This morning we woke up at Hellemobotn at the inner end of Tysfjorden. This is a roadless and truly scenic fjord in northern Norway. The weather was rainy but cleared up just as our guests were set ashore. After breakfast, most of our guests chose to go hiking into a beautiful pine forest. The hikers followed a marked trail that reaches into Sweden. The medium hikers got up to a splashing waterfall, whereas the “long-long” hikers fought to an elevation of more than a thousand feet, reaching above the treeline. We saw lots of mushrooms and various wild berries along the trail: blueberries, bog bilberries, crowberries, and cloudberries. Our photo specialists gave useful advice to those who wanted to improve their photographic skills in the field.
Hellemobotn is a tiny Sámi village that was permanently inhabited by Sámis until 1967. Sámis are an Indigenous group of people from Norway, through Sweden and Finland, and into the western part of Siberia in Russia. Families that originally came from a settlement of reindeer herders further east of Tysfjorden made their living in Hellemobotn as sea Sámis, combining salmon fishing, hunting, and small scale farming. Today, the houses and cabins in Hellemobotn are used by the descendants for leisure purposes only. During World War II, Norway was occupied by German Nazis, and many Norwegians had to flee to Sweden. Northern Norway is narrow, and many fleeing Norwegians got help from locals to find a safe route to the Swedish border.
In the late afternoon, we entered into Trollfjorden, a scenic fjord with an extremely narrow entrance. Captain Oliver Krüss and his team gently maneuvered National Geographic Endurance through the narrow opening and turned around in this little fjord in a very impressive way! The day was rounded with the Captain’s delightful welcome dinner. What an incredible day of exploration in the fjords of northern Norway!