So after my last article from Sweden, I’m pretty exhausted from writing, but I’m going to write another super-long article, because these two destinations (Sweden & Norway) are worth the work.
To begin, I should explain how I actually found myself in Norway. Before I arrived at Fjällräven Classic, I asked if it was be possible to postpone my return ticket for a week and that was it! Philipp from Fjällräven was more than willing and even cheered that I wanted to discover the Northern countries even more.
So when everyone else left home on August 16th, I stayed at the airport and didn’t leave anywhere. I rented a car right at the airport and set off for the Norwegian Lofoten, which have been my dream for several years. The only reason I’ve never been there before was the price of the flight tickets, which were about the same price as tickets from Prague to Sydney in the high season. So I have to admit that this was all just one big luck, because it happened thanks to one e-mail. I even had an opportunity to borrow the Fjällräven tent, sleeping bag, mattress, trekking poles and stove, which I’d send back to Stockholm at the end of my journey, so I didn’t have to worry about anything.
From Kiruna, it was supposed to take me me about 6 hours to get to the south of Lofoten, but you know how it is. I stopped every few minutes and took pictures of the fantastic (still Swedish) nature. As soon as got out of Kiruna, I started to see some reindeer. Once, the entire herd refused to get off the road, no matter how long I honked, barked or booed. Finally, after a few minutes, a huge truck came from the other direction, and it made the reindeer to move, haha:)
I crossed the border and found myself in my beloved Norway. My fourth time! I drove around Narvik and once I got to the northern Lofoten, I stopped at a gas station and bought a map to plan the trip. I didn’t have time to plan anything earlier, since I was quite busy with walking the whole previous week, haha 🙂
It was raining all day long that day, so I decided to spend my time in the car and drive as far as possible. The farthest town, where the E10 road ends, is a town called Å, but of course I didn’t get that far.
I parked on a sandy beach called Skagsanden and pitched my tent there. I was actually pitching my tent in a heavy rain, so I hoped it would be better in the morning. Lofoten islands are known for its constant rain. A lot of you guys told me, that when you were here, it was raining all week long, so I was quite ready for the worst option.
I didn’t set my alarm clock to get some sleep finally, but the sun woke me up pretty early in the morning. I got real excited, folded my tent in a moment, stopped by the beach, washed my feet (brrr!) and got on the road again.
I wanted to go straight to Å, but I just couldn’t pass the destinations I had planned for the way back since it was sunny. I’m talking mainly about Reine and Hamnøya.
I gave a ride to some hitchhikers along the way, so I had a good company for a few hours. At noon, I found myself in Å. I discovered a local bakery, where I had my breakfast and coffee (by the way, in the Nordic countries, you would almost never get a proper cappuccino, the only coffee you can get here is a black coffee with milk). It took me about a half an hour to walk around the whole town.
I think I saw every angle of the town so I moved to the north to the next town, which was called Sørvågen, where I was supposed to start my first hike. I chose the hardest one for the first day, and it led from Sørvågen to Hermannsdalstinden around the Munkebu hut. On that day, I wanted to climb up all the way to the summit, then go back to Munkebu, sleep there, and get back down to the car in the morning.
But given that I started the trek at about 2pm and on the way I had lunch at one beautiful place, of course I got to the hut at about 6pm and it was another two hours to the Hermannsdalstinden summit (plus two hours back down), so I had to give it up and pitch the tent near the hut. Actually, I tried to go, but it was so muddy that I would have walked really slowly, so I came back to the hut. I mean, it was pretty nice to chill a bit and shoot some videos afterall, so I was definitely not mad that I didn’t go. There were about four tents spread around the hut, so I felt kinda safe. When it got foggy in the evening, I lied down in my sleeping bag.
In the morning I ran back to my car and drove to the famous village of Reine. Originally, I wanted to take the ferry to Værøy Island, but when I was looking at the schedule, I found out that I had just missed it and there is only one per day, so I had to move the trip to the next day.
In Reine, I saw the “downtown” which is definitely worth seeing! There are plenty of typical red wooden houses with grassy roofs, which are incredibly photogenic. Then I drove back to the E10 road and set off for a short but difficult hike to Reinebringen. When you put Lofoten into Google images, you’re most likely gonna find these pictures – a view of Reine city with the fjords in the background.
But the hike was really interesting. I’ve never climbed a steeper hill! Even though the hike is only about 2 km long, it took me at least two hours to get to the top. However, around the 6pm, I was already standing on the summit overlooking the whole Lofoten Islands.
I read once, that I could even pitch a tent there, so I brought my tent to give it a try. But when I saw the steep ridge, which was about 1.5 m wide, I realized that this was gonna be fun! Haha:) In the end, I found a muddy spot, but it was wide enough for super-large my tent. It was right in the middle of the path and there was no way to pass me, so I waited a few minutes for the last tourists to leave and start pitching. Actually a few hikers came up really late, and when they saw my tent on the narrow ridge, they looked at me and asked me if I’m crazy or what, haha:)) Totally worth it though! 🙂
Around 8pm, I lied down into my sleeping bag, because it started to be really windy. The wind was so strong, that I was almost scared to fall asleep. Eventually I passed out and in the morning I woke up to a beautiful sunrise with no wind at all. Luckily alive!
My alarm clock was set for 4.15am in order to see the sunrise and when I got out of the tent, I saw another guy on the summit. But he didn’t have a tent, he slept just in his sleeping bag and had this tarp over him, however his place seemed even more dangerous than mine, haha:)
I started cooking my breakfast and meanwhile this guy got out of his sleeping bag, sat down to the top of the mountain, pulled out a small guitar and started singing. Just imagine the mood – the sun was just coming out, we were the only ones there, I was holding a hot tea in my hand, sitting next to my tent and looking at the endless landscape. I was so moved, that the beauty almost made me cry. I really wanted to remember this moment and I think I’ll remember it for a long time <3
You guys surely remember when I was telling you about Dolomites and the Paternkofel and that it was the most beautiful view I’ve ever seen in my life. Wel… Changed my mind. Reinebringen got me even more. Maybe it was enhanced by the atmosphere I had experienced there, but that view up there was indescribable.The photos don’t capture the real beauty actually, so you gotta imagine it ten times more awesome.
After sunrise, I started packing and walking down. I got to the car by 10am and drove to Moskenes, from where the ferry was supposed to leave at 11:15. I was surprised how few cars were getting on board to Værøy! The ferry could hold about 100 cars, and there were only 4 cars waiting in the dock. One way ticket was quite expensive, I think about 600 NOK, which is around CZK 1,700.
An hour later, I was driving out of the ferry straight to the beginning of the hike to a mountain called Håheia. It was not difficult to get there at all, because part of the trail led on a road (but it was forbidden to drive there) and it took me about an hour and 15 minutes. There was absolutely no one up there, so I had the whole view just for myself. I didn’t understand, but I was really glad. What I saw was a huge magnificent fjord, and it’s beauty just left me speechless.
I spent an hour at the top and then went back down. But I chose another way – straight along the cliff ridge and then steeply down, picking up hundreds of blueberries along the way.
I toured the whole island in about half an hour. It has to be said that the island has an area of about 5×8 km, it has just one road and there is one village called Sørland, where you can find one little hotel with one restaurant and one small supermarket. Also, there are several white beaches with turquoise water, which didn’t even look like Norway!
The ferry back to Moskenes was supposed to go the next morning at 9am, so I had to stay here during the night. But at 3pm I actually had nothing to do, because there was really nothing to do on such a tiny island, haha:) If you are ever there, a few hours is definitely enough:) Anyways, I found a quiet place on a beach in Nordland, which some lady recommended to me when I was buying the ferry tickets. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name of it, but it’s at the very end of the road in the northern part of the island (I guess that’s why it’s called Nordland haha:))
I spent most of the afternoon on the beach and in the evening the wind started to be pretty annoying, so I went inside of my tent. I couldn’t really sleep because of the strong wind.
In the morning, when I was getting up for the ferry around 7am, the wind was so strong that it knocked me down several times. Now, imagine folding the tent in such conditions! Haha:) Fortunately, I was quite in the valley, so it wasn’t so bad compared to what I experienced an hour later. The dock was on the other side of the island, which required driving over a pass. When I was passing through, I thought that the wind was gonna turn my car on the roof. But I dared stop and get a couple of photos:D Well, I think it was worth it, haha:))
I still had about an hour before leaving, so I went for a morning coffee to the only restaurant. But the waitress told me, that the ferry was cancelled that day, because of the strong wind, plus it started to rain. The next one was supposed to come at 10pm. I already had my tent packed and I was ready to go, so I just spent the whole day in the restaurant. I was sitting on a chair for 12 straight hours, and I used the time to start cutting the videos. Thank God there was a wifi and a signal, so I was quite effective and got some work done. When it stopped raining, I decided to go and see the lighthouse at the end of the island, but the wind was so unbearable that I was back in the restaurant in 15 minutes.
The wind wasn’t getting any better, and when it was 10pm, the waitress informed me that the ferry was supposed to be three hours delayed. Again due to the strong wind. So I was impatiently sitting inside and watching breaking trees and overturning chairs on the balconies. I was a bit scared to board that ferry.
Eventually, the ferry arrived at about 1am, and before 3am, I was finally back on the mainland. The wind on the mainland wasn’t that strong, but I didn’t feel like pitching my tent at 3 in the morning, so I parked the car in Reine and slept inside.
I got on the road again in the morning. I lost one whole day, so I had to adapt the itinerary a little bit.
Well, I couldn’t miss the Kvalvika beach and the hike to a mountain called Ryten. From the road, it takes about one hour of walking to the beach, and another two hours to climb the Ryten mountain. It has a nice view of the beach. The path up there is a bit confusing, but if you keep the right direction, you’ll get eventually. This was actually the third place I will never ever forget. That view from up there was indescribably beautiful! <3
I ran back down and set off for the next checkpoint, which was the village of Nusfjord. This one didn’t really catch my attention, especially after what I saw the Reine. I can say the same thing about Henningsvær. If these two villages were the first ones to see in Lofoten, I’d be amazed, but since I saw Reine first, I could have skipped these two. Oh well, they were on the way anyways!:)
One of the last stops was Unstad Beach, to which you can actually drive. It was an afternoon, and I was lucky, because the surfers had just burst into the water. It was 6 degrees, but I dared to take off my shoes, roll up my pants and go into the water for better pictures. After 10 minutes in the ice-cold water, my feet were almost dead, so I returned back to my car. The surfers were wearing wet suits, but still, there was no way I would get in.
Last night I pitched my tent on another beach, this one was named Rørvikstranda, near Henningsvær, where my Lofoten adventure ended. From there I went back to Kiruna the next day, from where was my 6am flight back to Stockholm and then to Prague. I stayed in a hotel the last night, to pack everything and have a proper shower:)
Anyways, to summarize it, a week in Lofoten was so beautiful, that there is no chance of putting it in words. Who has never been there, wouldn’t understand. The Norwegian nature is the most beautiful for me, and Australia, New Zealand or the States are not even close. (Okay, they are, but Norway still wins, haha). I have seen so many interesting places, which I will never forget. I still see them so clearly as if it was just a few hours since I got back. And I know I’m saying this every time I come back from somewhere, but this was something E-P-I-C and I’m sure Lofoten is the most beautiful place on Earth and I already know now, that I’ll be back in the winter <3