Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Narvik - Away from it All

Spectacular Presten from the sea
We had just over a week in Lofoten and the weather was perfect - in fact almost a bit warm on occasions. With it being the tail-end of the season everywhere was nice and quiet and as ever Thorbjørn organised us some superb accommodation in a quiet corner of Henningsvaer. We cracked on with the crag photography - the highlight was a boat ride out one evening with Jonas and his four year old lad (in a rather small boat) to get some shots of Presten from the sea as photos from the land are always very foreshortened. The light was rather poor when we set off but right on time the sun came out and I got a great set of shots.
Eidtind from the slabs
The forecast was for the weather to deteriorate towards the weekend (three weeks without rain so no complaints) so we left Lofoten and headed for the Narvik area for a few days of exploring the astounding granite peaks that pepper the area.
We started with a walk up the huge slabs on Stortinden - as amazing a setting as anywhere in Europe.
We met a solitary Norwegian guy on the mountain and we was rather surprised to meet English people in the area - apparently we are are a bit of a rarity!

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Wandering Out in the Far (North) West

Beach on Andøya
Almost two weeks since we left the UK and we have finally landed in Lofoten. Overall the weather has been pretty pleasant, though the last couple of days have seen the establishment of a classic Arctic high pressure system - I'm not sure how we always manage to bring the sun with us but we aren't complaining - it was almost too warm today!
We spent three days up on Andøya, the most northerly of the whole group of islands and well off the normal tourist trail. It was quiet with some superb beaches and deserted mountains.
Lofoten perfection
The journey down to Lofoten was a delight, almost deserted roads and an on-time ferry crossing, with fantastic weather and the usual magnificent scenery. Lofoten is busier than the other islands, in particular with Germans and Italians in big (often huge) camper-wagons - I guess the news of the beauty and serenity of the place has spread far and wide.
Our main objective is to start rephotographing the cliffs for a new version of out award winning Lofoten Rock guide book which is due to sell out next year. Whilst the weather is so benign we need to crack on - making hay!

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Ever Northwards

The Open Road
 Summer rolls around again and with it the usual issue of where to go to avoid the heat and the crowds - the whole of Europe on holiday at the same time - what a barmy idea.
Then Thorbjørn told me the Lofoten guidebook would probably sell out next year and a plan was hatched.
Kiruna and the remains of Iron Mountain
We did some checking and as ever getting to Arctic Norway cost a fortune, but some research showed we could get to Skellefteå in Northern Sweden for £40 and car hire there was 1/4 of the cost of Norway so sorted!
As ever, travelling in Scandanavia is brilliant, with good roads and little traffic, and although the speed limits are a bit slow progress is usually pretty steady
We had a couple days around Skellefteå then drove the five hours to the town of Kiruna in Arctic Sweden - an odd spot built around the two iron ore mountains that they are gradually removing.
The weather has been fine so far and the wildlife is interesting, Arctic Hare, Reindeer, Elk and Weasel on the tick-list so far. Next it is on towards Norway with a car full of cheap Swedish petrol, food and booze!

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