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With a population of 45k the seemingly far away town of Bodo is the second largest city in northern region of Norway. Bodo was founded in the early 19th century and prospered as a trade center and a fishing hub. Come to Bodo, as rest of the Norway, to be one with the rugged, beautiful nature. Destroyed in WWII German raid, Bodo doesn’t offer much in terms of medieval architecture but a few old houses and even the newly constructed church are worth paying a visit.
Hot to reach Bodo
No matter how further you are in Norway, the connectivity, be it is air, road or rail, can always be relied upon.
Bodo by Flight: Bodo has regular flight to Oslo and Trondheim. The great plus is that airport is only a few minutes walking distance from the city center.
Bodo by Train: Train is undoubtedly the best way to enjoy the Norwegian nature. There are regular trains daily between Trondheim and Bodø, travel time is 10 hours. While travel time between Bodø and Oslo is 18 hours.
Bodo by Bus: Travel from major Norwegian cities by bus and as well as to neighboring Sweden on weekends.
Getting around Bodo
Most of the top sights are packed within the city center, so stay near the city and break a sweat. The bus network is excellent if you choose to venture out to further places.
Top Attractions of Bodo
Kjerringoy Old Trading post
The old trading post of Kjerringoy, a numero one tourist destination lies outside the town and can be reached in around 40 minutes with a combination of bus and a ferry. The drive presents you with an excellent coastal scenery.
The trading post dates back to the hey days of Kjerringoy (towards the end of the nineteenth century) when the trade was at its peak (wealthiest post in Norway, in-fact!) and several hundred people lived and worked here.
Essentially, the trading post is an open air museum with well preserved old buildings. The complex has a total of fifteen buildings but the center of attraction is the main house. All along in the main house you will be guided by the helpful staff who speaks very good English and will introduce you to the history of the place.
At the beginning of the tour you will be shown a video presentation about the life of the woman who single handedly managed the post. This short documentary called ‘Anna Elisabeth of Kjerringøy’ also sheds light on the daily lives of the local fishermen and merchants. Apart from the houses there is also a small but beautiful church that is worth checking out.
Admission fee: kr. 100,-
Tip: Try the Queen’s fish and Møsbrøms lefse soup in the trading post café (Nyfjøsen café).
Norwegian Aviation Museum (Norsk Luftfartsmuseum)
The aviation museum located right next to the airport boasts an impressive collection of military and civil planes. The museum is a good starting point to learn if you are interested in Norwegian as well as global aviation history. The exhibits are original aircrafts (with English explanations) and for kids there are smaller models next to the original ones. You can even get inside the cockpit of some of them to truly get a feel. Some of the interesting pieces are Havilland Mosquito and a U-2 from cold war.
Get in the old control tower for great views of the city and the landscape.
Considered as home of the world’s strongest maelstrom (whirlpool) Saltstraumen is a wonder of the Norwegian nature. You can’t help but revel in the power of the nature.
Note, that to truly enjoy the maelstrom you need to check the timetable of tides to see when they are the strongest. The timetable is available in the Bodo tourist office as well as online.
The site is excellent to catch fishes and it is possible to rent a fishing gear. The spot is also a favorite camping destination.
Travel time to Saltstraumen is 30 minutes from Bodo and can be reached by bus no. 4
Known for its red beach, Mjelle is etched in minds of Norwegians for the folk song of the same name composed by the famous singer Terje Nilsen. The scenic red beach owes its color to minerals but the local legends believe it is fine particles of the precious stones that lends a red hue to the beach.
Locals come here to barbecue and camp; stay for the night and watch the sun being engulfed in the vast ocean; and then in the morning you would be woken up by the sounds of the bells around the neck of the sheeps grazing lazily in the mountains.
Majelle is a great long walk along the beach or even better come here to enjoy the midnight sun which would be an unforgettable experience for many. The orange, pink and purple hues of the midnight sun are best viewed between from the month of June to August.
Tip: Also visit Auvika beach Hovdsundet beach in the same area which are cleaner and less visited.
Built in 1956 by the architects Blakstad and Munthekaas, Bodo Domkirke is rather plain and insipid from outside but impresses once you get inside. The church was built to replace the original wooden church which was completely destroyed in the German of bombing of WWII
The church is located right in the center on top of a small hill. The entrance is free and you can look around the interiors without being bothered. Of particular interest are the wonderfully painted stained glass windows on the backside of the altar.
Photography is allowed inside unlike many other churches in Europe. The church has good acoustics and listening to the sound of church’s organ when recitals are going on adds to the experience.
Happy Traveling! Hope you have great fun!