This post came from my older blog and will be adjusted to meet newer standards

norway (150x149) 123 guide (150x149) nature (150x150) industrial_heritage (150x150)

Bodø is called “the gateway to the Norwegian North” and is a very different place, compared to the cities I have seen previously on the way from Tromsø. It has quite a lot of industry in and outside the city.

Bodø is known for its wonderfully beautiful coastal road. Along which, there is the world’s biggest maelstrom and about 150 kilometers further – a glacier.

About Bodø

Bodø is located just north of the Arctic circle, it was founded as a hub for fishery in Northern Norway. Now it is a large industrial center, with the population of almost 50 thousands. Tourism is mostly related to the natural sites, outside the city.

Past and present, few facts

  • During the war, most of the city was destroyed, it does not have much of historical sites and looks quite urbanistic.

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  • In 1962, the Norwegian railway reached Bodø. Now it is the last station on the way to the North.

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  • Bodø holds the main office of the Civil Aviation Authority of Norway and one of the bases of the Royal Norwegian Air Force.


First impression – the city looks industrial. It is much more than maritime and aviation industries, but these are two very noticeable things. While walking around the city, I saw many old and new ships: fishing boats, transportation and private yachts.

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Also, after seeing a jet fighter in the air, I searched the Internet and found out that Bodø is one of the main cities in aviation in Norway. For this reason, I decided to reserve more time for visiting the Aviation museum. And for me, it was the best thing to do inside the city.

The countryside leaves a completely different impression. Everything is looks like a typical Norwegian postcard: wooden houses against the background of fjords.

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The Coastal road Rv17: fjords, maelstrom and glacier

The views from the road Rv17 are spectacular. Almost on every corner I wanted to ask drive to stop, in order to take some pictures. On the way to the glacier, which was about 150 km, you get through many long tunnels, and each time you drive out – you see a new view. I would say the best time is when sun is not very bright and water is still. The reflection on the water shows each feature of the landscape.

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Maelstrom Saltstraumen

The biggest maelstrom in the world! Yes, that is what you see.

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It is interesting, but somehow, I was expecting something more from the loud name. It is actually large, but, in my opinion, compared to gigantic waves, that occur on a sea, it does not look so impressive. The boats with tourists get onto the current and stop the engine to let the maelstrom carry them.

IMG_6550 (1200x800) Overall, it is one of many stops on the road, it definitely worth taking a look.

The maelstrom is located in the place called Saltstraumen. The best time to see it is during the low and high tide. You can check the schedule at the local tourist office or online.

Glacier Svartisen

This is the second largest glacier in Norway. Seeing it from the distance isn’t probably the most impressive sight.

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But getting up to it and touching the ice is a great experience. It is a few kilometers uphill. The glacier has an interesting, light blue color and is constantly melting. The water in the lake, formed from its waters also has similar, unusual color.

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To get to the glacier you need to take a boat. Find the schedule here:–here–around/boat-to-svartisen/

5 things to do in Bodø

I have to apologize, but I will mostly talk about aviation museum. I planned to do more activities, but this museum is so amazing, I ended up spending most of my time there. Other “things to do” are rather small.

1. Aviation museum

That is how paradise for an engineer, who likes old technologies, looks like! I spent there several hours, before I was kicked out (well, I thought it closes at 17 not at 16). The museum has two enormous sections one for civil and one for military aviation.

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This place deserves a separate article, but as a summary, you can find expositions about:

  • Early development of aviation, as well as few things about balloons and zeppelins
  • Role of the Norwegian aircraft in WWI and WWII
  • Anti-aircraft weaponry
  • Pilot’s suits and equipment
  • Air traffic control rooms
  • Role of aviation during the cold war
  • Ambulance and rescue flights
  • Meteorology, airport noise reduction, many other aircraft related issues

Next are some random shots:

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Something I did not know, balloons were used to observe the enemy’s formations

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The exhibition explains how early airplanes were constructed

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During WWII Norwegian Air force moved to Canada, probably the bear should make you feel in Canada

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And to make you feel at meteo station in the North – a polar bear

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Flying boat used for arctic explanation

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This one has a history behind. The American U2, that was heading to Bodø and was shot down over USSR territory. It brought some complications in the relations between Norway and USSR.

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Did the really have so much space?

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The museum shows how rescue team is working

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That’s rather unusual color

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I don’t know what it suppose to mean…

2. City center in the evening

I think the picture speaks for itself. I had a very good time walking along the shore side and stopping at one of the restaurants there.

3. Shrimps

Cheap and awesome. Get fresh shrimps from a ship, right next to Redison Blu in the center

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4. Bodøsjøen open-air museum

On the southern shore there is an open air museum. There are many traditional houses with the grass on the roof.

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5. Bremnes Fortress

Visit the old fortress, which was constructed during the Napoleon time.

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