The sea is calm. Heaven and lighthouse rejoice in mirror image. Lighthouses of Norway photographer Sigrid Thorbjørnsen is reporting from her trip to Tranøy Lighthouse.
Tranøy Lighthouse is on Hamarøy in Nordland county. To get to Tranøy, it is best to fly to Bodø or to Svolvær. From Bodø, the fast boat to Stutvik leaves at 5:15 PM. From Svolvær, there’s a morning fast boat and car-ferries three to four times a day to Skutvik.
From Skutvik harbor, the trip continues on land. Buses from Skutvik are coordinated with ferry arrivals. A bus takes you to Oppeid, and from there, you need a car to get out to Tranøy Lighthouse. You’ll need an agreement with the lighthouse people for a car, or you’ll take a taxi out to the lighthouse.
Tranøy is a guidelight, located on Stangholmen island which has access from land via a footpath. With the Lofoten Islands in the background, the lighthouse stands flashing to passing boats, warning of the potenial danger. The walking trail that goes out to the lighthouse is designed so that it is easily accessible for strollers, bikes, pedestrians, and wheelchairs.
Tranøy Lighthouse has its own restaurant in the boathouse. Where boats in the old days were landed, meals are now served. Both tourists and residents enjoy coffee, food ,and spirits. On calm summer days, kids play by the water and everyone enjoys what summer offers. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served, and the restaurant is fully licensed.
Villy Sund is the lighthouse keeper. He’s a good old-fashioned “handyman”. Among other things, he is a trained cabinetmaker, and he can do all kinds of carpentry. He has built many houses—a good man to have at the lighthouse. Here, Villy has begun finalizing housing for the disabled. Soon Tranøy Lighthouse will be welcoming to people wheelchairs or who have other mobility issues.
The Lady from the Sea, Villy’s wife, Inger, is the lighthouse’s do-it-all person. Laundry hangs to dry in the sun weather permiting. There’s nothing like lying on bed linen dried in the sun scented by Tranøy’s flowers and the sea.
On days like this, the sea is a mirror reflecting the lighthouse in the azure water. Simply lie on the rocks listening to eider ducks, gulls, and cranes. Feel the warm sun on your body and doze off. There aren’t many such perfect days, but when they arrive, they are welcomed with open arms.
Tranøy Lighthouse offers tranquility – a kind of peace that comes with the sound of the waves. There are certainly many activities that could be engaged in on a day like this, but it is also ok to shift down, find a book, and disappear into it.
Family Photo. This father, his children, and grandchildren come to Tranøy Lighthouse every year to take a family picture for the next year’s family calendar. This is a wonderful way to nurture family ties while keeping in touch now that all the kids are scattered to the four winds.
Since 1864 Tranøy Lighthouse has stood on Stangholmen Island. The torch was lit on September 19th and on September19th of 2014 Tranøy celebrates its150th anniversay. For 150 years, the lighthouse has shown the way for ships boats, and ferries.
It doesn’t happen often, but when the thermometer hits 29°C (84°F), there are some who cannot resist jumping into the sea. But even if the thermometer on land registers hot, and the water beckons with its turquoise reefs, the water temperature stays a chilly 11°C (51.8°F)….
The restaurant is Inger’s domain. She has composed dishes, and has her influence on the menu. Among other dishes, the grilled dried fish with herb butter, potatoes, carrots and bacon a winner. The food and the view are absolutely impeccable and can be enjoyed every day all summer, and every Sunday throughout the year.
Tranøy Lighthouse is full of lines. Natural and man-made lines that work together. With the midnight sun on the way, it is like a watercolor that settles over the sky.
Day turns into night. The last rays of the day’s sun settles over the footpath and the island. It’s almost time for the evening sun.
Tranøy has his own colony of eider ducks. They are all over the area, greeting you good night as the sun dips behind the Lofoten Ridge.
This fellow has probably the best summer job in Norway. He is a tour guide in the tower at Tranøy Lighthouse. Every day, several times a day, he brings people up to the top, tells stories and shares this view.
The coolest thing is to get to the top of the lighthouse. The views sweep up and down the Lofoten Wall, Vestfjord, and all the surrounding areas. And all kids —for a least a moment — want to be a lighthouse keeper. There is something great about standing at the top of a lighthouse and just looking out.
Day continues into the bright night, and the sun will disappear for a half hour behind the Lofoten Ridge. You just sit and wait.
It’s time for a good conversation. A toast to good life. The sun disappears. Thoughts arise. The Colors. Warm breeze and good company. The soul joins the sea and becomes one with the surroundings. It is night in Northern Norway. No sleeping.
It is quiet. All deafening silence. The wind did not dare breathe. The sun is rising again. The birds are sleeping. Far away a fish jumps. It’s time to take in the beautiful sight, Tranøy Lighthouse at sunrise, one day in July, pack it in, and add it to your summer memories for years. The body is warm, the scent of the sea has set. Calmly your body finds a pillow.