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.
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 😉
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.
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 Svolvær 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 ;-).
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
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.
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.
Than we visit Unstad beach doing long time exposures and have a short stop at Mærvollspollen Fjord on our way back to Leknes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Afterwards we go on with direction Reine.
We have another short stop at Hamnøy 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.
Tuesday 4th of February
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.
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.
Than we visit Sakrisøy and Hamnøy and were nearly blown off our feet at Hamnøy bridge.
Later we go on to Å and 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.
Hardly arrvied home, my Polarlight App goes on alert. KP3 and 30 % propability to see something in our location…we 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.
Wednesday 5th of February
Snow and wind
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.
Later we are visiting Å again, the last location in Lofoten before you will plain fall into the sea.
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.
Thursday 6th of February
Sunny and cloudy, the best day of the week
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.
Afterwards we go on to Reinehalsen, Reine center and eventually – always following the sun – Sakrisøy and Hamnøy.
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 Sakrisøy, to have an excellent lunch at Anita’s Sjømat, which was her recommendation.
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.
We do pictures in Sakrisøy again, go on to Å 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.
Our every evening hunt for the northern lights is interrupted apruptly by heavy snowfall. Quite hungry now we drive back to our accomodation.
Friday 7th of February
From Reine to Svolvær
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.
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.
With cold hand and feet but very satisfied we continue our drive north to Svolvær.
Finally we arrive in Svolvær 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
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 – the famous place with the soccer field.
We visit the gallery of Vidar N Lysvold in Henningsvær 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 🙂
Sunday 9th of February
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! ❤