Hello everyone! I had the chance to visit the Lofoten Islands, far above the Arctic Circle, for 2 weeks in June this year (2018). It took me quite some time to sift through the images, and process all the things I've seen and experienced. Since I was on the lookout for some travel advise before I left, I decided to not just post images here but also give you some background as to what we did, and how we experienced this gorgeous part of the world. Hope you enjoy!
Warning: Image Heavy Thread!TOC:
2. The Beaches
3. What to do on rainy days
4. Munkebu Hike
5. Kvalvika Beach
6. Midnight Sun (The End)
Part 1: Travelling
As someone who is not very fond of airplanes, I had the crazy idea to just drive to the Lofoten. I am from Germany, and 3.5 days didn't sound too much when we planned the trip, but boy – did that stretch! In Germany, you can at least go as fast as is safe with your car, but as soon as you hit Denmark, the speed limit comes down to 130km/h, and Sweden – through which we traveled for 2 days – is even worse. And the streets are just straight on, which gets very boring very fast. Swedish "highways" – Taken with a drone (DJI Spark)
On the upside, the landscape was very pretty, albeit quite mosquito-heavy in mid-Sweden. On our third day, we crossed the Arctic Circle – it's easy to miss, just a sign by the road. But since we were traveling during the Midnight Sun, it meant it would not get dark anymore – the sun would not set for weeks and weeks, but just skim along the horizon. It's easy to read and accept these words, but wait until you sit at a beach at 1am in the morning and watch the sun paint the sky in amazing colors!
At the end of our very long trip we finally arrived in Ballstad, which is somewhere in the middle of the Lofoten islands (for those of you who were there already, we were only about 20 minutes from Hauckland Beach). Our house, rented via AirBnB, had promised us a "secluded private beach" and we were knocked off our feet when we finally saw it:
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I had no idea that Norway had those colors ! Normally you only see moody pictures of the landscapes up north, but this was almost tropical. Ok, that illusion was shattered really quickly when we held our hands into the water – in June, it was still ice-cold with air temps only around 5-10C.
Part 2: First Hiking Impressions
Of course, we had come for the photos and that meant hiking to good photo spots. Somehow, I had not fully realized that and so I was puffing and huffing while we scaled steep mountains. We'd actually just had one hike during those two weeks where there was a proper trail to follow – otherwise you literally have to make your way up mountain-sides, through mud-basins, over rubble and huge mounds of boulders. This was what we had to scale for our first hike (meaning: start at sea level and make it up to the ridge):
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Fun fact: this image was actually taken at 1:53am when we returned from a hike, but it was the only time this mountain range was lit from this side. But the hike rewarded us with an amazing view of the town we were staying at:
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And if there's one thing I want you take away from this first post: bring warm clothes to wear in layers! You get really hot while climbing from 0 to 300 meters almost vertically, but once up on the heia, the flat area on top of the mountains, the weather can change in an instant. The wind cooled us down quickly, and rain was followed by a bout of snow. Bringing additional layers and a light down-jacket can make the difference between staying for a photo or having to return because you're freezing.
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In the image above, you can see a massive mountain range across the fjord, with snow falling from the clouds on the left. We could literally watch as a light dusting of snow started to cover up those mountains.
Oh, and one more super useful tip: if you assume you brought spare batteries and memory cards for, say, your drone (or your camera), go and check before you leave! We had left the drone's memory card at our temporary home and were crushed that we couldn't get any video footage of the breathtaking view around us. Don't be like us
First, in some of your photos, the blue in the skies is way too strong, it blends into the clouds. Easily corrected by reducing the blue a little bit.
geben Deine Bilder die Farben doch so wieder, wie ich sie selbst dort erlebt und in Erinnerung habe.
Well, the colors actually were a bit ridiculous on the sunny days. On some pictures I actually reduced the Vibrance in LR because it was too much, even for my taste. But in general, I like colors that pop and that's how I edit my images. Might not be to everyone's taste, but it makes me happy I do admit that in 2-3 photos, I could have probably taken down the vibrance a little bit, but I wanted the strong contrast and intensity because they reflected what I subjectively remembered from those days.
Das freut mich zu hören, Walter! Ich konnte am Anfang meinen Augen kaum trauen da ich diese Farben auf den Lofoten nie erwartet hätte.
Last time I travelled mostly by car in the Lofoten, but that's my regret. Roads only go approximately sea level and you got you much better views by going up.
But my wife hates hiking... On all of the hikes you've done, were there some easy ones? Or short ones?
Did you get some nice pictures with the drone?