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Destination: wall of Fins; fishing on Senja (Norway)

When you venture into the northern reaches of Norway (Senja in our case) during the summer, you swiftly find yourself transported to a different realm. This transformation is owed to the extraordinarily picturesque landscape, the sparse population, and the sun that barely dips below the horizon.

But it's also influenced by the multitude of Finns who choose to spend their summer vacations here. One Finnish-registered camper after another cruises past, and what an enchanting language they bring with them. I might not grasp a word of it, but the expressions, the cadence, and the sentences truly captivate the imagination. Oddly enough, Finnish seems to share more with Hungarian than any other European language. Very peculiar.

A coastal town in Northern Norway in Winter

With those Finnish tourists occupying my thoughts, I couldn't help but detect a certain ambiguity when we coincidentally parked the car by a restaurant named 'The Fat Cod'. One of the first things that caught my eye was the 'Wall of Fins'. Knowing that 'The Fat Cod' is managed by a group of Swedes, there seems to be a playfully ambiguous undertone at play. The 'Wall of Fins', as the name suggests, consists of about twenty codfish tails securely nailed to a wall, not of people from Finland.

It should come as no surprise that 'The Fat Cod', as its name and the 'Wall of Fins' indicate, is a seafood restaurant. What did come as a surprise, though, was the quality of the dishes. It might not be a gourmet establishment, but what they prepare is truly exceptional in taste. The fish soup is a work of art, and their fish & chips might very well be the finest I've ever savored. Regrettably, the cod sashimi wasn't available, but I've heard commendable things about it. The hosts running the restaurant are friendly and cheerful, infusing the place with a delightful ambiance.

Equally astounding was the locale. 'Camp Steinfjord' which 'The Fat Cod' is a part of, is situated within an old shrimp factory in a quaint village right by the sea. It feels as secluded as New Zealand and exudes an oddly exotic aura. There are approximately twenty houses around, and a spotless sandy beach where camping is a splendid option.

Later, I discovered that the waters around Senja boast some of the world's finest fishing grounds. The sea temperature is optimal for nurturing a bountiful supply of food in the form of algae and small fish, creating a virtual buffet for other fish species. This has turned it into a sort of Mecca for fishing enthusiasts.

And this is precisely what you can experience at 'The Fat Cod' too. Camp Steinfjord, the collective term for all things fishing-related in this little bay, rents out fishing rods that almost guarantee a catch from the pier in next to no time. Moreover, you can immerse yourself even further by trying your hand at deep-sea fishing – a more serious pursuit. You can rent all sorts of fishing gear and even drysuits here. Staying overnight is an option as well. The rooms are simple yet impeccably organized. Once again, the rule applies: be an early bird as unique places like this tend to be booked up well in advance.

The reason I depict Steinfjord as a destination is because there's ample justification to linger here for a few days. Not only is the beach indescribably stunning, but the surrounding mountains offer plenty of entertainment. If you also happen to have an affinity for fishing, I can't really conjure up a better place to spend a few days when you're on Senja. If you're just passing by, at least have a beer on the jetty and see others attempts on adding another Fin to the wall of Fins.

**Getting there: it is most likely you'll arrive at Narvik Airport (TRD). From there public transport will take you forever to get there, so it is most wise to reserve a car in advance. Since Norway has one of the best fast-charging networks in the world, I would advise you to rent an electric car. Better for the environment, cheaper to charge and it gets you everywhere. Check here for availability.


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