Bugøynes at Varangerfjord / Barentssee
Bugøynes is not only one of the most beautiful villages on the Barents Sea, it is also the only fishing village in the municipality of Sør Varanger. To get to Bugøynes, drive along the approximately 20-kilometer-long Fiskevej on the peninsula Buoddggidnjárga. This juts out on the south side of the Varangerfjord about 20 kilometers into the Barents Sea.
If you come to Bugøynes by car, you should refuel in time. The nearest gas station is about 90 kilometers away, so the tank should be enough for more than 200 kilometers. This is more than just a well-intentioned tip, rather it says something about the seclusion and limited infrastructure of the fishing village on Varangerfjord, Bugøynes. But Bugøynes is definitely a shame, just to be visited, you should experience it quite relaxed. With the slowness of a Greenland Wales. After all, this is due to the slowness in the Arctic cold up to 400 years old.
The people who live in Bugøynes do not manage that, but they like to grow old in their village and never want to leave it. The question “.. speak German” should be forgotten here. Some tourists are sitting in the well-heated motorhome and will not come out due to the fresh temperatures. Mostly spoken here a mixture of Sami, Finnish and northern Swedish, because Finns once founded Bugøynes. Today, about 200 people from 10 nations live here in Bugøynes. Some, however, only over the summer months.
They have painted their houses colorful, only the beautiful wooden church of Bugøynes shines in bright white. The fact that Bugøynes houses pre-World War II houses is almost a miracle. Because Bugøynes should be the only village in the Finnmark, which was not burned down by the German occupiers.
Bugøynes – extreme moments in an extreme environment
For there was a rumor at the time of the advance of the Red Army that the Russian soldiers were standing directly in front of the peninsula Buoddggidnjarga, on which Bugøynes is located. That would have been a deadly impasse for the German occupiers, so they almost fled the place. They agreed that the village would be spared if they were led down from the peninsula ….
Even after the Second World War, the turbulence in this paradise fishing village did not diminish. The once fish-rich Barents Sea was suddenly fished empty. On the Russian and Norwegian side they took the sea, which only gave it. One fisherman after another lost his existence. And so had to close the fish processing. That was in the 1980s. What was bad for the people in Bugøynes, was good for the Varangerfjord and the Barents Sea: The fish population recovered again. But the fish processing companies did not come back, the fishermen could not get rid of their modest catch and the people found no work.
In desperation, the people of Bugøynes sent a cry for help in national newspapers, asking if anyone wanted them anymore. They would only have to leave Bugøynes and give up if nothing happened.
And indeed, this kind of attention helped to set up a fish farming business and made Bugøynes the first fishing village to have such a facility in Eastern Finland.
Bugøynes and his sea creatures
But another mischief was supposed to spread across the Barents Sea. The Russian king crab was increasingly spreading and threatening to displace all species. These big animals have no enemies under water. But in Bugøynes, as well as in the neighboring communities along the Varangerfjord, this was seen more as an opportunity than as a threat and since then has been using these uninvited guests for the noble menu. In a small aquarium in the restaurant you can see these animals alive without having to dive, they are big. With outstretched arms, they reach the size of our 10-month-old child during the visit.
Smaller are they on the plate. And they taste good. As a main course, or in a salad. So you do not have to dive yourself. But you can. Many divers like to come to Bugøynes. Because the water is absolutely clear even here in depths up to 50 meters. Divers are always surprised by the abundance of fish and so anglers in Bugøynes get their money’s worth.
In addition to fish but also whale and reindeer are on the menu.
Beautiful beaches, clear water and fresh polar air in Bugøynes
Clear, turquoise blue water and shallow beach underlining the beauty of the fishing village. In the north, the rocks protect against the sometimes stormy surf. Even if we wear at least one sweater in these latitudes in summer, the Gulf Stream temperatures are quite mild for an Arctic climate. You should not expect more than minus eight degrees in winter and plus 12 degrees in summer.
However, the water only invites the sauna guests to cool down, because the sea does not get warmer than four degrees Celsius. In addition, there is the sudden onset of wind or storm. Fast, so really fast weather changes are normal here. In minutes, the place can be covered in fog and just as quickly clear again. You see such changes formally come over the sea. And go again.
Home in Bugøynes – for a moment
The small fishing village in the municipality Sør Varanger has just 230 inhabitants. That there is no gas station, we already had. But can also be good with life. Mn just refuels abroad, 90 kilometers away. But just as unusual for us is the diversity that exists for such a small village for the residents and guests of Bugøynes. For guests there are great accommodations in cabins or cozy guest rooms, for campers even a small parking space on the water. They should also use this, they spoil by their size in such a small place otherwise really the prospects for the photo. Because nice to look at are the solid, not the rolling houses.
Bugøynes has loving and hearty retreats with typical regional cuisine that is so different yet so familiar. Those who do not use them, in addition to great contacts with the people in the area misses many culinary discoveries, even if it is just the classic waffle and coffee, as it is offered everywhere in Scandinavia, without much to taste.
We fell in love with Bugøynes
Bugøynes touched us deeply. Be it through the children’s playground with his toy in the sandbox, or through the old woman who told me that she has never been anywhere else and has missed nothing, be it through the openness and cordiality of young and old people. This little fishing village seduces you to think for a moment, to throw everything overboard, turn here and stay right here. If only we had the courage. like the people who live here. And happy. And let us participate in these days.