Øyhopping

Two weeks ago my parents visited me in Tromsø. Paul was already at sea (on his annual research cruise) when they arrived, but halfway through the week he called to say the ship had broken down, the cruise was aborted and he’d be home the next day! Not good for his cruise or the ship of course, but it was great to unexpectedly have him home so soon :)

My parents were very lucky with the weather: it was warm and sunny on most days! Sunday was their last day in Tromsø, and we decided to go “øyhopping” (island hopping) by ferry, from Belvika to Sandøya.

Three times a week (on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday evening), the ferry that connects Belvik (on Kvaløya) to the island Vengsøya goes all the way out to Sandøya, with request stops at several islands along the way. After about 4.5 hours the ferry is back at Belvika, so it’s often used as a sightseeing roundtrip. I’ve always wanted to go on this ferry, but only in good weather – and in good weather I usually didn’t want to “waste” the day on a ferry and instead would choose to climb a mountain something else active. Having visitors who are not that keen on mountains was the perfect excuse :P

Rebbensøya Looking back at Kvaløya

The ferry leaves quite late, around 17:00, so we made sure to have a big lunch at home. Lucky – as the only food you can buy on board is ice cream and waffles – a great snack but perhaps not the best dinner option :P

Sandøya with Sørfugløya peeping behind on the left Nice views :)

The ferry didn’t stop everywhere, but it picked up people at Risøya and Sandøya. They had to come on board via a steep ladder, carrying their luggage – and even dogs – on their shoulders :D

Passengers coming on board at Risøya, on a steep ladder - notice that the guy in front has to carry his dog on his shoulders! The quay at Risøya

We sat outside at the back of the ship, out of the wind and in the sun, and enjoyed watching the scenery. We brought a thermos for coffee and tea, and some chocolate and biscuits and really enjoyed the evening.

My parents enjoying the warm and sunny sightseeing trip The view from where we were sitting

It was nice to see Sandøya again, I would have loved to get off the ferry here and spend the night there, but work was waiting for me the next day – and anyway the next ferry back would be 3 days later :D

Sandøya Turning around, leaving Sandøya (left) and Rebbenesøya (right) behind

The ferry doesn’t have exact times for the islands stops, and since we didn’t stop everywhere, we had time left over on the way back. There were several sightseers on board, and the captain decided to make a few detours, so we got to see the church at Gåsvær for example! It looks beautiful there, I’d love to come back there and visit the island.

Vengsøy is the name of the ferry, and the name of the island in the background :) The church at Gåsvær, with the glacier on Hollendaren in the background

At about 21:00, it finally got a bit chilly and we moved indoors. The ferry is quite new, and it’s very comfortable inside, with huge windows. Sunset was beautiful, so I kept running back outside to take more photos ;)

Sunset colouring the clouds pink The last sunlight on Store Blåmann Vengsøya at sunset

We arrived back to Belvika at 21:30, and drove home in beautiful sunset pastels. What a perfect way to spend the last evening with my parents! :)

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