We did it! We made it! It happened! Our day was way longer than we expected 🙂
Today morning started with a blast: the sun!
We opened the curtains and saw a very nice sunrise and directly our hopes went up to finally have a nice day without rain storms on the Lofoten.
After a yummy breakfast, we packed everything, including hiking equipment, and started driving. Directly here in Ballstad we stopped at a little part of the Fjord were Gigi every day just loves to see that little ship. Today in the morning sun it just looked too cute to drive by without taking a picture.
A few minutes later we finally stopped at a very nice wooden church just outside of the town where we live. Also this spot we passed every day twice and the conditions were never good to take a picture of it.
Today we took the E10 in southern direction to discover as much as possible what the Lofoten have to offer in that part. At an intersection we left the E10 to follow the road to Nusfjord.
Nusfjord is a fisher village located at a tiny Fjord in a valley surrounded by high mountains. At this time of the year only the morning sun finds its way to this beautiful town. Great that we were there just in time! Its gorgeous.
Since the road is a dead end, we took the same way back out of this valley. Back at the E10 we continued southwards and saw many beautiful spots to stop on our way back in the evening.
The morning sun was not high enough yet, but in the evening the sun was going to be in our back and give us perfect light. Already excited about these spots, we just continued until we reached the most photographed and visited area of the Lofoten: first Hamnøy
Wow! What a fantastic area! In Reine we had a quick snack and then decided to hike the local mountain called Reinebringen to have a view from up all over this area. Yesterday we were googling for the route up there and read that too many tourists hike up in all kinds of weather conditions and the path gets ruined so it is not in the best condition. But we were motivated and the view from up there looked amazing, we have hiked many trails before so we didn´t think much about it. We didn´t consider the fact the past few days were very rainy and stormy until we were actually there and started the hike. Already during the first 5 minutes we lost the trail several times because it was basically non existant…like washed off. There were also other tourists in front of us trying to figure out where the trail continued. It was hard to avoid the extreme mud and there were some big rocks that maybe when its not humid you could actually walk over them. But now they were slippery so we needed to walk around them (couldn´t avoid the mud) thinking that after that part the hiking trail would get better. The middle section was just extremely muddy and it was no fun at all. Gigi´s shoe actually sank completely into the mud at some point. After this part we finally saw some stairs made of stone (finally the path looked decent) but that path is not finished yet. it was a dead end. So we went back to the intersection and tried our luck on the old path. Oh my god…the path is in such a bad condition! We followed a wild little river because its easier than going on the, whats used to be, path. The area started getting steeper and steeper…and with those slippery, muddy conditions…plus meters ahead we saw that the path got completely washed off by the rain storms, just a muddy slide down the hill. I have been on many mountains and go hiking, climbing since I was a young boy, but I have really never seen a path in such a bad shape…never. And something like that in a touristic area. Long story short: safety comes first – we turned back and climbed back down, covered in mud. Good thing that back on the street there was a little waterfall where we could rinse our shoes and pants off, the beauty of hiking gear, either they are waterproof or they dry pretty quick!
Too bad, but well. Basically we just lost 1.5h time. Back in Reine, we bought sandwiches and then decided to chase the sun for great images. We have not been to the most southern town with the wonderful name of Å.
Å is a very calm fisher town and the road just ends there. We took a look around and found these Rorbuer accomodations which are connected with a wooden bridge.
With the sun now in our back, we drove the E10 back up in northern direction, hoping for some really nice spots to take pictures. Just a few minutes later we found some breathtaking spots around Hamnoy.
From there we drove to a wonderful beach called Rambergstranda. It is such a nice, wide, long and soft sand beach, it could easily be in the caribbean.
A bit further we took a left turn and drove to another dead end town called Viken. We only stopped for a quick picture because we had already made other plans for later.
From there we drove straight back to our appartment, took a hot shower, made a hot soup and waited for the darkness. At around 20:15 we left because tonight, with this clear sky and perfect weather, we wanted to try our luck to possibly see the northern lights (Aurora Borealis). Only 2 minutes (!!) later we got stunned! We saw our first northern lights directly outside of our little town! We then hurried to find a place where we could be in the dark (no street lights or cars) to try to pictures of it. It was amazing!
We were soooo excited, impressed and overwhelmed! (KP 4) After they faded we wanted to find another nice spot. We drove back to one of the beaches we discovered, which has a straight clear view to the north. 20 Minutes later we arrived there and wow, just wow! Outside it was 0° at this point and we stood there at the beach for more than 1 hour. But it was totally worth it 🙂
Completely frozen, the thermometer showed -2° now, we called it and drove back. We couldn’t believe our luck that on the only clear day we had on the Lofoten we really got to see this! And not only just a little bit, it was going on for a long time! Even though the KP factor (the higher the factor the stronger the Aurora Borealis) was only between 2-3 (highest is 9) to the naked eye a KP 2 factor looks more like bright white clouds but just the way they move make them already stunning (with swirls and strange shapes like smoke) …and it was still not over 😀 back at the appartment the show went on and so we stood there until 01:00 to watch the show with -2°. We already wondered why the last pictures we took were so blurry, but when we got back in the appartment we saw the reason…the lenses of our cameras were frozen!
At some point the northern lights got less and we tried to sleep. Gigi was still so excited and fascinated that she could not sleep for another hour, looking at the northern lights from our bedroom window. At 04:30 we woke up because our neighbors were making a lot of noise. We took the opportunity to only watch straight out of our bedroom window. You guessed it already, right? More northern lights! This time with KP factor 4 meaning we could see the gorgeous green tones with our eyes very clearly! Unbelievable!
Around 05:15 we finally went to sleep for a bit and now, while we are finishing these last lines, it is 07:45 and we are still overwhelmed by what we witnessed. With a sleepy eye we will continue our journey in Norway today. Stay tuned!