It is amazing that so little islands have so much to offer. From the first centimetre to the last. Like the small village of Å, right at the end of the road. Literally. Not only Å is the last letter in the Norwegian alphabet, it is also the last village towards the southern tip of the archipelago. Apparently from a dozen of years or so, it´s also the starting point of a cycling route named from A to B. The later referring to Bee (a town in Nebraska)??? Not surprisingly Å has traditionally been a fishing town, focusing on stockfish, even if lately tourism is taking over.
With Norwegian weather turning like a mary-go-round, the weather forecast is one of our most visited apps. Truth to be told, we always look at 2 different apps (YR and Weather) and compare and frequently despair, as we try to draw our route following some line of favourable weather. This is why at the beginning of our journey in the Lofoten, we skipped some parts of the North and headed South, where the sun seemed to show its nose from behind the clouds more frequently. As soon as we see an opportunity though, we head up North to Henningsvaer, that had been pretty high in our list. Yes, it is a fishing village, but it looks different from the rest. Located on a group of islands connected by bridges, the town is reached through a winding road contouring the rocky coast. Maybe because it has white houses instead of red, architecture a bit more heterogeneous than normally in Norway, and sailing boats moored at the harbour, it oddly gives me the feeling of a coastal town in the Mediterranean.
We spend time simply looking at the clear reflections of the buildings in the water, in the moody evening and morning light, and strolling through the nice shops and art galleries in town.
Good to have some relaxing time before driving to Svolvaer to board on a Rib boat from Lofoten Explorer (www.lofoten-explorer.no). Commanded by the skilful captain Rune, we head off to the impressive Trollfjord, which on its narrowest point is no more than 100 meters wide. This enhances the effect of the impressive vertical walls, up to 1100 meters high.
But we are even more excited by the numerous sightings of sea eagles fishing. Sighting eagles in this area is pretty common, but we are told that not in the high numbers that we are fortuned with, up to 6 or 7 at a given time. Both Christian and also myself, have a hard time focusing on a subject in particular to take photos. It´s quite overwhelming, but also quite amazing. Everybody on the boat is cheerful and happy.
As the weather is reasonably good and we know this is not something we can take for granted, after the Rib excursion and without wasting any second, we drive west to the white sandy beaches of Haukland and Uttakleiv. They are 2 amazingly beautiful beaches about 4 Km apart. We stay at Haukland where free camping is possible. Nicely there’s a comfortable hiking path circling around the mountain between the two. It is a pleasant after dinner walk for us.
As the time is getting closer to say goodbye to the Lofoten islands, at least for now, we head back south again to take the ferry to the mainland. On the way we stop at our favourite beach, Skagsanden to spend the night there. It is stormy and the beach looks dark and mysterious, totally different than during our first visit.
The day after, we take the ferry and, as the water is a bit rough, we make our way back to the mainland stumbling through the sea of Norway.
We do truly want to thank Geraldine and Martin from Wild Photography Holidays (https://wildphotographyholidays.com) and Marc (http://grafmarc.at/) from ARR (http://www.arr.at) for their very valuable insider tips that have made our adventures in the Lofoten much more enjoyable.