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.
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.
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.
Å is a pretty little fishing village with not much to do in the winter.
Small fjord in 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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
Check in/ bag drop with Norwegian literally took 2 minutes. As usual we were way too early. The shuttle from the hotel (Holiday inn Berlin Airport) was on time and only took 8 min to the airport. Berlin Schönefeld is a small airport compared to Frankfurt and it is busy! So plan some time for the security check.
Ready to go!!!
Norwegian Air from Berlin to Oslo
View of the baltic sea between Germany and Sweden
Update from Oslo Lufthavn
This airport is awesome. Its all new and shiny, lots of great places to eat and enough seating! We had a great lunch and will now proceed to our flight to Tromsø.
fresh shrimp baguette for lunch
Cinnamon Roll @ Oslo Airport
We arrived in time at 4:30pm. LUnfortunately only one of our bags made it, the other one was not traceable…we filed a claim and went to the hotel in our cool new Toyota Auris Hybrid. The hotel (Smarthotel Tromsø) is right in the center and it takes about 2min to reach shops and everything else. We went for a walk and the lighting was beautiful! After we didnt hear anything from Norwegian we decided to go to the airport to check the lost luggage situation and luckily our bag was there. Now after an exciting day off to bed. Below some impressions of Tromsø, the capital of the arctic.
Today we went to Berlin. We visited the Reichstag, Brandenburger Tor and the DDR Museum. Our timing with the museum was perfect because it started to rain, it was basically pouring. Its a cool place with a lot of interesting stuff to see. Later we visited my cousin in her beatiful new flat and then checked in into our Park, Sleep and Fly Hotel close to Berlin Schönfeld Airport where our car will wait for our us until we are back from Norway…