Out at sea, a massive wall rises steeply from the waters of Vestfjorden in northern Norway. Lofotveggen, the Lofoten Wall, is a collection of mountain peaks that, from a distance, appear to form a straight line.
DISTINCTIVE LAND AND SEASCAPES
Lofotveggen consists of granite and volcanic rock formations that rose from the sea after the last Ice Age. Among its best-known peaks is Vågakallen on Austvågøy, which, according to the Nordland Legend, chased the Seven Sisters and Lekamøja down the coast.
Vestfjorden is actually not a fjord at all. It is an enclosed area of the North Sea extending from Værøy in the west for about 96 miles to the Barøy lighthouse at the entrance to Ofotfjord. This area has always been difficult for seafarers to navigate. It was once so feared that boats headed for Lofotveggen would wait nearby together for long periods until the weather was good enough to sail out towards ‘the Wall’.
SEASONAL COD FISHERY
Seabed variations in Vestfjorden limit the exchange of water between the fjord and the open sea. These conditions produce water temperatures that make the fjord a favored spawning ground for cod during the period between January and April. Thousands of fishermen make their way here every year for the annual Lofoten fishery. The cod harvested during this period is a delicacy that graces dining tables around the world.
Hurtigruten crosses Vestfjorden between the ports of call of Bodø and Stamsund.