Or folks could go 20 miles up over the mountains to the west and take the other ferry at Bognes, adding a good 50 miles of twisty turny vertical driving to your journey to the crackin town of Ballangen, population 2600. Either way, it’s a big annoyance caused by some cheese.
Norway goat cheese fire closes tunnel
A road tunnel in Norway has been closed - by a lorry-load of burning cheese.
About 27 tonnes of caramelised brown goat cheese - a delicacy known as Brunost - caught light as it was being driven through the Brattli Tunnel at Tysfjord, northern Norway, last week.
The fire raged for five days and smouldering toxic gases were slowing the recovery operation, officials said.
The tunnel - which is said to be badly damaged - is likely to remain closed for several weeks, they added.
“We can’t go in until it’s safe,” geologist Viggo Aronsen told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.
Police officer Viggo Berg said the high concentration of fat and sugar in the cheese made it burn “almost like petrol if it gets hot enough”.
The lorry driver had noticed the fire in his trailer and abandoned it about 300m (1,000ft) from the southern entrance. No-one was hurt.
Kjell Bjoern Vinje, of the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, said it was the first time he could remember cheese catching fire on Norwegian roads.
“I didn’t know that brown cheese burns so well,” he said.
UPDATE: This is worse than I first thought. Instead of Norway cutting the cheese, the cheese has cut Norway. In two!
Tysfjord is the only location in Norway where the European route E06 highway depends on a car ferry. There are ferry connections from Bognes to Skarberget (route E6) and from Bognes to Lødingen (connecting to route European route E10 and Lofoten). There is also a ferry connecting Drag south of the fjord with Kjøpsvik on the northern shore.
Kjøpsvik is connected to the E6 highway and Narvik by Norwegian National Road 827, with no ferry crossings. This might be an alternative to route E6, and is also the route of choice to get close to Stetind.
If Tysfjord experiences bad weather and the ferry connections are shut down, Norway is cut in two road-wise. A road connection is still maintained, albeit through Sweden, which makes it a very long drive.
So the little town of Drad is on one side of the fjord, Kjøpsvik on the other side, with Hulløya Island in between ... get off the ferry heading north, drive a very short distance up the E06 past Kjøpsvik, and you’re in the Brattli tunnel. And there is no other road around the mountain. So I guess the Norway Express driver is going to have to take the long way through Sweden, and it’s a darn long way: there isn’t much of any kind of road across the border either. This is the Big Empty Zone folks.
Oh, and being a rather coastal nation to begin with, and all fjordy and stuff, the land mass of Norway is actually less than 3 miles wide at the head of Tysfjord, by the commune of Hellemobotn, population 3 dozen. Then it’s the Swedish border. And there’s nothing there. Empty.
So this is some very naughty cheese.
Had to look up brunost, but the composition sounded familiar. Gjetost is one of my favorites, didn’t know I could use it to cause such trouble.