Neither longtime residents nor ferry operators had ever seen such long lines at local ferry docks late this week, after thousands of tourists frightened by unusually harsh summer weather tried to leave otherwise scenic Lofoten.
“It’s a nightmare,” one frustrated truckdriver told state broadcaster NRK after waiting for hours in the queue. Strong winds and heavy rain forced campers to pack up their tents and seek shelter indoors. At least one camping trailer was blown over by the storm and motor homes faced the threat of overturning as well.
Storm warnings had been posted earlier in the week for Salten, Ofoten, Lofoten, Vesterålen and Sør-Troms. The weather also threatened to halt all ferry traffic over the often rough Vestfjorden between Lofoten and the mainland at Bodø. By early Friday, two of three ferries running between Bodø and Moskenes were still cancelled, while service resumed between Lødingen and Bognes.
For photos and video of the long lines of vehicles on Lofoten waiting for ferries, click here (external link to NRK, in Norwegian).
The weather was just the opposite in southern Norway, where temperatures were high and skies were clear and sunny. Oslo residents were sweltering in the heat as thermometers hit 30C and higher indoors, where very few have air conditioning. State meteorologists predicted the heat wave would ease on Sunday, with the weather expected to remain fair early next week.