This weekend one of our team members traveled to Sommarøy to conduct a Walk&Talk with one of our guides. The weather was fast-changing, blustery snow one moment and sunny and quiet the next. According to the weather-report it was going to take a turn for the worse later, with powerful winds (“elinger” as they say) and blinding fog-like snowfalls. We were not the only ones making the most of the let-up; a small group of sea-bathers were standing in the shallows and on the beach, taking turns going into the water.
We began our route by the marina a few hundred meters from the hotel, and then we walked through the snow-covered heather out to the aptly named Lyngøya (Heather Island), looped back and walked along the small beach next on the opposite side of the marina.
Standing at this beach next to Lyngøya, my guide points to the landmass to our left and to the newly erected cabins and compounds. This used to be underwater, he notes, but they filled it in, thus connecting the larger island with the smaller islet.
This cove is particularly sought after for the stunning view of the sea and the smaller islets, and while it is seldom quiet on Sommarøy, there is a calmness to this natural susurrus of the wind, the waves, the birds, and the sound of our footsteps through snow and ice covered heather and sand.
My guide talks of the plans to build a small marina straight out from where we’re standing towards Buholmen. Won’t that defeat the purpose of the serenity of this location, I ask. It sure will, he replies.
Across the bridge on the mainland we watch the windmills on Kvitfjell and Raudfjell silently turn. I ask if you can hear them from here normally, but my guide shakes his head. If we were up there, it would be a different story. Up there on a windy day, even standing at a safe hundred-meter distance, you can still feel the earth vibrate, and the roar of the turbines.
A soundwalk is a short walk where you focus on the sounds of a place and how these sounds affect your experience of this place.
We’ll be walking this route again on Tuesday May 2nd. If you are in the area and you’d like to join us, please reach out! The walk is open to tourists or local residents, and while the guide is Norwegian, we can offer German and English translation.
Photos: Paula R.Mikalsen. Posted with permission of photographer and guide.