|Svolvær , February 2012|
This time I arrived in Lofoten, after crossing the Vestfjord from Bodø, in bright sunshine. My plan (assuming typical island weather) had been to hire a car to provide both transport and shelter. The weather that appeared meant that the only shelter I really needed was a sun-hat, so I reverted to a boot-and-bus travel plan.
|Rorbu on Svinoya|
|Fish drying racks (hjell) on Svinoya|
In the evening, there is also a museum in Svolvær, telling the story of the Second World War in the Lofoten Islands. It's a very busy, and fascinating, little museum. And why in the evening? Lots of towns along the Norwegian coast base their activities around the Hurtigruten ship timetable, Svolvær is no exception. Both the north-bound and south-bound ships call in the evening and for 3 or 4 hours the town is filled with Goretex-clad visitors eager to visit anything that's open.
|Lofoten Cathedral, Kabelvåg|
|Å i Lofoten|
The E10 starts at on Baltic Coast in Sweden in the town of Luleå, winds across northern Sweden and then into Norway where it comes King Olav V’s Road (as well as the E10). From the Norwegian border the road heads to Narvik before crossing the Tjeldsund Bridge and onto the Lofoten Islands. A network of tunnels and bridges carry the road through the islands to a final tunnel just outside Å, which provides a dramatically situated car park and turning circle. South of that are a few faint footpaths (not all suitable for the faint-hearted) up into the mountains but otherwise no way further south other than by boat.
|Beyond the Road, Å i Lofoten|
Sørvågen boasts supermarkets, an excellent little restaurant and a telecommunications museum (at some times of the year). This unlikely museum is a nod to Norway, Lofoten and particularly Sørvågen’s place in telegraphic history. In 1903, just four years after Marconi demonstrated wireless communciations, there were large scale experiments going on Sørvågen providing communications to the outlying Lofoten Islands.
My second visit to Lofoten really did confirm my initial impression that this is a special place. The dramatic mix of mountains and fjords, of villages and harbours, combined with the clear, crisp air that gives the light a special quality makes Lofoten a wonderful place for photography. I'm certainly going to be back again. I've explored a few of the towns and villages but there are many more to explore.
I do think I'm going to need to do a little bit of personal expectations management about the weather ahead of my next trip. The odds on getting another couple of weeks to match the two I've just had must be pretty long.
My photo diary for the trip (on Blipfoto) starts on 3rd May when I arrived in Svolvær, and there is a selection of images from trip on Flickr too.
If you want to revisit my earlier trip which had more snow and more aurora but much less sunshine is elsewhere on Flickr.