Observing the Northern Lights (and maybe spotting some whales) was what we hoped for when we decided to travel beyond the Arctic Circle. Well, neither happened, but our trip was totally worth it!
We arrived in Narvik around 3 pm (after sunset), welcomed by the snowy mountains and our fellow EVS-ers Alba and Piotr. They share a house with several other volunteers and we enjoyed the cozy international atmosphere there. Another Oslo-based EVS-er ‘stopped by’ for a couple of days, too, and made small Narvik more fun.
The highlight of our Northern week, however, was our three-day trip to Lofoten. The islands turned out to be even more epic and majestic and legendary than I expected. We drove around 500 km the first day, going all the way south to the tiny Fishing Village Museum called Å, and then back to the capital of the archipelago – Svolvær. We couldn’t really see much of Å. Actually nothing at all, because it was already pitch-dark and pouring. But the impression of this first ride was very strong. The weather was extremely dynamic, changing all the time. It felt as if we had a personal cloud, following us all the time. Fortunately, we managed to run away from it every now and then. At times, it was even scary to see what awaited us – black stormy clouds, fog, and the dark silhouettes of the steep, snowy mountains. I expected huge trolls to appear any moment.
Luckily, we enjoyed a few moments of sunshine the next days. The light of the sunrise/sunset (the sun at this time of year appears low over the horizon for about 5 hours) made Lofoten feel like the end of the world. As Edgar A. Poe puts it:
Mountains toppling evermore
Into seas without a shore;
Seas that restlessly aspire,
Surging, unto skies of fire;
Aurora borealis and the whales are yet to be seen.