At my university in Oslo, I joined the Outdoor club. It was a great way to meet people and I had lots of opportunities to get around Norway and see different parts of it – joining a club is definitely something I would recommend to all students. One area I particularly wanted to visit was the Lofoten Islands. I went in February and, much like my experience in Iceland, in hindsight I would go in the Summer, although the snow was beautiful.
It’s quite a remote place; we got a flight to Harstad/Narvik and then caught a bus for 3 hours to get to our destination: Svolvaer.
The town itself is pretty small, and mainly a port for fishing – the World Cod Fishing Championship is held in Lofoten.
There was about 25 of us so at first we settled into our cabins before cooking dinner. We had each been put into groups and each group was responsible for a meal over the course of the weekend. It was a good way to do it apart from having to move enough chairs from one cabin to the other to seat everyone.
In the evenings we ate and played games and looked out for the Northern Lights. Unfortunately it was too cloudy when we were there so we had no luck. Would have been an awesome sight though.
One evening we even went to the cinema. It was tiny! Can’t have had more than 100 seats and the little shop to get sweets was about the size of a bathroom! We saw ‘Beautiful Creatures’ which was possibly the corniest film i’ve ever seen.
Next was time for the RIB ride! I have been RIB riding before and it’s great – can be a little hard on the back if you hit a big wave and don’t land on your seat properly. There are Eagles in Lofoten and we managed to see one! My old camera wasn’t that good though so I didn’t get a remotely decent picture of it – it was also raining slightly so there was water on my lens.
We had to dress the part too – I was wearing a vest, jumper, hat, fleece, waterproof and thermal trousers, and then on top of that we had to put on full bodysuits, gloves and masks. I thought it was a bit over the top – it wasn’t that cold. I was wrong. At the speed you go with the dagger like raindrops corroding at your face i’m pretty sure my fingers had been the coldest they had ever been. And by that, I mean that I couldn’t tell because I couldn’t feel them. I didn’t help myself when I took out my camera to take pictures when we stopped, but I wasn’t going to go away with no photos. No pain no gain.
All in all I really enjoyed Lofoten and was so pleased I was able to go – it’s not the kind of place you can pop to for a quick city break. A truly beautiful place