Be In the Know

Be In the Know. Sign up to have DesignDestinations delivered right to your inbox, weekly.

Visiting Small Norwegian Fishing Towns


 The guide for our visit to Reine said that  this small town on the northern coast of Norway was a center for Cod Fishing but, it was immediately obvious when we stepped off the National Geographic Explorer.

No doubt about it.

 Whew.  The strong fish smell overwhelmed the senses.  All thoughts of the towering mountains rising about the intense blue water were way over powered with the strong scent of the fish that have dominated this part of the world for 1000 years.


Soon, we could see where the overpowering smell from the main source of protein for the Vikings and generations to follow was coming from— rack after rack after rack of the fish, drying in the sun.  Later on the walk around town, we saw the fork lift trucks moving the dried fish to storage containers. 


Man, talk about a an industry dominating the town.  You’d have to like cod to live here.

 Although whaling is still practiced and a few of the small houses that once acted as dormitories for the men who farmed part of the year and fished the rest, have been converted to guest houses, Reine is all about cod.

 We meandered around, soaking in the history and life in this small Norwegian town.  I loved seeing the grass roofs,  interesting architectural elements and every day life in this distant place.


We had another chance for a brief glimpse of  life of the hardy Norwegians who populate this country when we stopped at Treana, a tiny dot of a town whose claim to fame is that it sits right on the Arctic Circle.  Not that they make a big deal about it.

 The Arctic Circle is the invisible circle of latitude on the earth’s surface at 66.33 degrees North, marking the area where the sun does not rise on the winter solstice or set on the summer solstice.

 Didn’t see any touristy shops or opportunities to buy postcards, bumper stickers or coffee mugs.  Instead, we meandered the sleepy town, enjoying a small celebration of our crossing the Arctic Circle with spiced wine and a bit of silliness and a look at the lives of the hardworking people who live here.


 The quaint church with a ship hanging in the center, cemeteries, a monument to the Arctic Circle and stunning scenery captivated us.

Some of our guests and staff joined the locals for a pick up soccer match.  Many of us watched and gleefully cheered what had turned into an International match. It felt so normal.  Then it was back on the ship with more photo ops.



Post Author
Susan J. Smith
Susan's career includes writing for newspapers, lots of community work and a wonderful family life. Now she is enjoying traveling, photography and writing for DesignDestinations and Grand Rapids Magazine. She welcomes you on her journey and appreciates your comments.


  1. posted by
    Aug 14, 2012 Reply

    Lovely. Rich colors. Thanks!

  2. posted by
    Franziska Iseli
    Aug 15, 2012 Reply

    Thank you, Susan, well done.
    Here my favorite picture of Traena … yes, it’s HDR.

    • posted by
      Aug 15, 2012 Reply

      Great shot. Thank you for sharing. 

  3. posted by
    Aug 15, 2012 Reply

    You never cease to amaze me with your wonderful pictures and running commentary! 
    Incredible sight to see those racks of cod!  Thanks for sharing.

  4. posted by
    Aug 22, 2012 Reply

    I can only imagine what racks of dead fish smelled like, as I know full well what one dead fish smells like. Great pictures!

Leave a Reply