Stamsund hostel (gossips from Lofoten islands)

View from the hill near Stamsund hostel at dusk, Lofoten islands

View from the hill near Stamsund hostel at dusk, Lofoten islands

After a long long journey (which felt almost like going through 7 seas and 7 mountains…and it requires a separate post) I finally got to the beautiful Lofoten islands end of August. One day my companion sprained his ankle (apparently because he turned around to check on me being extremely slow…) and our hiking plans became very limited. So I spent quite a bit of time in the Stamsund hostel. I mentioned the hostel briefly in my other posts but I feel it needs more of my attention now.

It is the place with a soul, magical and ideal if one just needs to chill out and be lazy. It is funny how sometimes bad weather is welcome so one can just stay inside without any remorse, in front of the fire reading the book, chatting to people, making popcorn. (The last is a must if you go out with an American…). One can also try Norwegian fishcakes which are good but have a very strange spongy consistence and the fish flavour is really subtle.

Popcorn lunch in Stamsund hostel, Lofoten islands

Popcorn lunch in Stamsund hostel, Lofoten islands

The dorm in the hostel is 160 NOK which is around £16, the price reasonable even outside Norway. There are also private rooms in the main and other buildings around. You can use the showers, a washing machine or tumble drier for a small fee. But I need to warn you: There ain’t any pub around. I guess it came as a surprise to the group of Italian young men ready for a party at 11p.m. (If you want a pub, come to the UK, you can usually find one even in the smallest village.)

Norwegian fishcakes

Norwegian fishcakes

I have already written a few words about Roar who owns the hostel and who has given it its unique character. Apparently on YHA website Roar is described as eccentric. Well, his sense of humour might not be everyone’s cup of tea but he has made me laugh many a time. His reputation of being mischievous has been well earned and he has been blamed for many tricks (rightly or not like for putting stones in someone’s luggage. My favourite story is when one guy who was camping, was so sure that it was Roar messing up with his tent in the middle of the night, that he kept shouting to Roar to stop before realising after a while, that it was the wind…

Fishermen catching herring near Stamsund, Lofoten islands

Fishermen catching herring near Stamsund, Lofoten islands

You can borrow a rowboat to go out to the sea to do some fishing. But it may happen that you only catch fish when you are towed back by Roar after being lost… Yes, we are back to the same group of Italian guys. And they did not loose their optimism later on playing the guitar and singing late at night. I would probably enjoy it more, were I one of the young girls they tried to impress. Unfortunately I was just failing to fall asleep.

And another warning: Don’t expect northern lights or good weather on the first day of your arrival. Stamsund (and whole Lofoten) is not the place to just pass by and spend one night on the way somewhere else. You need to be patient, bribe weather gods somehow and hope for the best.

Stamsund pier at night, Lofoten islands

Stamsund pier at night, Lofoten islands

But going back to boats. I did not use a rowboat but I went along with Roar and another guest on his boat to watch fishermen catching herring. The process is not easy and it takes a lot of effort, especially when the weather is not too friendly. Maybe it is the name of their boat -“Eros” – which seemed to kept them in a happy mood.

Fishermen catching herring near Stamsund, Lofoten islands

Fishermen catching herring near Stamsund, Lofoten islands

It is amazing how your stay in hostels depends on other guests. Luckily in Stamsund there is usually someone worth meeting. This year I met some Swiss girls and I had really nice chats with them, especially one when we were waiting for the sunset on the hill next to the hostel. International gossip about people you don’t even know is so cool! I am looking forward to next time.

Gossiping and admiring the views, near Stamsund

Gossiping and admiring the views, near Stamsund