Yesterday I was looking for a cool isolated tree in a winter field and somehow managed (well, it wasn’t very difficult) to find some small little road that had not been cleared of snow. Within about 30 seconds I realized that I had probably passed the point of no return and it was either keep going and possibly end up stuck or try to turn around and definitely end up stuck – wouldn’t be my first time getting stuck in the snow. Never found any cool trees, but I thought these power lines would be an OK substitute. I managed a pretty good face plant (without camera) when I was sort of ‘hopping’ across the snow and found the waste deep drainage ditch on the side of the road, which was filled with snow and looked flat. Second photo is of the same ponds as yesterday.
Sunday was a thoroughly cold and snowy day; perfect for a nice hike. Snow kept me from taking many photo, but here’s a couple from a little hill above Pottenstein. I’ll be coming back to this spot again in early January, as there is a festival where they light hundreds of little fires on all the surrounding hills.
One of the cool things about the north is how quickly the weather comes and goes. One April morning after a night of snow I woke up to nice sunny weather. First thought of mine was to head up Steinetind (the mountain in the center of the first pic) and take in the view. Around the half way point, while I was climbing a smaller middle peak the winds picked up as some clouds blew over and brought about 20 minutes of snow. I huddled down among some rocks and waited for it to pass. And soon enough, as quickly as it arrived, it was over and I was looking at nice blue skies again and a gently breeze. now back on my way up the mountain…
Continuing on the Lofoten theme of the last couple days…
The Hurtigruten is a daily coastal ferry that runs the length of Norway from Bergen in the south to Kirkenes, far into the arctic circle in the north. Stamsund is one of it’s ports of call. And twice from there, I’ve caught a ride south. The first time to Bergen in summer 2001 and the second to Trondheim in spring 2007.
A full price ticket and cabin is quite a fee, but with a student discount (many things in Norway have a ‘student’ price) and being willing to sleep somewhere on the floor for a couple nights, it can actually be one of the cheaper ways to get up or down Norway. Anyhow, the journey is so spectacular that there’s not much time for sleep anyway, though the ticket lady gave me quite a funny look when I said I didn’t want a cabin. “It’s a 3 day journey…” she said. “Yep, I’ve got a sleeping bag.” I replied. “Ok then, here’s your ticket.” And that was it.
I’m amazed at the skill of the captains. They bring this huge ship to port better than most people can park a car! It’s simply incredible to watch them navigate this giant boat like it’s some little toy. Most of the modern ones have propellers in the bow which help them turn the ship around. But on some of the older ships, they drop a front anchor, hit the throttle and spin the ship around the pivot point, then arrive absolutely perfectly. So cool.
Hurtigurten arriving at Stamsund as viewed from a nearby mountain one spring evening…
Hmm, another Lofoten post. Perhaps I’ve been at moderate latitudes for a bit too long and need another journey north. I had actually planed to travel to Lofoten around the new year to experience the polar night and the first coming of the sun, unfortunately, German class has put a ruin to those plans. Perhaps next year if I’m lucky.
A day of nice weather gave me the itch for some change in scenery from Stamsund. I had never been to Unstad, so I decided to head there for a night or two. I figured the journey would take a good 4-5 hours as I would most likely have to do a fair bit of walking as I imagined traffic to be quite sparse to a tiny coastal village of only a few people. But as luck would have it, I caught a ride out of Lekness with a guy who was going all the way there, cool!
(More below, including a few a couple pictures that some might find disturbing…)
One stormy spring evening I headed out of the warmth of the Stamsund Vandrehjem to take some photos of the coastline. I stood watching the waves crashing among the rocks for a few minutes until I was confident of a certain rock that would provide a close location to the sea but keep me and my camera dry. The first photo is from that location.
The second photo is of that location, about in the center of the picture, completely covered by a large incoming wave about 3 minutes after I had moved for a different angle. Would have been a quick ‘hop, skip and a jump,’ and still probably a wet Cody had I remained there…
And yes, in the Lofoten, the color can be that different just by turning 90 degrees.