Påske i Lofoten, dag IV : Of Water and Snow…
Originally published on The North Way, my previous blog …
Call to arms! We are under attack! The vikings are here to loot, burn and rape! Ho, wait a minute … I am dreaming. Well, not really. After a first part of the night hearing the confessions of a drunk man through the slim walls of the rorbu and another part of great sleep, hidden under thick fog and snow, a really nice viking ship appears. This is a good surprise, the perfect cliché for someone visiting Norway. Unfortunately no viking in it, actually no viking with the traditional viking suit, but who knows if the guy on the boat isn’t?
After a moment enjoying the snowfall in this tiny little wooden harbour in Ballstad we decide to continue our trip. Our first step for today is a harbor often referred as the “Venice of Lofoten” : Henningsvær. It seems that one like to give names of famous cities to Norwegian places. But as for the “Paris of the North” (Tromsø), there is not much things in common between Henningsvær and Venice. Well yes, this town is partly built on water, but that’s it. Unfortunately, it is filled with restaurants and hotels (which are of course closed during this time of the year). Anyways, a short walk along the water under the sun is always welcome and we enjoy it pretty much.
Clouds are back today, and the sun is playing hide and seek again. Currently, it is hiding! We though decide to come back to our old habits and go back to the car for the next destination. We drive through Kabelvåg, a city which can be interesting in the touristic season for its aquarium, museums and galleries. Then Svolvær, the capital of Lofoten. We then take a coffee, book a cabin in an open camping (yes, some campings are open during spring!) and run away (who said Svolvær isn’t beautiful?). Now we are driving up north again. The road tends to lose it’s interest, but it is just a question of time. After a moment landscapes tend to be quiet different. The rough mountains and the sea are slowly replaced by less impressive mountains (I would not dare saying hills) and infinite white fields. Are these fields or lakes under this perfect layer of snow? I guess both. When suddenly, something catches our attention: A tiny little harbor among the mountains in the middle of nowhere. It is called Sildpollnes. We stop here for a good moment. The sun is back, reflecting on the white summits, giving this surreal vision of “fishing boats in the Alps”. This place is really fantastic and it is difficult to leave. But we have to.
Our last destination for today is Laukvik. It’s actually not a really interesting town in itself but has its reputation during summer to be a really nice place to enjoy the midnight sun. So we decide to have a walk to the sea wall, which is probably the place people use to go to when wanting to enjoy it. We quickly understand now. It’s like we are at the end of the earth. The only thing we can see behind the water is more water. We are facing the Norwegian sea in its entirety and the dramatic grey and heavy sky above gives us this oppressing atmosphere of a storm to come.
This day is going to an end. We are getting tired and take the way to the camping where we booked our cabin for the night. But the light on the sky is so interesting … what do I do? I am really exhausted … yes, but it’s so beautiful … Arrrgh! We only have one life: I have to take pictures this evening. This is our last evening in Lofoten for God knows how long! I drop Celine off to the cabin and go back to the car, turn up the volume and drive randomly to find a nice place for photos. I fell like a teen with it’s first car listening to music loudly with open windows, at the only difference that my windows are definitely closed. The more I drive, the more the lights become intense. If I find a nice spot, it will definitely be interesting. And… there we are! A perfect place: Mountains, low tide, sand and an orange cloud reflecting on quiet waters. I park the car on the side of the road, take my camera stuff and run into the snow to the beach. The snow enters my shoes. It’s cold and uncomfortable but I don’t care. I walk into sea water puddles. Water enters into my shoes. It is also cold and uncomfortable. But damn it! I DON’T CARE. The only thing I have currently in mind is : “how can I take the best photo out of that?” — and also: “ho crap, I hope I won’t walk into quicksands!” ;). And a few clicks later, after the excitement goes down a bit, I finally take time to focus and compose correctly to get what I want.
I am pretty happy and go back to the car after around an hour of shooting (or more? I don’t really remember, lights are so different up north). But on the way back to the camping, despite my freezing foots and my tiredness, I can’t stop parking the car here and there to walk again into the snow, to put some more snow into my shoes, to get even colder and of course to take pictures of those magnificent lights of the already set sun. Until my body and my stomach tells me together with authority : “NOW YOU STOP!”. Yes sir …
This is the end of the Påske i Lofoten saga (no, it’s not pretentious to call that saga :P). I hope you liked it as much as I loved writing it. If you have any questions or any remarks about it, about the pictures, the places or whatever, feel free to ask. Even if I’m not a specialist of Lofoten, I would be glad to help you as much as I can.