Engelsviken

I have adopted this habit of considering my home county as down right boring compared to other regions around Norway. It’s a bad habit… Sure, the fjords are spectacular, Oslo is cool and Lofoten is beyond words, but on days like today, when the summer sun makes the sea sparkle, the landscape is lush and green and those beautiful coloured houses with white picket fences become as exotic as any beach bungalow, well, then I catch myself appreciating everything within my reach.

Norway consists of 19 fylker or counties, including the capital Oslo, which is the smallest one. Just some 50 kilometers south of Oslo, you will cross into Østfold, which is the third smallest county. The first city you will arrive at is Mosswhich also happens to be my hometown! Now, in Østfold the about 300.000 people who live here are spread across smaller towns and villages surrounded by mostly farmland. Moss is the third largest city, but if you continue further south towards the Swedish border, you will pass both Fredrikstad and Sarpsborg, the largest and second largest city in Østfold. There ain’t many of us Norwegians so when I talk about cities, this is exclusively in Norwegian terms, cause when truth be told, we’re not really more than towns, Fredrikstad having around 80.000 inhabitants. In Oslo we are known as nothing more than farmers and hillbillies the lot of us!

engelsvikenyellow_186

Fields in Østfold


Oh, well so we don’t have an opera house, metro or tall buildings, but still we got some gems scattered around. Now, if you happen to find yourself in this area of Norway, you might ask yourself where to go. Well, I am here to tell you about one of my favourite places in Østfold and show you exactly why you should cruise this way on a sunny summer’s day…  Translated, Engelsviken has the lovely name Angel’s Cove.

engelsviken

Okay, here we go! Welcome to Engelsviken! This is a little, old fishing community, as you might suspect from the boat and red huts above the water. It lies 15 kilometers west of Fredrikstad.


engelsviken

Engelsviken is set on the idyllic coast of Oslofjorden, close to where the fjord meets the Skagerak strait and the North sea. In English, Engelsviken has the pretty name Angel’s Cove.


engelsviken

Although people still fish here, few people live in Engelsviken. Instead it is popular during the summer months, when people living in other parts of the region come to stay. Some have caravans at the camping grounds, whilst others have cabins or houses that they live in during their holidays.


engelsviken

The typical red, Norwegian (and Scandinavian) boat house.


engelsviken

Engelsviken is part of a skjærgård, a word quite unique to the Scandinavian countries, not really translatable to English. If you do though, the term is known as a ‘skerry’. It is an area on the coast where the landscape is scattered with islets of different sizes, which we in the Scandinavian languages refer to as øyer, holmer and skjær. Skjærgård literally means yard of skerries.


engelsviken

Fishing boats docking in Engelsviken.


engelsviken

Fully white covered houses are the rule not, the exception in coastal Norway.


engelsviken

People come here not only to reside over the summer, but as a stop on a drive along the coast between Moss and Fredrikstad. So, if you are in Norway and by some spectacular twist of fate happen to find yourself in my little county of Østfold, Engelsviken is there for you! It is a great lunch spot either at the restaurant or you can enjoy a cheaper meal from the supermarket on a private spot along the cove… See you there!


 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *