Last Days on Lofoten Islands

lofoten islands norway offersoykammen

Photo: Autumn light over Lofoten from Offersøykammen, Lofoten Islands, Norway.  Oct. 2012

My time here on Lofoten is soon coming to an end.  Today is stormy, making it a good day for rest and a bit of reading and writing.  Overall, it’s been a good Autumn; pretty dry, with some good calm days.  On a few occasions I’ve found myself arriving on mountain peaks in just a t-shirt; though this is mostly due to the amount of sweat I create under the burden of all my camera crap.

Unlike previous trips, I’ve tried to be a bit more focused this time.  One of the main reasons is that I want to add more content to my other website I have about the Lofoten Islands: 68north.com  Once I’m done traveling in mid November, I’ll have quite a few updates to make and a lot of new content to add.  It should keep me busy while hiding from the rain in what is forecasted to be a pretty crappy winter in the UK.

And despite having now spent nearly six weeks north of the Arctic Circle since late August, I’ve only seen one small display of the Northern Lights.  They’ve been occurring, but I seem to always find myself in a cloudy location.  Or on the few clear nights that I have had, the sky has been quite.  I have a few more days left for my luck to change, we’ll see what happens.

Two days ago, Tuesday, I finally hiked up Himmeltindan, the highest mountain here on Vesvågøy.  I was racing an incoming layer of high cloud as I made my way up the 964 meters (it may not sound high, but the parking area was at a beach) to the summit.  Like normal here on Lofoten, or at least with my luck, the clouds won.  Still a good day all and all.  I met some soldiers at the top, who’d taken the elevator – there is an elevator build inside the mountain to service the radar station built on top.  I half joked if I could get a lift back down, ‘No, sorry. That wont be possible…’ came the response.

Yesterday was one of those frustrating days where I was always 1-2 minutes too late.  The light was nice and stormy, as it should be here in Autumn.  But I found myself just driving in circles, never able to put light and subject together to create a decent image.  Finally, and partly out of a little bit of frustration of having spent 400 nkr of gas, I decided just to hike up the small peak of Offersøykammen and try and wait until sunset to see if anything would happen.  Well, the clouds decided to descend over the summit about 45 minutes before sunset.  There was some nice light in the process, but I then headed back down to the car, only to notice that I had chosen one of the few peaks in the area with cloud cover; most of the other summits remained free and clear.

In final thoughts, and as much as I like being here, after six weeks in Norway and Sweden I can hear the cries and protests of my bank account every time I enter the supermarket or pull up the the gas station.  It actually makes having 250 Euros stolen in Germany seem like not all that big a deal.  I think I prefer Norway in shorter amounts of maybe 3 weeks at the most – with at least half that hiking and sleeping in a tent so I don’t spend anything.  Now I can feel myself being too cautious with money; not renting a car if I don’t think the weather will clear up (I have a sort of deal worked out with one of the rental car guys that I can take a car only on the days I want it, but that still costs me 250 nkr/day + gas at 15.5 nkr/L – $10.26 gallon), so I’ve missed some good light on a couple days I didn’t think would amount to much.  And then when I do go with the car, I can sense that I’m putting myself under pressure to create something good.  And up here, it doesn’t work like that.

On Tuesday I fly to Budapest and see if the place still looks the same after six years.

4 replies
  1. martin says:

    again cody, great photos of kungsleden and lofoten! they really make one wanna go there (as they already did for me on the kungsleden). during hiking it i wasnt sure if i wanted to do it again, but now, a few weeks later and looking at your photos, i am pretty sure i´ll head to another spot up north next year.

    its kinda sad to read about your experiences in germany but, – as you indicated yourself – still being lucky that it was `only´ the money missing at the end. and the wonderful days on kungsleden and lofoten probably helped making up with that. after all i feel really jelious now anyways, since youre heading for my alltime favorite when it comes to cities. looking forward to read more and see some great photos!

  2. aga says:

    Cody I want to thank you for your blog, photos and help with sleeping bag’s choice. We are coming on Lofotone 25th of October for the firdt time in my life, and your blog and ^8THnorth webpage is so useful that you cant’t even imagine. hope you spend nice time in Budapest, if you want to visit Bieszczady mountains in Poland, feel invited! looking forward to see some more pisc! aga

  3. Cody says:

    Hey Martin. You do need to be a bit careful, as the North becomes quite addictive over time, even counting the bad weather and all. I’m looking forward to Budapest, definitely a good city for my camera.

    Hi Aga. Hopefully the good weather is still here when you arrive. But either way, there is always something nice about the Islands. I was actually in Bieszczady mts. last year in Oct/Nov. Had a good time hiking and staying in a few mountain huts. Next time I want to go back sometime in winter, should be nice looking…

    Takk Justyna.

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