though.

Three windmills are standing so far, they are building 18 in total. There were lots of these container houses - I guess the employees live there at times?

We decided to go for a little walk along the coast. It was warm enough to walk without a coat, and with the lack of snow in this area, it almost felt like summer 🙂 Strange when you think that we were driving through snow showers in the morning!

The weather really cleared up and we went for a little walk - so beautiful! Paul trying to be Lars Monsen in his high waterproof boots ;)

We walked to a small settlement – what an idyllic place. If you keep walking, you get to an (at least partly) abandoned fishing village, but we didn’t have time to walk that far. Next time!

After a few kilometres we came to a little settlement What a beautiful place to have a house!

There were lots of birds around, I wish I had a better lens to capture them 🙂 I think this is a redshank (rødstilk in Norwegian, tureluur in Dutch) – but please correct me if I’m wrong!

I think this is a Redshank/Rødstilk - wish I had a better lens for bird photography! Another photo of the redshank

Nice reflections in the evening light… and later on, back in the car and on the way to the ferry, we had a nice view of Nord Fugløya, a bird island that Paul hopes to visit 🙂

Nice reflections View towards Nord Fugløya - a bird island

Waiting for the ferry back…

Waiting for the ferry home

It was a fantastic day and I really liked Vannøya – would really like to come back in summer and explore more 🙂

We haven’t been on many trips since then, the weather has been really miserable. And when it wasn’t, I was at work. Paul did go on a really nice trip on the 17th of May, to Nord Kvaløya – see his photos here. It will be June very soon, but this was the view from our living room today… (and for the optimists who think we do have green grass – nope, it’s artificial :D). Waiting for better times…

Almost June...

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