Thursday, July 7, 2022

Water, wind and fishing villages: Exploring the Lofoten Islands with the MINI Cooper SE Countryman ALL4.

Svolvær. It starts like the alphabet – with an A. All
right, there is a little circle above the A but if you come to the
Lofoten Islands by ferry from the south, you first arrive in the place
with the shortest name and the first letter in the alphabet: Å. A good
start for a trip across this 1227-square-kilometre, 200-kilometre-long
northern Norwegian group of islands, which comprises around 80
archipelagos, is located some 100 to 300 kilometres north of the
Arctic Circle, translates as “lynx’s foot”, and where some
24,000 inhabitants tend to lose themselves rather than meet.

Å is also where the E10 begins which is something like the Lofoten
lifeline and a kind of highway. The main country road constantly runs
along either water by forests or rocks, so that exploring it never
becomes boring. Especially not if you are driving a a MINI Cooper SE
Countryman ALL4 (fuel consumption combined: 2.1 – 1.7 l/100 km (WLTP),
2.1 – 1.9 l/100 km (NEDC); combined power consumption: 15.5 – 14.8
kWh/100 km (WLTP), 14.8 – 14.1 kWh/100 km (NEDC), CO2 combined
emissions: 47 – 39 g/km (WLTP), (48 – 44 g/km (NEDC).  With its four
doors, five seats, two drives and four powered wheels, MINI’s first
plug-in hybrid model seems to have found its natural habitat here.
Although the E10 is quite well built-out and asphalted, detours to the
left and right to hidden coves and old fishing villages may well lead
over gravel roads and off-road terrain. And the MINI doesn’t mind the
often-damp weather either: On wet or dirty roads, the precisely tuned
power distribution of the two power units and the all-wheel drive make
for ideal driving stability. Its
3-cylinder petrol engine with
92 kW/125 hp generated from a cubic capacity of 1.5 litres drives the
front wheels, while a 70 kW/95 hp electric motor transmits its power
to the rear wheels. With is 220 hp overall, the MINI is thus ideally
equipped for anything that might come its way. 

You definitely shouldn’t start out on a trip like this on an empty
stomach – so the first stop on our Lofoten Island trip is probably the
most famous seafood restaurant on the island chain, Anita’s Seafood in
Sakrisøj. You can’t miss it – the E10 goes right past it, which
already has its own attractions ready and waiting for us: Single-track
bridges with on-demand traffic lights. At Anita’s we can choose from
stockfish, klippfish, smoked salmon, trout, halibut, caviar and much
more, most of it also to take away. But dining on site is really worth
it – the large candelabras under the high ceiling are unique because
even they are built from dried cod. Fish is certainly a big thing
here. During the fishing seasons, the smell of steaming fish
constantly wafts over the whole of the Lofoten Islands. The reason:
Myriads of gutted cod hang on huge wooden scaffolds, much of which is
exported after it has matured. It’s a good thing that the MINI Cooper
SE Countryman ALL4 offers a luggage compartment volume of up to 1,275
litres – leaving enough room for such local souvenirs as dry goods in
addition to the luggage. “The Lofoten Shop” a few kilometres away in
Ramberg also sells more common souvenirs.

We continue heading north in our MINI – ideally taking a detour along
the narrow, constantly winding Fv807 west to Nusfjord. Here there is
an old, restored fishing village, now completely developed as a
charming hotel with boathouses for guests. A good place to approach in
fully electric silence. The electricity that powers the MINI’s
electric drivetrain is stored in a high-voltage battery with a gross
energy content of 10.0 kWh. This gives it a combined electric range of
up to 51 kilometres. In purely electric driving mode, by the way, the
plug-in hybrid model reaches a top speed of 135 km/h – far too fast
for Lofoten, which allows a maximum of 90 km/h on the E10. And not
everywhere either.

We continue north, make a detour on the B18, which takes us to
Buksnes to visit the typical Norwegian stave church dating back to
1905.  A few kilometres further along the E10, the Himmel og Havn café
in Vestvågøy invites us to take a break and reenergise ourselves for
visiting the Viking museum in Borg afterwards.

Tired from the many sights and impressions, we look for a place to
pitch the roof tent in the evening. Everyman’s right applies in
Norway: You can camp anywhere, but not on private land and only if you
remove all traces of your stay. A great place to do this is Bøstad, a
popular surfer’s paradise. Or Henningsvaer, a collection of small
islands with a fishing village, which you reach via the B16. Perhaps
plan a visit to the Kafe Knusarn beforehand? It is located in one of
the typical Norwegian wooden houses – this one was built as early as 1892.

And then: Get ready for an incomparable Lofoten Island night. We
unfold the AUTOHOME roof tent, which has been travelling with us all
the way on our roof rack. When closed, the roof tent is barely
distinguishable from a conventional transport box. The aerodynamically
shaped fibreglass housing is unlocked via safety latches – two at the
front, one at the back. The tent superstructure is then automatically
raised by means of four gas pressure springs. Inside, you have almost
metre of space to the top. Rain and wind will be of no concern to you.
The material keeps you dry and well protected. Features include a
high-density mattress with cotton cover, two doors and two windows
with zips, battery-powered LED interior lighting and luggage nets and
pockets. You access your new home using a sturdy aluminium ladder.
With a length of 2.10 metres and a width of 1.30 metres, the sleeping
area offers enough space for unforgettable nights.

Especially when the evening ends with Norwegian labskaus – a melange
of potato, carrots and lamb – and a cool “Lofotpils”. And if
you’re lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights, you’ll
be even more excited to continue your journey in the MINI Cooper
Countryman SE ALL4 through this rugged wonderland …

In case of queries, please contact:

Corporate Communications

Julian Kisch, Press Spokesperson Product Communications
Tel.: +49-89-382-38072

Andreas Lampka, Head of Communications MINI

Jennifer Treiber-Ruckenbrod, Head of Communications MINI and BMW
Tel.: +49-89-382-35108

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