As soon as we arrived with the ferry in Moskenes we set off towards the village of “Å” in our rental car. It wasn’t more than a fifteen minute drive until we arrived at what was quite a small village, which could be seen in just a few minutes walking around. Driving up through the islands we soon realized that all of Lofoten was all villages (like Reine from the picture above) laying in beautiful mountain landscapes.
Lofoten was also a great place for hiking and camping. If you are a serious hiker you could do 3 or 4 hikes a day easily as there are so many hilltops and viewpoints close to each other. We did two a day, the first one being probably the most famous to “Mannen” (the Man) which was just over half an hour each way up to 400 meters altitude where we got a good view of Haukland Beach, known for its good surfing conditions.
Second up was the Devils Bridge which was a much longer and tougher hike, taking close to two hours each way. The path went past the famous Svolvær Goats to a rock that was wedged between two mountains.
From the top we could from the top was nice, but not as nice as the hike in Kvalvika where we got a view of Ryten Beach. We were at 68 degrees North looking down at a crystal white beach with turquise clear water – just as if we were in the Carrribean!
Last stop on our trip was the Lofotr viking museum in Bøstad which was a huge, interactive, open air museum where we got to row a viking ship, try on viking outfits and watch the guides pretending to live their “everyday viking life” and telling us facts and stories from this place which had the largest house ever found from the Viking era.
As me and my colleague Malene had been traveling around Northern Norway, holding travel speeches in Mo i Rana, Bodø, Tromsø and Alta, we decided to use the oportunity to do a bit of exploring.
We drove up the road E39 just like all the other tourists anf stopped at Nordkapp, which is known to be the Northernmost point of Norway, but all it is is a monument on a cliff and a huge souvenier shop. All the people walking there thought they were at Europes Northernmost point, but they were wrong. Knivskjellodden, which is a 18km hike from the mainroad goes over a mountain called Vestfjordfjellet and leads to a point called Knivsjelodden, which is located 1450meter further North than the North Cape.
We did the hike in six hours, not stopping for more than a quick bite and a photoshoot by the monument, which was not as impressive as the one at Nordkapp. The hike was not very steep and went mainly through a landscape covered in moss with lots of reindeer and cloudberries.
The road back was smooth and empty stretching over the Finmark Plateu. On the way we found an abandoned school which was being used as a film location for the movie “Lengsel etter Nåtid”was played where everything inside was smashed to pieces- other than that there was not much to see except the city of Honningsvåg. The city calles itself the summer city and claims to be the northernmost in the world, although the title is disputed between Borrow, Alaska and Hammerfest in Norway.
Exactly two years after crossing Norway on a penny board, the time was ready to cross the country again, this time in an inflatable rubber boat (Article in Norwegian):
There is a travel hack I want to share with you; when buying flights with frequent flyer miles the airlines usually base their prices on country zones, not distance. That means the Easter Islands counts as Chile. Galapagos as Equador and.. Svalbard as Norway! That meant that I could book a flight almost to the Northpole- for just the same price as any other domestic flight! So I went there for a long weekend with a couple of colleagues.
When we arrived there at 2am it was still as light as it was mid day. We could cycle around when we wanted, sleep, go partying and time didnt matter!
Prices there were a lot cheaper too. A tent at the camping spot was 100nok, half a litre of craft beer in Barentsburg was 30kr and taxis was at least half price of what it would cost on the main land- a paradise for partying in the summers!
We also got a guided tour at the Worlds Northernmost brewery, went to the northernmost bar, post office etc etc. Everything was the Worlds Northernmost!
We got to do some sightseeing when were there as well. We had booked a full day boat trip to Pyramiden which was an abandoned mining town and to Barentsburg- the second biggest settlement after Longyearbyen where I got to drink Russian beer, eat russian cabbage soup and send a postcard with a Russian stamp. Soviet slogans and a Lenin statue was still there and it visiting it was the second most fun thing I did while up there after going skinny dipping in the ice cold waters and putting my name up on the Artic Challenge list! I didnt see any polar bears though- so Svalbard, Ill be back!
The landscape we passed on the boatride from Longyearbyen to Barentsburg