We look at pictures and that perhaps is the start of getting a place in, on our bucket list. Sometimes we hear about a country, a place from our friends and that’s what triggers the first thought of going there. Reasons, whatever they might be, feel the need to travel, the desire to go somewhere new. When I landed in Scandinavia, I knew in 10 days that Norway would be my sole reason to come back again. And Again!
The land of the midnight sun as it is called, Norway for many who travel its length (its a very narrow country), becomes one of the most beautiful countries they have been. This is not only true with Indians, but also with the Europeans, that seem to have more or less the same landscape as Norway. Same, until the Arctic circle is crossed.
In Norway, there are two parts, one below and one above, and the Arctic Circle at 66.6 Deg North separates the two. Norway below the famed imaginary line is beautiful and sometimes even stunning and I have at various times been surprised by its natural beauty. However, there is something that happens above the 66.6 deg line. No, it’s not only the midnight sun in Summer and the Northern lights in the winter. It is the sheer change in the landscape. The change which occurs due to the gain not in altitude but in latitude.
If the Arctic is the pearl of Norway’s nature, the Lofoten islands in the Arctics are its shine and shine they do, even when the weather is not the best. When the sun chooses to hide behind the clouds, the bare mountains that rise from the blue North Norwegian Sea look more imposing than they do when the almighty sun shines on them. It feels like the mountains have assumed the role of the sun to cast its spell on the surrounding.
When the sun shines, it’s a different story altogether. A story which people from far off countries come to witness. A story which revolves around not just the sun, but the path it’s takes in front of you. We just have to be at the right place at the right time on the islands and there you see it. A little less stressful to your eyes if its in the first week of July. No one complains even if its in the peak of June, though.
There are 2 am beach parties where the music is only of the seagulls. There are people walking outside their homes doing their day jobs at 3 am as if its 3 pm. There is a different kind of energy everywhere. The shops close at their usual timing and most of the people sleep as they do on a daily basis.
In recent years tourism has boomed in this part of the Arctics. The roads are narrow and driving can be a challenge, especially for those like me, who are not used to driving in this part of the world. I often hear my coach driver not being too pleased with the rent car drivers who stall the entire line of traffic.
To know about Lofoten
- Accommodation!! book it early. Stay in a Rorbu (main image)
- Cycle if you can, there is nothing like slow travel.
- The food is expensive just like everything else, but have the cod.
- Travel from Svolver to A Lofoten and then get out at Moskenes.
- Stay awake!
There are tourists and Lofoten is very very expensive to stay in. But once you are here, you will know that paradise has no price!