Our primary activity for the day took place in an incredibly picturesque location aptly named Hellemobotn. Loosely translated, it means, “The flat place at the bottom of the fjord.” Once a permanently occupied, remote Norwegian fishing and subsistence community, roughly fifty Sami people now use the area as a summer home. In the late 60s and early 70s, many of Norway’s outlying coastal communities were abandoned in an attempt to provide better services and access to education and medicine. Many of the communities now serve as summer residences and seasonal fishing locales.
Situated in an open, grassy meadow, this incredibly picturesque community is framed by snow and ice-covered peaks in the distance, healthy pine and birch forests, near and distant waterfalls, and the life-supporting ocean. Nearly all of our guests set out on hikes of various lengths. One hardy group of hikers set their sights on the higher, snowy alpine plateau above the sheeting waterfalls. The majority of our shipmates chose the middle of the road excursion, slowly winding their way along the raging meltwater stream formed by the cascades. Lastly, a smaller set chose a more casual stroll along a similar path. They took a bit more time for natural history, birdwatching, and photography. Without a doubt, the scene came alive with the spectacle of life-giving water surging down from the rugged alpine landscape. This was the highlight of our morning as warm southerly winds and Arctic spring sunshine surrounded us.