Arctic Adventures

A photo trip to Lofoten archipelago during wintertime

Ever since I was in Iceland I was fascinated by the beauty of northern landscapes. This time it should be even a little more north than the last time: Lofoten archipelago, 300 km north of the polar circle.

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Reine Panoramic View

Friday, 31st of January 2020

Flight Munich – Oslo – Harstad/Narvik

Patty arriving from the south and me, coming from the northern direction meet on Munich airport. After a short stopover in Oslo we arrive at Harstad/Narvik airport eventually.

The hotel own bus shuttle picks us up at the airport and drives us the 1.2 km to the hotel.

The hotel offers  a buffet with fresh salmon for dinner which we accept gratefully. Not to forget a norwegian dark beer called “Nord Lys” – Northern Light. We were asking ourselfs if drinking “Nord Lys” will help to see it eventually ūüėČ

Saturday 1st of February

Harstad/Narvik to Leknes
Snow all day

We get our rental car at 10 am at the airport, going back there with the airport shuttle of our hotel. Somewhat scared by the fact, that the two main bridges to Lofoten might be closed down because of storm, we hurry up to hit the road.

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It is snowing heavy all day while we drive down to Leknes. Neither we are able to take some pictures nor we are really keen to do that because of the awful weather.  We stop at the supermarket to do some groceries shopping in Svolv√¶r at noon. As we would like to go on I have a little issue with our hybrid car. Not used to something like that I wait for a “the engine is running” sound as I press the start button, but nothing happens. After several trys Patty asks a nice norwegian passerby who explains to me, slightly shaking his head, that the engine is running already and “no sound” is quite normal for a hybrid car – good, that he has no ideas what profession I have ;-).

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Rorbuer in Leknes

It is already dark when we arrive at our first accomodation, a fishermen’s hut – Rorbuer – directly at the waterfront in Leknes. The landlord has red wine and choccolates as a very warm welcome for us. After making us comfortable in the hut, which is all new and beautiful and well equipped, we have salmon for dinner – and of course wine and choccolates.

Sunday, 2nd of February

In Leknes
Sun, rain and snow

Due to the bad weather in the morning we are quite lazy and take our time first. All of a sudden the weather clears off and we are quite annoyed of loosing the sunrise. We start our tour at Haukland beach, seeing the reflexions of the rising sun in the sea all turquoise, orange and red. Unfortunalely I have another car behind me and we cannot stop on the narrow street to take a picture of that amazing view.

Haukland Beach

After finishing our photosession on Haukland beach we drive on to Uttakleiv beach in search of the “eye”. But our search is interrupted by the beginning rain and so we have to wait in the car until it stops and we can go out again.

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The “Eye” of Uttakleiv Beach

Than we visit Unstad beach doing long time exposures and have a short stop at Mærvollspollen Fjord on our way back to Leknes.

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Unstad Beach
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For the literally icing on the cake we visit the choccolate store recommended by our landlord. Unfortunately there is a black out, forcing us to leave the store without paying the bill. Having no cash, we promise to come back on our way to the airport a week later.

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Mærvollspollen Fjord

Monday 3rd of February

From Leknes to Reine
Cold and windy but not raining; Sometimes there is sun between the clouds

We start with direction Myrland beach in the early morning. Until we reach that place we had already several photography-stops on a lot of other places in between. It is quite windy.

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Myrland Beach

We are mainly doing long time exposures on Myrland beach. After we are frozen completely, we are leaving with direction Flakstadpollen. At Flakstadpollen we have a short stop, seeing the fjord in an amazing turquoise.

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Flakstadpollen

We decide spontanously to visit Nusfjord, which originally was planned to go to on our way back to the airport. But due to the fact that is was raining the whole day on our way back, that was a perfect decision.

Nusfjord

After coming back from Nusfjord we have another short stop at Flakstadpollen before we drive on with direction Ramberg. We take pictures of a small church near Skagsanden beach, but we are skipping the beach because of the weather and too many photographers which are already there.

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Church near Skagsanden Beach

Shortly after passing Ramberg we find the first wooden racks with the cod hanging to dry there alrady and of course we are stopping there to do some pictures.

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Afterwards we go on with direction Reine.

We have another short stop at Hamn√ły harbor during blue hour, before we arrive at our new home, the Margithuset. This beautiful old wooden house is our home for the next four days. We go to the nearby supermarket for shopping and Patty’s cooking dinner for me.

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Hamn√ły Harbor

Tuesday 4th of February

In Reine
Sun, clouds, wind and snow

When we wake up, the weather is awful so that we decide again not to hurry up to much. But than the sky opens immediately and we are running to get the sunrise with view to Reine center.

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Reine

Afterwards we have a short stop at Reinehalsen  despite of the hard blowing wind.

I leave the car to put the camera on the tripod.  But before I can do any other move there comes a hard gust of wind and I am barely able to catch the camera before it hits the ground. I am standing there at the side of my car, the wind is blowing and I am not able to move in any direction just holding the tripod in one hand and the backpack in the other, waiting for the wind to stop again.

Sakris√ły

Than we visit Sakris√ły and Hamn√ły and were nearly blown off our feet at Hamn√ły bridge.

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Hamn√ły Bridge
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Later we go on to √Ö and Reine center.

Reine Center

We are planning  to go out for dinner in the evening and choose the restaurant Gammelbua which is located in Reine center has a norwegian rustic ambience. We get the last free table and decide to go for arctic cod and stokkfisk with a nice local beer.

As we leave the restaurant it is snowing quite hard and we visit the nearby souvenir shop (originally in search of soy milk) and buy a yello rain coat for each of us.

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Hardly arrvied home, my Polarlight App goes on alert. KP3 and 30 % propability to see something in our location‚Ķwe hurry to pack our cameras again and we are actually able to catch the norhern lights and “burn” them on the sensors of our DSLR’s. Just 10 minutes later the sky is all cloudy again and this amazing wonder of the nature is gone as fast as it had appeared.

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Wednesday 5th of February

In Reine
Snow and wind

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Our second try on photographing the sunrise with view to Reine center failed because of the lack of sun. We go on to Reinehalsen for a view pictures and end up in Reine center eventually. Chilled to the bones we decide to have some cappuccino and cake at  the  Bringen until the snowfall stops again.

Reine Center

Later we are visiting √Ö again, the last location in Lofoten before you will plain fall into the sea.

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On the Way to √Ö

The KP prediction is high for the night and so we decide to get up at 0.30 am for a new northern lights hunt. Unfortunately the weather is that bad, that we cannot see anything despite of KP 5 and 50 % propability. Somewhat tired and a little dissapointed we go to bed at 4.00 am eventually.

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Reine

Thursday 6th of February

In Reine
Sunny and cloudy, the best day of the week

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Reine

We are waiting for the sunrise again, but the sun is not interested in turning up as the day before, so that we can see a lot of clouds but no sun shortly after 9.00 am.

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Hamn√ły Harbor

Afterwards we go on to Reinehalsen, Reine center and eventually – always following the sun – Sakris√ły and Hamn√ły.

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Hamn√ły

The blanket of clouds closes again.

We decide to go on with direction Ramberg and Skagsanden beach. But the first decicion is to have a coffe in Ramberg. We are stopping at a mall and go into a souvernir shop first. After an excessive chat with the owner we drive back to Sakris√ły, to have an excellent lunch at Anita’s Sj√łmat, which was her recommendation.

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Anita’s Sj√łmat

Becoming aware how hungry we are meanwhile we order a fish soup, salmon and wale sushi and beer.

Beeing somewhat uneasy, because the light outside is getting better and better each minute, we decide eventually to enjoy our lunch first and go back to photography afterwards.

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Hamn√ły Bridge

We do pictures in Sakris√ły again, go on to √Ö and stop for blue hour at Reinehalsen. Tired, but not hungry at all we drive back to our accomodation at the end of an eventful day.

Reine

Our every evening hunt for the northern lights is interrupted apruptly by heavy snowfall. Quite hungry now we drive back to our accomodation.

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Reine Center

Friday 7th of February

From Reine to Svolvær
Rain

During the night the snowfall has changed to heavy rainfall and it has become a lot warmer than during the last days.
We pack our things, because we have to go back to Svolvær today.
We are quite fast because of the ugly weather, taking pictures is no real fun in this conditions.

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Skagsanden Beach


We reach Skagsanden beach after a while and spot surfers in the water. Somewhat exited we stop to do some pictures of that cold spectale until we are nearly as wet as the surfers in the water.

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With cold hand and feet but very satisfied we continue our drive north to Svolvær.
Finally we arrive in Svolv√¶r and get our rooms at the Scandic. We ask the nice guy at the reception after a recommendation for dinner and he suggests the Bacalao, where we have stokkfisk and surfers’ beer.

Saturday 8th of February

From Svolvær to Harstad/Narvik
Rain

We wake up to see that it had not stopped raining during the night. The beakfast at the Scandic is excellent as well as the view from the breakfast room to the fjord.
After the beakfast we have a short stop in Svolvær center to buy some souvenirs and go on to Henningsvær afterwards Рthe famous place with the soccer field.

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Henningsvær


We visit the gallery of Vidar N Lysvold  in Henningsv√¶r and get also some interesting informations about the northern lights which are also the main theme of his work.
After a short visit of the soccerfield in the rain we decide to go on to the hotel at Harstad / Narvik airport and arrive there shortly after nightfall.
The Polar light App shows activity and a window in the clouds for about two hours in the early night. Of course we are keen to go for it!
After our dinner we start driving to the north and – we miss the lights again: they had been there half an hour ago.
But at least we have now a reason to come back here again ūüôā

Sunday 9th of February

Sunny
On our way back to Munich.

Norway bids farewell with beautiful weather. We fly out to Munich tired and all excited and already planning our next trip together.

Many thanks to my beautiful soul sister Patty for beeing the best travel companion ever! ‚̧

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