31. The Lofoten Islands.
The Bergen-Nordenfjeld Tourist Steamers steer N. across the Vest-
fjord, in view of the Lofoten Islands, and on their way back put in at
the Raflsund (p. 225). The mail-steamers of that company ply from Bod0
to Ledmgen (p. 228) by different routes. The line Com. 226, I, follows
the coast to Grete (p. 227), crosses to (5-6 hrs.) Svolvcer (p. 224), and goes
on to Ledingen in 3-5 hrs. more, calling at various stations. — Line Com.
226, II, skirts the mainland longer and is described separately (R. 32). —
Line Com. 226, 111, goes direct from Bod0 to the Lofoten Islands (Moskenais,
p. 223), calls at Henningsvair, Kabelvaag (p. 224), and other stations, and
reaches Svolvcer in 12 hrs. from Bod0, and Ledingen (p. 228) in 8 hrs.
more. — The 'Hurtigrute' ('quick route'; Com. 227) goes direct from Bod0
The Vesteraalen Steamers (p. 215) ply either direct (Com. 229) to
Svolncer, or (Com. 230) wilh intermediate stations. The company issues
Turife Keturbilleter' for two months; the voyage may then be broken at
intermediate stations, or continued by local steamer. The tourist-route
of this company between Narvik and Trondhjem (p. 223) runs through the
Local Steamers (Com. 411, 442, 413) from Svolvair, in three alternate
lines, serve the E. and W. coast of the Lofoten and Vesteraalen Islands.
A Visit of about a week to the Lofoten Islands is full of interest.
Good quarters are to be had at Svolvair, Kabehaag, Digermulen, etc.; but
one must be prepared for rough walking, and for food and sleep at hours
regulated, not by the clock, but by the time-tables of the steamers and
the length of the excursions. For long expeditions tents and tinned
foods are useful. The name Ldfoten, 'the lynx-foot', is of the singular
number in Norwegian.
The broad *Vestijord, entirely open towards the S.W., separates
the Lofoten arid Vesteraalen Islands from the mainland, and presents
some of the grandest scenery in Norway. The tourist-steamers
traverse it from end to end; the mail-steamers cross it at various
points. In both cases we enjoy a superb view of the long, jagged
**Lofoten Chain ('Lofotvajggen' or Lofoten wall). The light is best
in the forenoon. Weird, but less imposing, is the midnight light,
which utterly pales the moon. Most effective of all is a galje or a
. The Lofoten Islands, the S.W. prolongation of the Vesteraalen
group, consist of a mountain-chain cleft by countless creeks and
straits, extending 150-200 Kil. S.W. into the Atlantic, and have
not inaptly been likened to a gigantic backbone, tapering away to
the smaller vertebrae of the tail at the S. end. The four large
islands (Moskenase, Flakstade, Vestvaage, Bstvaage) and a number
of smaller ones lie so close together that no opening in the chain
is visible from a distance. They are flanked with thousands of
rocky islets ('Holme', 'Skjaer', or 'Flese', from Icel. flesjar). The
rock is for the most part gabbro, gneiss, and granite. The peaks
are Alpine in form, with crater-like summits, partly covered with
snow, and partly with glossy green moss and grass. Good harbours
('Vaage') abound, where large vessels, dwarfed to nut-shells, lie
close to rocks several thousand feet high. At places the land is flat
with lakes, swamps, meadows, and a few arable fields. The °rowth