Day 14: The North Cape  71°10’21” 

After a more quiet Night, only two ports during the night, we woke up to seeing a herd of reindeer out of our window. The scenery in total was beautiful because it had snowed earlier and everthing was white. 

On time at 11:15am we arrived at Honningsvåg, the most Northern town in Europe. As this was the port that we had to leave the Hurtigruten ship again, we had to collect our car from the car deck.

After checking out we headed to the North Cape which is in total 31km from Honningsvåg. The drive was interesting as in between the road was completely covered in ice and snow. 

The entrance fee to the North Cape is pretty expensive with 270NOK per person. Also the opening times in winter are strange, from 11am to 3pm. 

After the 4 buses with cruise tourists left we basically had the place to ourselves.  They show a lovely panorama movie and have all kinds of information about midnight sun and northern lights etc.

When we left at around 2:30pm it was already getting dark.

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Day 13 Hurtigruten and Tromsø

Yesterday we cruised until Tromsø and then further north. When we woke up the sea was pretty rough. 

Also the night was pretty rough, our cabin was, lets say, not ideally located. It was very loud and shaky during the night. 

The cruise was pretty cool, especiallyotowards Tromsø. The ship stayed for 4 hours in Tromsø and we used the time to explore the city. 

First we walked to the Artic Cathedral. From the port it takes about 30mins.

The cathedral is really unique and the architect designed it to resemble arctic characteristics. 

After our visit to the cathedral we walked back into the city to stroll around for a bit.

At 6:30pm we left Tromsø to head further north to the Nordkapp (North Cape).

Day 12 Rainbows, Å, Hurtigruten and Mrs. Aurora again 

Today has been quite a busy day. We had to check out of our beautiful little holiday home on Hamnøya, which made us a little sad. 

Hamnøya

As the weather was much better today we headed towards the end of the Lofoten, to Å. On the way to Å there were lots of photo opportunities that we could not resist. Almost after every corner was a rainbow. 

Reine

Å is a pretty little fishing village with not much to do in the winter. 

Small fjord in Å

Å

After Å we drove to Neslang, another small fishing village. There is a nice trail from Neslang to Nusfjord which we went to. 

Between Neslang and Nusfjord

Rorbuer in Neslang

Later that day we had to be in Stamsund. One of many Hurtigruten ports. Hurtigruten was established in 1893 to improve communication along the wide stretched coast of northern Norway. The ships now went into ports that before were only served rarely. Nowadays Hurtigruten is a ferry, cargo and cruise operator all at once. Most people go either northbound from Bergen to Kirkenes or southbound the other way around on a 5-6 day cruise. We use Hurtigruten as a ferry, from port to port. To not have to go all the way from the Lofoten to the Nordkapp by car we are going via ship. The journey will take about 40 hours and tomorrow morning we will arrive in Honningsvåg/Nordkapp.

Arrival of MS Nordnorge in Stamsund

Cruising through Trollfjord

Last night we had a pretty high aurora activity again. As it was only partly to mostly cloudy the northern lights were visible. Although trying to keep the camera steady on the tripod on a ship is almost impossible. The ship is constantly moving and you have got some sort of vibration all the time. Therefore to make a Hurtigruten Trip to photograph Northern lights cannot be recommended. 

Trollfjord Passage with Northern Lights

Day 11 Mount Røren and Mount Litlberget 

When we woke up this morning it was raining 😮 nevertheless it was less windy than yesterday. Therefore we decided to try and go venture. We headed to mount Røren. When we got to the parking lot it was raining 🙂 half way up the first mountain it eventually stopped so we could hike for about half an hour without getting wet. After we passed mount Røren we headed to mount Litlberget to not having to return the same way. The hike itself is not too hard a little steep at some points and very slippery when wet, especially getting down again was pretty difficult without falling. 

Bay Sandbotnen

Bay Sandbotnen

When we drove towards Hamnøya the light was great, so we stopped a couple of times to take pictures. 

View out of the living room

View out of the front door

Day 10 Hamnøya: rain plus a strong breeze/moderate gale 

Today was an indoor day. Strong winds (our little house is sometimes shaking, its so strong) and rain almost every minute of the day kept us from venturing. Apparently the wind is caused by an offset of hurricane Ophelia. Thanks Ophelia 🙂 

Watching the weather

It still is raining cats and dogs. We did get to go outside for a couple of minutes and we drove to the grocery store to stock up on some supplies. Between that we read, trank tea and relaxed. The weather forecast for tomorrow looks slightly more promising. Fingers crossed! 

Rorbuer in Hamnøya

Sakrisøya

Reine

Day 9 Bad weather hiking and Rorbuer

Today we left Leknes and headed further down to Reine. On the way to Reine, eventhough the weather was not ideal, we stopped in Fredvang, a small village. Here the hike to the Ryten summit as well as to Kvalvika Beach starts. When the weather is good its advisable to combine the two tracks, as the first half of the treck is the same. Both tracks together come up to 4:30h and about 11km. Due to the weather we did not descend down to the Beach and only went up to the summit (543m). It basically rained the entire time, and there was wind, a lot of wind. Fortunately we were wearing rain gear, nevertheless its not too much fun hiking up a mountain in the pouring rain. I guess despite of the weather we got some good shots.

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Fredvang, Lofoten

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Day 8 Leknes, Unstad and chasing Mrs. Aurora again

Yesterday was a rainy day. It did not rain all the time but plenty. Unfortunately the weather forecast was right so we decided to take it slow. As it was also pretty windy with up to 11m/s we drove to Unstand Beach. Unstand Beach is supposed to be a hot spot for surfing. And indeed despite the weather there was some surfin going on.

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Surfer at Unstad Beach

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Day 7 Lofoten Islands

Today we left Svolvaer and headed towards Leknes, which is in the middle of the Lofoten. The drive took about one hour. As our hike today we had picked out Offersøykammen, a mountain close to Leknes, which we believed a manageble evalation change. After around one hour steeply climbing 436 meters we reached the top and were able to enjoy a beautiful view. 433 meters elevation change on 1,3km is ca. 33% elevation increase!

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Day 6 Hiking up Tjeldbergtinden

Today we wanted to take it a little bit easy. We slept in a bit and enjoyed the very good breakfast of the hotel. At around 10:30am we decided to tackle Tjeldbergtinden a 367m summit next to Svolvær. The hike is around 5km but its very steep so not recommended for anyone with a fear of heights. In total it took us around 3hours cause we hiked a loop instead of going back and forth the same way.

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Day 5 extra: Aurora Borealis

Last night the aurora forecast which I, along with the weather forecast, the supposed cloud coverage etc., studied religiously, forecasted an aurora activity of 5 out of 9.  Together with clear skies the spectacle began at around 7pm. We stepped out of the hotel in Svolvær and saw the lights immediately cause they were so strong and visible. No need for long exposures with the camera.

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