The Road to Vega

DSC05365

A few months ago, I promised you more on my impromptu Arctic road trip this summer. Well, I’d better get on with it, hadn’t I? Today, I wanted to tell you about the Vega Archipelago – or Vegaøyan, as it’s locally known. Now, Vegaøyan is a bit off the beaten track. But I promise you, even the road to get there is worth every minute.

Starting from Mosjøen on the northern train route, my little hire car and I headed south on the E6. 25 km or so after Salmon Falls, a smaller road (Rv 76) goes west towards the little seaside town Brønnøysund.

Almost immediately, I had to pull over just to look. Again and again. In fact, the trip took almost twice as long as it should have – not due to traffic (there wasn’t much), but because of all the stops to take it all in. Photos rarely do nature justice, but here are my attempts at capturing nature along just one little country road, all entirely unfiltered.

DSC05282

DSC05289

IMG_1881

The Vega Archipelago

But on to the headline act, the UNESCO-listed Vega Archipelago. Now, Norway overflows with stunning nature. So what makes these islands so special?

IMG_1897

Vega Archipelago

Eider, that’s what. Eider is a sea bird, a duck, actually, that lives here in the northern world – not just in Norway, but also in North America and Siberia. You may have heard of eider down, you may even have an eider down duvet (or comforter, for you Americans). If so, I hope it comes from Vega.

I firmly believe our yearning for something comfortable to sleep in – or wear – doesn’t justify cruelty to animals.The act of plucking down and feathers off birds can be quite gruesome. But here at Vega, eider down is harvested in a very sustainable manner, leaving the birds completely unharmed.

Nest for eider ducks in the Vega Archipelago

Out on the islands, locals build houses for the birds – these little triangular houses, leaving the eider to nest her newborn in peace. Part of the nesting process is shedding her down, to create a soft, comfortable bed for the little ones.

When the ducklings are good and ready to leave the nest, the down is left behind. And this down becomes the inside of your duvet.

IMG_1902

The Vega Archipelago comprises more than 6 500 little islands, and is located just south of the Arctic Circle. People have lived here since the Stone Age, mostly living off nature. It’s a rough environment, especially in winter – and it has been a frugal way of life, fishing and eiderdown harvesting. Of course, today, tourism plays an important role as well. The area is excellent for cycling and boating holidays.

DSC05378

IMG_1908

 
unesco logo

Vegaøyan – the Vega Archipelago is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Here are more UNESCO World Heritage sites around the world.

28 Responses to “The Road to Vega”

  1. Mette 12 November 2013 2009 #

    I must admit I had to consult a map to find the Vega Archipelago, and I was surprised to find it was not that far North. So now there is another stunning natural gem between Bergen and Trondheim to add to the list.
    Mette recently posted..Gardens of Venice

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 November 2013 1826 #

      Heaps of gorgeous spots between Trondheim and Bodø, Mette.

  2. Maria Alexandra @LatinAbroad 12 November 2013 2143 #

    the entire country of Norway is so picturesque. Is it as cold as they say though? :)

    -Maria Alexandra
    Maria Alexandra @LatinAbroad recently posted..Things to do in Quebec City: My Personal Recommendations (PHOTO essay)

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 November 2013 1827 #

      It can get cold in winter (but not as cold as e.g. Alaska) because of the Gulf Stream. Summer temperatures are just perfect :)

  3. Ana O 12 November 2013 2301 #

    How amazingly beautiful! The colours are so vivid, so beautiful.
    I’ve heard the word eiderdown but I didn’t know it came from the name of a bird. I always learn something new with your blog!
    Ana O recently posted..Certaldo, hometown of Boccaccio in the Tuscan hills

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 November 2013 1828 #

      Thanks for stopping by, Ana :)

  4. Maria 13 November 2013 0144 #

    Wonderful, no magnificent scenery. I return again, and again to the photo of the water and the sun – Wow!
    Maria recently posted..Alice, Down the Rabbit Hole

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 November 2013 1828 #

      A lovely summer evening just south of the Arctic Circle that was.

  5. Sand In My Suitcase 13 November 2013 0357 #

    Vega looks very pretty – some photos remind us of the scenery in British Columbia… But Vega must look quite different in winter! (Don’t expect there’s much cycling then :-).
    Sand In My Suitcase recently posted..Top 5 Mayan sites around Cancun

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 November 2013 1829 #

      Well, Norwegians tend to have studded bike tyres for winter. And yes, similar to Canada in many ways.

  6. Megan 13 November 2013 1252 #

    absolutely stunning. makes me proud to live in this country, despite never having enough money to properly explore it (one of these days…one of these days…) :)
    Megan recently posted..11 Random Facts About Armenia

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 November 2013 1830 #

      Best place to be in summer this is :)

  7. Muza-chan 13 November 2013 2012 #

    Very beautiful photos :)
    Muza-chan recently posted..A Japanese Song per Day: Angela – Angel

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 18 November 2013 1327 #

      Thank you, Muza-chan.

  8. Amanda @ Adventures All Around 14 November 2013 0714 #

    Okay, that is just beautiful! I’ve only recently had my first Norway experience and have been wishing I could go back. This post has made me want to all the more.

    And I just love the houses for the ducks. What a great idea.
    Amanda @ Adventures All Around recently posted..Northern Lights with Bentours and Hurtigruten

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 18 November 2013 1327 #

      So glad you like it up here, Amanda :)

  9. Natasha von Geldern 14 November 2013 1347 #

    Simply stunning! I am very excited to be visiting Norway for the first time in April but only going as far as Trondheim. Obviously I will be planning a future tirp!
    Natasha von Geldern recently posted..London Museums: A bright star at Keats House

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 18 November 2013 1328 #

      Let me know if you’re stopping in Oslo, Natasha.

  10. Jess 15 November 2013 2315 #

    I love the cruelty-free method of collecting down! That drive looks beautiful – I would definitely have been pulling over for the view, too.
    Jess recently posted..The Great Beringian Road-trip Part 4: North To Adventure on the Klondike Highway

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 18 November 2013 1328 #

      I loved that, too.

  11. Mary @ Green Global Travel 17 November 2013 2015 #

    What a stunningly beautiful region! It’s easy to understand why you were drawn to make so many stops just to take it all in! These images remind me of Canada – both east and west coasts! Gorgeous!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 18 November 2013 1329 #

      Canada and Norway are similar in many ways.

  12. Goutam Sahoo 3 December 2013 1526 #

    What a Groovy and beautiful location . Here I am sending my favorite place in India

    Sightseeing in Goa http://www.goibibo.com/travel-guide/goa/places-to-visit-in-goa/

  13. Lisa Goodmurphy 25 February 2014 2106 #

    The Vega Archipelago looks lovely! I clicked on the post from the slideshow on your homepage because I couldn’t believe how much the featured photo looked like the east coast of Canada – I would have sworn that it was Peggy’s Cove!
    Lisa Goodmurphy recently posted..Emma’s Favourite Things: London

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 27 February 2014 1929 #

      Norway and Canada are similar in many ways.

  14. I was in Vega roughly a year ago on a work trip and even though I thought it was beautiful, we had just come from Lofoten that I totally and utterly fell in love with… So, Vega was a good second, but we should’ve probably visited Vega first and Lofoten after, and that way Vega would’ve seemed even more stunning :)
    Satu VW / Destination Unknown recently posted..What Do You Bring Home from Travels? PIECE OF – Anniversary Giveaway!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 1 April 2014 2103 #

      Both gorgeous archipelagos, aren’t they…

  15. Turkey's For Life 4 May 2014 0759 #

    Hooray, we can see Sophie’s World again – and what a post to come back to. Love how the feathers are collected in a more humane way here. And as usual, just fab Norwegian scenery. Really must get to your country one day. :)
    Julia
    Turkey’s For Life recently posted..Eating & Drinking In Fethiye: The HangOut In Ölüdeniz

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.

css.php