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Up in the mountains A trip along a country road The Fishermens Day My slides - an introduction Seen from the sea Around the year Mostly nature Celebrating the May 17th Winter scenes A walk along the shores

Skogsøya photos ~ An abandoned place

Your guide: Johan I. Borgos

On the northwest point of Skogsøya you can see the ruins of a very old fishing hamlet, Sørsand - "The southern sand". Here people lived for countless generations, and fishermen from other parts of Vesterålen used this place as their second home during the fishing seasons.

Sørsand belongs to an era when boats were the main vehicles for transportation and the sea was the main road. The harbour was wwwell suited in the days of sails and oars and open boats. Very rich fishing banks could be seen from the shore, so this place was among the best fishing hamlets on the coast.

The 1900s saw a new technology. The boats became larger, they got a motor, and they weren't open any longer. Now the harbour changed from an asset to a problem. And worse: Steep mountains around the place made road building almost impossible, or at least very costly.

Sørsand died in 1954. The population had sunk from a hundred to barely fifty during the first half of the century, but now all who lived there moved away. Slowly Sørsand became wild nature again. Let's look at it.

v-pil.gif - 958 Bytes My boat is tied in the "stø" (a harbour for small boats), and I have started taking pictures. Two old boat houses in the foreground.
Turning right we can see a house still standing, and ruins from other buildings on the field. Another part of the harbour in the backgound. h-pil.gif - 958 Bytes
v-pil.gif - 958 Bytes A little more to the right, and more ruins can be seen near the hillside, with a stone fence running between them.
Still turning right. Ruins, stone fences, and the house where my grandparents lived. Every summer I spent a couple of weeks or more there. h-pil.gif - 958 Bytes
v-pil.gif - 958 Bytes Looking east we can see the fields and part of the mountainside. Several ruins in the foreground, a couple of old buildings under the hill. Let's climb that hill.
Now we can see where the families at Sørsand harvested fodder for their livestock. And there is the long sandy beach which has gived the place its name. h-pil.gif - 958 Bytes
v-pil.gif - 958 Bytes Moving to the right we look down on two houses and scattered remnants of other buildings. In the background the mountain Tinden is watching.
A view of the small inlets that the fishermen used as harbours for their boats. In bad weather the boats were pulled up on land. h-pil.gif - 958 Bytes
v-pil.gif - 958 Bytes Visitors at Sørsand! A group of Americans are trying to find their ancestors house, but there are only ruins left. Better than nothing, thou'.
No, wait! This house belonged to some relatives. We're just in time to see the building. It won't last more than a couple of winters. h-pil.gif - 958 Bytes
v-pil.gif - 958 Bytes The visitors leave in the sunset. They depart in a way that clearly shows why Sørsand was abandoned: The lack of a big and sheltered harbour.
But a few generations ago more than a hundred people lived at this place, and there were buildings everywhere. h-pil.gif - 958 Bytes

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