We woke up at 4 AM to a cold foggy morning. Despite having second thoughts we grabbed head lights and went on our way. It took us around 30minutes to get to the foot of the hill we were planning to climb. For first half the path was wide and nice enough to be driven on it with car. After about 15 minutes real climbing started, with usual “mountain” trail. It took us additional 45 minutes to get to the top (500m higher).
Fog has lifted and we had great view over the town. Sadly sky was mostly cloudy but at far east it was getting clearer. There we took some pictures and waited for sun to rise. And finally it did, it was spectacular even though just for about 15minutes after that it went behind clouds.
Shortly after we descended and went to our cabin, it was around 9’o clock. It was our last day here, so we had to pack our stuff and clean the cabin. After noon we went sightseeing the city, but sadly it began to rain so there wasn’t much to do. We ended up finding a nice restaurant where we ordered some drinks. Here we again realized how expensive Norway is. Some examples: hot chocolate 5€, (regular) pizza 23€, hamburger 22€, tea 4€… If I’m not mistaken someone felt rich and ordered 0.5l of beer which was about 16€. For comparison in Slovenia I think if it’s 4€ in a really expensive bar.
For the rest of the day we were talking and playing cards. In the evening it was finally (last day was really boring because of rain) time to go home. We boarded the bus and were on our way, we arrived to Lulea at 7 AM next morning.
Remember the glowing eyes I posted in first post after coming back? Well that was shot just before BBQ. Here are some more pictures. (BTW: Have you guessed who they belonged to?)
I don’t remember ever seeing fox outside zoo and this one was as you can see really close. Funny thing is that it wasn’t afraid of people. Sure it ran away when I tried to get closer, but never too far away that I couldn’t see her.
Anyway BBQ after “fox hunting” wasn’t anything special; chatting, eating … usual stuff. After BBQ around 9’o clock it was dark already so I decided to go a bit away from camp and take some pictures of the sky. As I said before camp was located away from the city and there was no civilization toward north to pollute air with light. I made a short hike on a nearby hill, laid down on my back and watch the stars. After few moments my eyes adapted to darkness and I could see sky covered with billions of little dots – stars and galaxies. Night was cold and quiet, somewhere in the distance I could hear dog(s) hauling…
Next morning and by morning I mean 5’o clock, we woke up and went to the other side of the lake to admire sunrise. Despite being relatively warm during the day it looks like nights were below zero because we could see frozen ponds and frost was all over grass. Soon after we reached our destination sky turned pink and then purple, it was spectacular. Sadly we were behind a hill so we couldn’t see actual sun rising up. Bad miscalculation!
At 10’o clock same day we went on a bus tour of islands. Sky was getting cloudy as we departed and it began to rain after a while. We were basically driving whole day, around islands, from time to time stopping to see beach or some other point of interest (usually another beach). Once we saw the biggest Viking house in the world, but sadly we didn’t stopped to look it closely, but just drove by (still don’t know why all the haste).
At the end we stopped in Reine where we saw some weird contraption for drying herring (or some other fish, I don’t remember). There we got a chance to buy some postcards as well. Here was first time I came to realisation just how expensive Norway is. For 5 postcards with stamps I spent around 15€.
In retrospect nothing special happened on the bus trip and it would be the same if we would skip it. Luckily weather cleared toward evening (when we came back) so we were able to go on a short walk around the town. Actually it wasn’t just some random walk, but we were searching for a beginning of path on a hill spanning over the town. Some people went up there in the morning and supposedly the view over sunrise was spectacular. Naturally we were planning to do the same trip next morning. After about 2h of searching we gave up and asked some random guy who then led us to the path. Again I must point out how nice the people were, he walked with us for about 10minutes to get to the beginning of path.
After that we looked for mail-box from where I could send postcards and went home. It was 9’o clock when we were asleep.
Soon after, we boarded BO-AT (Buoyancy Operated Aquatic Transport). As we were boarding they gave us “wet-suits”, to prevent us from being cold. It was a sunny day, so I didn’t felt like I needed one. Soon we departed and were traveling with much higher speed than I anticipated from a boat this size, I started to regret my decision of not taking a wet-suit as cold winds started to blew.
We sailed alongside beautiful landscape, full of small islands and stopped after about 20 minutes. The “captain” and his “first mate” gave us 5 (big) fishing rods and thought us how to fish. Soon after, to my greatest disbelieve, fishes started biting. And not some small fishes, no they were big, very big. We caught around 7 of them in about 10 minutes, then we were on our way again.
We continued between two big islands. Landscape here (all over Lofoten to be precise) was very interesting. Despite being near the sea, there were little to no trees and majority of vegetation was alpine, on higher grounds there were only grass and rocks. On the shady sides of “mountains” (the highest being less than 400m high) there was snow, a lot of snow.
After about an hour of sailing we turned in to a small fjord. There they served us fish stew, which tasted surprisingly good (as I don’t like fish that much). If nothing else it warmed us up, since we were mostly in the cold shade (fjords).
After meal we started heading back. This time we took a different route. Instead of going between islands, we went around southern one. Not long after we reached other side of the island, “first mate” started throwing bread crumbs in to the water. Seagulls soon started flying closer and closer, picking bread from the water. More and more gathered and closer and closer were they coming up to the point when they started landing on people and picking bread from their hands.
While this was spectacular to watch it wasn’t the main reason we went this way. As we soon learned, big screaming flock of seagulls attracted something else, something bigger. A big shadow fell on the ground as big eagle covered the sun. 🙂 At that point we threw some of the fishes we caught in to the water. Eagle slowly started to circle the site, descending until he plummeted in to the water, grabbing the fish. Surprisingly (?) he wasn’t successful on his first run, which was good for us, as we got another chance to watch him at his attack dive. Sadly by the time he caught the fish we were just a too far for my camera lens to get a 1M$ shot. But still, I managed to get some decent pictures.
Shortly after we arrived back to the port. Whole boat trip was about 4h long and I think worth every penny. I would go again to Lofoten just because of this trip. It was really an amazing experience that you just don’t get, if you travel alone.
After we came back to the camp, we decided to go canoeing. Three person were able to fit in to one canoe and as soon as we figured out how to put them in to the water, without getting wet, we were off. The lake was big, long to be exact. It took as around an hour to reach other end. There were no houses this far in to the mountains, nothing to make noise, just calm mirror-like water, trees, mountains and nothing else; surreal.
After almost 3 hours of canoeing we landed at camp and prepared for BBQ. More on this in my next post.
We gathered at LTU on Friday evening. Despite light rain we were all cheerful and looking forward to the trip. I decided to only bring my backpack, so somehow I had to cram all my clothes, bed lining, food and camera in it. Backpack isn’t that big so I ended up sacrificing my clothes, only bringing with me 2 shirts. Mobile phone charger, toothpaste and shampoo were sacrificed as well. Luckily others brought big suitcases full of stuff, so I was able to borrow toothpaste etc. from them.
When entering a bus I was pleasantly surprised. Bus was equipped with free Wi-Fi (even in Norway) and electricity sockets. I was kind of sorry I didn’t bring my laptop with me. When we all boarded the bus, driver greeted us (in surprisingly good English) and told us some info about the trip. Soon after the ride began, he put a movie – Inglorious bastards, on bus TV. I really wasn’t expecting to ever see this move in such a place.
After 4 hours of driving we stopped for the first time in Kiruna. We raided toilets in local gas station and some people bought something to eat. Shortly after we continued. In about 2 hours we reached Norway’s border. The landscape changed dramatically, from wilderness with forests everywhere, to landscape full of fjords. Downside (although I don’t see any upsides) of riding only at night is that you don’t see any landscape through the window. We did another short stop near islands, where we picked up our guide. I didn’t quite understand the story but I think she is Icelander doing I don’t know what in Norway, but lives in Lulea … it doesn’t really matter.
The ride on the islands continued for about 4 more hours. Sadly I couldn’t fell asleep during bus ride, at least not until very end. And that’s a pity, Last hour of ride sun started to rise up. It was the most beautiful sunrise over the islands and untouched nature, I’ve ever seen. Sadly I fell asleep in next second, just to be woken up in 20 minutes when we reached our apartment area (I’ll refer to it as camp side in the future).
Total driving time (with stops included) was exactly 12h, from Friday 7PM to Saturday 7AM.
When we disembarked we brought luggage to our cabins. And I must say cabins looked great. They were all made from wood with enormous windows (whole side wall was a window) and great view over the lake.
There was no time to rest, when we unpacked we had a “Norwegian” breakfast in main building and then we were off to town centre. Oh I forgot to tell in which town we were staying: Svolvær.
I’ve decided to make a lot of smaller posts instead of a big one in favour of optimisation and faster webpage load time. So To be continued in next post.
Now (at 7 AM) I’ve arrived from a 4 days long trip to Norway. The trip was amazing and I think worth every penny, though it was very exhausting. In 4 days I think I only slept for 15h altogether. For some reason I couldn’t sleep on the bus toward islands, on the way back I was so tired that I managed to shut my eyes for around 4h.
I’ll go in to more detail in future posts (during weekend) when I’ll upload a big load of picture (I took around 500 of them). For now it’s enough to know that islands are really as beautiful as they say and that Norway is incredibly expensive country.
2 teaser pictures.
For now I’ll let you wonder what it is. Let me just say it’s not a dog or a cat.