Saturday, September 5, 2015

Wanderlust Took Us to Lofoten, Norway

a strong desire or impulse to travel about

Narvik, Norway

Our trip to Härjedalen was not the kind of holiday that we had planned for this summer, though that was definitely a relaxing and awe-inspiring journey. I had thought that that would be all for this year's summer vacation, but I was wrong.

As soon as we came back home and had our car fixed, hubby asked if I would like to go to Lofoten. Wo-ho-ho!!! The question deserved a resounding "Of course!" for an answer. We had been planning to go there all these years but those plans went up to ozonosphere.

We set off on July 22 with our car, which was crammed with camping paraphernalia and some foods. Since the islands of Lofoten lie above the North Atlantic Ocean right in the middle of the Gulf Stream and within the Arctic Circle, the trip would anticipatedly be quite long. We took the coastal highway up to the northernmost province of Sweden, Norrbotten. We had tentatively planned to stop for a night in Abisko, Kiruna but we found ourselves driving non-stop, with a brief pause to take some pictures at the point where the Polar Circle starts, somewhere in Gällivare.

Upon reaching Abisko, my heart started to skip wildly with joy at the sight of cyclopean rolling mountains patched richly with snow. I wanted to stop at some spots to snap a few shots of the most scenic parts of those mountainous terrains but I was told that those were nothing compared to where we were headed. So I just contented myself with shooting from our speeding car through the speckled windows.

The snowy mountains rolled all the way to Norway and on to Narvik where we decided to sleep for a night in a snug camping site with scenic views of the mountains and the fjörds. We rented a small cabin since we would only sleep there.

The following day, we drove southward to Lofoten. One traveler wrote in his blog which hubby read beforehand that when he reached the point where the roads meandered through the steep mountains with snowy peaks, he told himself that there could be nothing better than such beauty and majesty. I couldn't agree more!

It turned out that it was an unwarranted assumption. As we snaked through the mountainous national tourist route, the sceneries just got better and better until we arrived at our destined camping site in Flakstad. There are many other amazing camping sites throughout the islands but this one was well reccommended by travelers on account of its strategic location which can easily access the best tourist attractions.

Another beauty of this camping place is that it's nestled between huge mountains and the sea, and is very spacious. You can put up your tent or caravan anywhere you prefer. It also provides complete amenities for the convenience of the campers who come from different countries. I was fascinated to see various types of tents which looked so cool to me.

photos taken by hubby

For the first time this year, we finally got to use our tent, the older one which is bigger and has two "rooms", though we brought the pop-up tent too, as an alternative depending on the situation. We also set up our dining set near the "door" of our tent.

Days before our trip, we checked the weather forecast during our stay there, and it would be cloudy, but we pressed on anyway, counting on the shiftiness of the weather. Fortunately, the sky started to brighten and clear out a bit when we got there so that we could enjoy viewing the sceneries around and beyond the camping area.

The succeeding days proved to be sunny with clear blue skies which were at times adorned with beautiful cloud formations. Perfect days for sightseeing and capturing hundreds of images. 

Like all the other knowledgeable and well-equipped travelers, we too knew where to go - some of the best parts of the islands rated highly by seasoned travelers. But of course we could not see everything in just a few days, but I felt blissful to see just enough.

Our focal points of interest were the islands of Flakstadoy (Ramberg...),


   *** fishing villages in Hamnoy and Reine:

       *** rorbuer (fishermen's cabins) for rent:

    *** Sorvågen

  *** Å, called The Edge of Lofoten:

and Vestvågoy (Haukland Beach).

Here are some of the flora and fauna in these islands which I captured:

From the beach section of the camping site, I was able to watch the setting of the midnight sun, along with other campers. The feeling is quite ethereal.

reading a book before midnight

There are several mountain peaks to climb to get fantastic views of the islands but we didn't have the chance to take this thrilling adventure at that time. That was fine, though, for then we have a reason to go back, which we will for certain.

On July 25, we started to travel back home, this time through a ferry heading to the western coast of mainland Norway. That morning, the ferry eased out of the port of Sorvågen. Filled with a sense of awe and gratitude, I watched the harbour, and then the islands, gradually vanish from sight.

"One travels so as to learn once more how to marvel at life in the way a child does. 
And blessed be the poet, the artist who knows how to keep alive his sense of wonder." 
- Ella Maillart (adventurer, travel writer, photographer)

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