Sunday, 12 January 2020

Lofoten, my very first travel and adventure crush

I have always been that weird soul that always have had this hunger for the more exciting sides of life. Not in the way that I have been going to the north pole or exploring the Amazon, but if I got told that there was something I couldn't do or wasn't allowed to do, you can bet your sweet behind that I would do my best to achieve it. At times and especially during my childhood these adventures could be borderline insane or directly dangerous. Like the times we built rafts to cross the fjord with or went exploring in areas that usually were off limit for the public. This could be old world war 2 bunkers, old fisheries or play wargames with actual dangerous weapons that we made ourself.

In later years, this has in many ways developed into my fascination with exploring “new” cultures and countries around the globe, but I would say that the spark that lit the fuse had to be my many holidays up north in Norway and especially Lofoten. The first trip was when I was in the age of 6 or 7, but got more frequent like multiple times every year after I got married. We could spend like several months at the time and just enjoy our lives. My then father-in-law had this huge property (something like 750 acres) that included a massive shoreline, mountains and our own lake as well. It was a literal paradise for us and especially during the summer season.

The first things that come to mind when I think about Lofoten are fishing, the amazing midnight sun and insanely beautiful scenery (yes this is during the summer months). You guys that already have had a Lofoten experience would know what I am talking about here. For me, this area of Norway is pure paradise, but of course, the weather could be really bad at times as well. This would be true especially during the winter months. Because after months of almost no darkness comes months of almost no light, or the short period of daylight you get has a blue tint to it and only last for a few hours. Northern parts of Norway is something you could call the “nation” of contrasts.

For the most part, very few tourists venture into these parts during the winter season, or they usually start to slowly return around March when there is this huge international fishing competition, but sadly this is one event that I haven't had the pleasure of being a part of. So by mentioning this annual event just shows how an important role the ocean and fishing plays in this region. Think about it, when they arrange something like a world cup in cod-fishing. I am not sure how big of an event this is when it comes to attendees, but I would guess it in the hundreds coming in from all over the world. Just to have it said, when I go out fishing, its not really about the catch, but for the peace and quiet.

My love and fascination for Lofoten started as mentioned back in my early childhood, around age 7 or 8. Back then I went with my parents and siblings, but the activities were the same. Every night we went fishing, but back then it was in a close-by lake and not the big and wild ocean. I guess it was safer for us kids and yes, we always went home with a catch. For me when I think about Lofoten, my thoughts usually drifts off to my many fishing memories. Even when I look back at the ones that got created when I returned as an adult, but these are more vivid memories. The fun part is that I cant remember one day during my many trips that didn't include fishing in one way or the other.

At the same time and I feel this is something that I view as important when it comes to Lofoten, fishing isn't the only “good” thing. Just look at any travel photo or video from the area. Just look at the close to magical scenery. Those insane mountains that seem like crashing into the sea, the clear blue ocean, exciting culture and rich history going back to the good old Viking days. There is even a Viking “village” that is part of what we call the Lofotr Viking Museum. This contains a full-size longhouse, animals and within opening hours also local actors and guides and yes its a reconstructed longhouse. The sad part is that I never got to enjoy it, just passing either on my way to or from Leknes.

The point I am trying to make here is simple, this is the most amazing region of Norway. Just take the pristine and close to untouched scenery. Up to this day, I have a hard time finding a place, city or country that I have visited through my many years as a traveller that can compete with Lofoten. Maybe the one destination that comes the closest has to be the Azores all the way down in the south Atlantic. I would say that both are unique and amazing, but hands down and without a doubt the winner is Lofoten. I guess this is the old patriotism playing up in me. Anyway, if you are planning a trip to northern parts of Norway, there are two items you can't forget to pack, loads of waterproof clothing and fishing gear.

If there is one thing you can take from this blog post is that you haven't visited Lofoten yet, then its high time for you to put it on the top spot on your bucket list and make it your highest travel priority. Just keep in mind that Norway is extremely expensive. One thing is for sure, when I at one point in time return home to Norway, this would be one of the first things I will do. I will more or less go straight up to Lofoten and visit my relatives that still live there and naturally go fishing. My cousins have really been nagging on me about a visit the past few years. The truth is that I haven't been up there since my divorce back in 2009/10, that is actually a decade ago.

P.s: you can actually check out my friend's blog. She has been blogging for years and have loads of exciting photos and focuses on a broad spectre of topics. So check out her blog (Mookieslife) and let her know that I sent you. Thank you for the photos Mookie. I do appreciate them greatly.
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