View out to sea

Henningsvær, part 1

In absense of proper Winter weather here in the UK, I’m doing a throwback to Arctic Norway in March. Henninsvær is a jaw-droppingly beautiful fishing village tucked in the Lofoten archipelago. I discovered residents travelling to the main island (Austvågøya) relied on a ferry until 1983 when the Henningsvær bridges were completed.

We caught the bus from Svolvær which actually turned out to be a heated coach… thirty minutes of comfy bums and good views. And we got to travel over these impressive bridges. If you Google “Henningsvær bridges”, you’ll see they are pretty steep in places!

View out to sea

A Norwegian told us Lofoten’s villages are what people consider to be “true Norway” (rather than cities like Bergen and Oslo). In the past, fish would have been one of the main reasons people lived there and this quickly becomes apparent — fishing huts, processing yards, fishing boats and stockfish frames were pepperd between houses, shops, cafes and restaurants.

White wooden buildings
Centre of Henningsvær

Wooden buildings lining streets

Cod heads on string
Catfish heads

These dried catfish heads were for sale at around £25 each (300 NOK). I’m still fascinated by the heads — they don’t look at all pleasant so I’m not really sure why! I’m always curious about gory things.

Hanging cod
Hanging cod

Cod hung from porches and eaves on many buildings. I like the idea of having your own personal supply of air dried cod and if we lived in Lofoten, I would definitely string some up on the house. Suprisingly, the seagulls showed zero interest in it.

Fishing boats
Fishing boats in Henningsvær

White wooden buildings

Old house with archway

Wooden house with no frontt

It looks like this house caught fire or there was some sort of explosion because it had no front and there was burnt wood on the ground floor. Seeing the inside was interesting but I felt sorry for the owners having everyone walking past, gawking at what was left.

Jacket in doorway
Fisherman’s cottage

Flat cod frames

We caught whiff of a familiar smell on our way out of the village. Stockfish frames. Like a pair of sniffer dogs, we followed the smell of cod with our noses high in the air.

I became a bit of a stockfish nerd on this trip — poor Scott had to listen to me spouting cod facts I’d read in books and online. One piece of information I didn’t manage to find is why the stockfish frames in Henningsvær are flat (the frames in Svolvæer were A shaped). Does anyone know?

Drying cod meat
Cod tail in sun

Me underneath cod frame

Fish tails in the sun

That’s all for part 1. I’m working on another post showing what we discovered beyond the frames. If you aren’t keen on fish photos, that will be the post for you!

Travel notes

  • Bus timetable available on (English planner).
  • The fare was approx. £9 for a return and the bus company accepts cards and cash.
  • We caught the bus from Svolvær and the main stop is a few doors down from the Lofoten War Memorial Museum (opposite the car rentals). It’s easy to miss because it’s a sign rather than a bus station.

4 comments on “Henningsvær, part 1

  1. The last photos are a bit scary! 🙂 what a beautiful and unbelievable place

  2. Those heads aren’t from cod, but catfish. 😊

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