About 65 kilometers outside of Narvik in the north of Norway lies a strikingly beautiful fjord called Efjord. There´s a pullout for tourists and anyone passing by; they can stop their cars and take a picture or two before continuing on to places they read about in their travel books. They might see the sign for a little place called Skarstad, 16 kilometers further, but having never heard of it, they´ll drive away.
It´s a miracle this place is undiscovered.
It was a village once, they say. They point to old abandoned houses and reminisce about the times there was a store here, or people who lived there. Barns and fields stand empty, but there are pictures of sheep and horses in the photo albums. Tor Edvin points to a pile of planks decomposing on the tundra. That´s where my dad went to school. People who live here, they´ve been here for hundreds of years.
I´ve been there many times but each time is different. It´s summer now, not like the picture above. Cold, but green and flourishing.
It´s the combinations of color, shape, texture and perspective that make Skarstad what it is. The white sand makes for a Caribbean blue ocean, the green fields set off the red boathouses, the sweeping granite mountains contrast to the jagged peaks of Lofoten in the far distance. Time stops existing when the sun doesn´t set. Who would know how late it was when these pictures were taken?
We go out on the sea, fishing with ancient hand-lines, and through the whirlpools to the cabin. Tredvin´s dad has lived there for over 70 years, and it´s all he´s ever known. The stories begin and never end, of times before roads, before electricity, before bridges and fast food, times of murder and infidelity and horrific accidental deaths, of grudges and ghosts, of the ocean and the mountains, the tides and fish and potatoes. It´s right out of a fairytale, but it´s real.
We fish, and I catch the smallest ones. They laugh and jokingly say it´s because I´m foreign, but I´m sure it´s actually true. They have their own words just in their fjord.
The next day it´s warmer and we go to an island where people used to live a long time ago. We find a German missile from World War Two in someone´s yard.
All in all, one epic weekend.