We aren’t a family who have a ‘bucket list’ or even have any strict plan as to what we are going to do and where we are going to go. However, when you’re in Norway, heading into the Arctic circle, seeing a glacier is a must. Most glaciers are hard to access (especially with a five year old) but we found the perfect one to explore- Svartisen glacier. This particular glacier is the second largest in Norway (covering 375km2!) and it has 60 glacier tongues. After driving for 3 hours and going off the sat nav routes we reached the campsite -our first stop in North Norway (Nordland)- for 8€ a night. At this time of the year not many campers dotted the site so we more or less had the view, basic facilities and firewood to ourselves. Our pitch overlooked Svartisen lake, the only sound coming from the waterfall at the other end, echoing throughout the silent valley like pulsing veins.
Another camper went into the forest and came back with a huge sized mushroom so TUT (The Ultimate Traveller) decided to go and seek some advice and information. Half an hour later TUT and my brother came back with their own and went about chopping and cooking it.
Only, the mushroom was infested with maggots, yet TUT was insistent on carrying on and started eating it along with his mackerel; we managed to persuade him not to. Unless you’re 100% sure I would not suggest having maggot mushrooms and mackerel for dinner!
When sunset tendrils overtook the sky, the reflective valley looked like an hour glass in the teal coloured lake.
The next day we caught the boat across lake Svartisen towards the famous glacier. The price was quite expensive (£60 for three adults) for the length of the journey (20 min) due to the family having a monopoly. Despite the price we all agree that if we had not taken this opportunity we would have regretted it later on. Once dropped off near the waterfall, along with a group of people, it was only a 3km hike up the mountain ranges in the Svartisen National Park.
If you’re wondering whether it would be difficult for children my five year old brother practically ran and jumped his way to the top and back without a complaint.
The hike was beautiful, surpassing more teal coloured lakes hidden amongst the stratified mountain rock.
Other than that the landscape was quite barren and the sound peaceful. Soon, the lowest glacier tendrils came into view looking like glowing white tree roots reaching into the rock.
After seeing so much it wasn’t easy for something to take your breath away, but this magnificent site did. The blue glow intermingled with the pure white and stretched as far back as the eye could see, meeting the overcast sky and disappearing around the mountains; if I didn’t know better I would have thought I’d stepped into a fairytale.
The closer we reached the more colour, patterns and history we could see. The contrast between glacier and rock was intensifying and it only added to the scenery. Once we reached the bottom of the colossus we ate our picnic and Jedi helped himself to eating the ice.
An eyed shaped crevice stared at us with its’ blue iris, reminding me of a cool, peaceful contrasting version of the ‘eye’ in The Lord of the Rings.
Many people chose to catch the first boat back but we stayed twice as long admiring one of mother natures most beautiful formations, watching the ice drip against the dark secrets within the glacier.