The train journey from Trondheim to Bodo was a treat for the eyes, passing through shades of greens and blues until we crossed the Arctic Circle when shades of brown took over. Walking towards the hotel from the train station, I was surprised by Coiffeur boards in every street and sometimes a few in a row. I was left wondering if people in Bodo were blessed with some special DNA where they had lot of mane to manage and style. Soon, we were near the harbor and at the first glance I wanted to set sail. Walking around, the streets and alleys, it did not appear that this city was nearly destroyed during World War II in 1940 and has been rebuilt since. The familiar PwC logo in the street corner building reminded me of my alma mater in whose India office I began my work life years ago.
The main attraction of the place is “Salstraumen” or the maelstrom where the world’s largest tidal currents occur, throwing up different varieties of fish within the whirlpool. We waited on the banks for a while and all that we got to see was a mild version of the maelstrom and an odd angler trying his luck for the catch of the day.
Then off we went towards Kjerringoy Trading Post but due to heavy rains, took a detour towards the coast, soaking in the warm sun, blue sky and even bluer Atlantic. The creator seems to have overturned his blue palette while creating to this place. Negotiating through the rocks and moss, we managed to find a large boulder to spend the rest of the afternoon and give the Arctic Circle Museum located 70 kms away a miss.
I was taking the last walk around the harbour with 32 NOK in hand, I noticed a few people gathered around a boat. On closer look, I realised that he was selling prawns. For a moment I was wondering whether to take the plunge but was not sure if I had enough coins with me. I stretched out my palm with the coins and he served me with a smile. I got a tray full for 25 NOK served in a small sheet of paper.
Sometimes, actions and expressions convey more than words and I parked myself on the closest bench devouring them. Lightly boiled and mildly salted, with a pinch of paprika like spice, my cup of joy brimmeth over. These are moments when I am most generous with everything but prawns. My friend Arundhati got a taste of it and resorted to clicking pictures unable to keep pace with the fervent de-shelling.
We landed there sometime in August, a tad bit too late for the Midnight Sun and a little too early for Aurora Borealis. Wandering around for a day in Bodo was enough to experience the warm hospitality of the locals. We were particularly touched, when a lady walked over with two toddlers in tow to help us with directions when we were poring over a map trying to figure out our way. I have to be back to this beautiful country to experience nature’s largesse and get my fill of prawns !!