The Road to Vega

2014-07-25T09:19:36+00:0012 November 2013|Norway, Norway, Road trips, UNESCO World Heritage|

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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

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32 Comments

  1. Mette 12 November 2013 at 2009 - Reply

    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.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 November 2013 at 1826 - Reply

      Heaps of gorgeous spots between Trondheim and Bodø, Mette.

  2. Maria Alexandra @LatinAbroad 12 November 2013 at 2143 - Reply

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

    -Maria Alexandra

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 November 2013 at 1827 - Reply

      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 at 2301 - Reply

    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!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 November 2013 at 1828 - Reply

      Thanks for stopping by, Ana 🙂

  4. Maria 13 November 2013 at 0144 - Reply

    Wonderful, no magnificent scenery. I return again, and again to the photo of the water and the sun – Wow!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 November 2013 at 1828 - Reply

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

  5. Sand In My Suitcase 13 November 2013 at 0357 - Reply

    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 :-).

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 November 2013 at 1829 - Reply

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

  6. Megan 13 November 2013 at 1252 - Reply

    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…) 🙂

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 13 November 2013 at 1830 - Reply

      Best place to be in summer this is 🙂

  7. Muza-chan 13 November 2013 at 2012 - Reply

    Very beautiful photos 🙂

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 18 November 2013 at 1327 - Reply

      Thank you, Muza-chan.

  8. Amanda @ Adventures All Around 14 November 2013 at 0714 - Reply

    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.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 18 November 2013 at 1327 - Reply

      So glad you like it up here, Amanda 🙂

  9. Natasha von Geldern 14 November 2013 at 1347 - Reply

    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!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 18 November 2013 at 1328 - Reply

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

  10. Jess 15 November 2013 at 2315 - Reply

    I love the cruelty-free method of collecting down! That drive looks beautiful – I would definitely have been pulling over for the view, too.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 18 November 2013 at 1328 - Reply

      I loved that, too.

  11. Mary @ Green Global Travel 17 November 2013 at 2015 - Reply

    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 at 1329 - Reply

      Canada and Norway are similar in many ways.

  12. Goutam Sahoo 3 December 2013 at 1526 - Reply

    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 at 2106 - Reply

    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!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 27 February 2014 at 1929 - Reply

      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 🙂

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 1 April 2014 at 2103 - Reply

      Both gorgeous archipelagos, aren’t they…

  15. Turkey's For Life 4 May 2014 at 0759 - Reply

    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

  16. Stephen Schreck 11 September 2015 at 1257 - Reply

    This is insanely beautiful!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 20 September 2015 at 1707 - Reply

      Isn’t it, though…
      True of so much of Norway 🙂

  17. Stephanie 19 June 2017 at 0511 - Reply

    The photos are stunning!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch 20 June 2017 at 2032 - Reply

      Thanks! It’s one of earth’s stunning spots.

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