The romantic tradition of admiring a view normally requires the observer to obtain a high vantage point, and while the view of Reine from the summit of Reinebringen is justly famous, I preferred the view, which greeted me every morning through the ground floor window of my bungalow at Reine Rorbuer.
I was staying in grass-thatched cabin #15, or ‘Niels’ to give it its informal name, which jutted out over the water on high wooden stilts and had beautiful views of tranquil Reinevågen and the tall Lofoten peaks beyond.
All along the waterfront, the red painted fisherman’s huts (or rorbuers) were reflected in the water, rarely disturbed by an occasional passing boat, which would send gentle ripples radiating out across the fjord, lapping against the stilts and rocks beneath my dwelling.
In midsummer, the sun scarcely managed to set beyond the distant peaks but, in the half-light of the evening, the shore of Reinevågen was illuminated by the lights from the picturesque wooden cabins and from boats at their moorings.
It was at a table by the window, gazing out on this peaceful landscape, that I would write my daily diary and, where, one morning, stirred from sleep by a sun already bright and optimistic as an early riser, that I noticed a swift movement amidst the rocks beneath a neighbouring cabin. It was an otter, its coat sleek and glistening from the water. It darted across the rocks, a wet brown streak as though from a freshly-dipped paint brush, disappearing into deeper shadows beneath the hut, before re-emerging, a small head on the surface of the fjord, swimming purposefully, on the hunt for flat fish, across a wide open landscape and a day, which seemed to have neither proper beginning nor end.
© E. C. Glendenny
E. C. Glendenny gives a wave from Reine Rorbuer.
E. C. Glendenny writes more about her encounters with otters in Norway in the book Resting Easy.