Across the polar circle, along Norway
Back when we were in the planning stage, we thought that hiking the Lofoten mountains would be the peak of our polar experience. We're so glad that we were wrong, it was merely the beginning of a unique trip. We've tagged team with Ola and Mariusz and left stormy Reine, heading north. We've passed along deep fjords, mountains of attractive and untouched wilderness, went into tunnels of incredible length, through landscapes where only the road disturbed the peace.
Vågan Church (oldest church in Lofoten, 1898)
The harbor in Svolvær, northern Lofoten
Typical landscape in central Lofoten
We left Lofoten islands the same day, during the night and camped somewhere along the road, close to Saltstraumen, while it was raining. This experience itself was special. The only sign of human presence was the road, equipped with some sort of devices that made sounds every time cars were approaching in order to prevent wild animals, especially moose, from crossing the street.
Next morning, after some good 4 hours of sleep, the plan was to drive south as much as possible. We had a few stops in mind, first of which was Saltstraumen. This wonderful location is famous for its mælstrom, said to be the strongest tidal current in the world. This aquatic phenomenon is basically a giant whirlpool created by the passing of fjord water through a very narrow strait.
After breakfast and witnessing the brute force of water, we continued our journey south. We passed the polar circle, this time by car, and we couldn't resist not to stop here as well. It's funny to study many years about geographical trivia and years later to actually go to that place you heard about. Many small and not so small stone totems acknowledged that in this location an imaginary line is dividing our beautiful planet.
A full day of almost continuous driving came to another stop a few kilometers south of Trondheim. Again, we camped in the rain, luckily it was not that cold.
On the third day we arrived in the splendid Romsdalen Valley. It was evening and what we specifically remember was the incredible sunset light and the height of the surrounding mountains that made us dizzy.
Since night was upon us, we stopped at the top of Trollstigen, yet another spectacular landmark, and simply grasped the fantastic view that it offered.
Trollstigen (Troll's path)
The last day was the hiking day, again. From the Trollstigen platform we hiked north to Trollveggen (Troll's wall). The view from below was intimidating so we had to try the view from above. Well, as you probably guessed, the view was unbelievable. Looking straight down was not advisable. Stepping on the ridge, you could feel the 1000 m drop breeze and it was more than enough. Yet, we dared to take a picture and it is something we are very proud of.
Later that day we drove to the last stop in our itinerary, the Geiranger fjord. Unfortunately, the weather was not welcoming at all. We drove on, a bit disappointed, although the turquoise color of the fjord water was indeed something to stare at. Imagine how it looks on a sunny day.
It was an experience during which we had everything: mountains, the sea, fjords and lakes, rain and sun, physical exhaustion and mental purification, wild animals and above all, good company. We are very grateful to Ola and Mariusz for taking us along in this great road trip and we can only hope that more will come.
The very best!