Back in October we visited Eldorado,  which, contrary to popular opinion, is neither in South America, nor the deserts of the USA, but is in fact in Hamnvik on Rolla, the wettest island in Norway!

We encountered it quite by accident. The real reason for our visit to the town was as ‘working’ guests at a baptism service, conducted by a friend, Sigurd Hanson who døpt (baptised) one of his aldrebarn (great grandchildren) in Ibestad kirke (Hamnvik, Rolla). Organ geeks can find out more here. It’s actually a rather fine, if incomplete, instrument (none of the reeds are installed). There were several other chunks of old instrument lying around on the gallery, which was a bit peculiar. The church building itself is seriously over sized for the local population but was originally intended as a kind of small cathedral for the surrounding area (up to a weeks walk away!). We were told a rather good story about a funeral cortege which, unable to make it to the church due to bad weather, had to leave the coffin in a tree to avoid loosing it in the snow! Here are some pictures:

Ibestad kommune is a couple of hours drive south from Finnsnes and involves ‘island hopping’. From the mainland one drives over a bridge to Andørja (Norway’s most mountain rich island – a small area with 7 peaks over 1000 m / 3300′), and then through a tunnel under the sea to Rolla (Norway’s most water rich island, which means it has the highest proportion of it’s flat land surface covered with water – apparently).We were also advised to wash our car afterwards, because the tunnel leaks concentrated salt water.

We were very thankful that there wasn’t any snow as the last half hour was on a mostly single track road with lots of switchbacks, blind summits, and long stretches with no barrier between the road and the sea below.

Here are the some pictures taken just before the bridge from the mainland to Andørja: Eldorado_01

Eldorado_07 Eldorado_04


One response to “Eldorado!

  1. Gorgeous organ! All this traveling – I don’t know how you find time to learn anything new!

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