SVOLVAER AND THE LOFOTEN
«March 2014»

Photos © Ruud Leeuw

To experience (part of) the Hurtigruten cruise, we were flown to Evenes (in full: Narvik/Harstad, Evenes Airport - IATA: EVE, ICAO: ENEV) and continued on for a 2.5 hour busdrive to Solvaer.
We were supposed to board the Hurtigruten ship MS Finnmarken there, but stormy weather prevented the ship from entering the Lofoten. So after spending an afternoon in Svolvaer, we were again put in a bus and driven to Harstad in 3 hours, under cover of darkness, where we met up with the cruiseship.
On the return the same scenario, in reverse order, occurred. So while we did not get to see the Lofoten from aboard the cruiseship, I was able to make a photographic impression during the various bus transfers.
Except the photos taken in Svolvaer, please note the photos of the Lofoten landscape were all taken from a driving bus.

The Lofoten - 2014
A rainy start!

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
I had no expectations of the Lofoten landscape and was suitably impressed by the grimness of winter remains here.

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
A bleak but equally impressive landscape. It reminded me of the 'Nordic Noir'-novels and films I so much appreciate.

 

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
And then there was light!
 

 

An afternoon in SVOLVAER

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
Svolvaer Church was built in 1934 and seats about 400 people. I did not try to get a look inside.

Svolvær is the administrative centre of Vågan Municipality (9,200 inhabitants) in Nordland County, Norway. It is located on the island of Austvågøya in the Lofoten archipelago.
Svolvaer

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
'Magic Ice' was closed, it would only open when the Hurtigruten boat was in. Pity.

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
For the same reason this war museum was closed too; it was raining and we could not find anything to visit and find shelter at the same time. The fact that it was a sunday may have played a role too.

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
We could at least admire one exhibit of the museum.

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
There is a peculiar grimness to much of the modern buildings in these coastal settlements.

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
Joakim Jan Aril 'Jack' Berntsen (b.14Oct1940 – d.05Oct2010) was a Norwegian
philologist, songwriter and folk singer.
He was born in Kjøpsvik, Tysfjord. He grew up in Hamarøy, and resided in Svolvær from 1968.
Berntsen founded the Svolvær folk song club Lovisa in 1968, and the Hamarøy music festival Troilltampen in 1973.
He published several songbooks. Det e lys lenger frem was issued in 1976, and Sol bakom skyan was published in 1979. In 1981 he published Ongan i Lofoten, in 1986 came the songbook Lille Bolla Bølla, and his book
Sanga i søkk og kav was published in 1995.
[Wikipedia, more..]

 

 

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
The part of the Hurtigruten cruise has been illustrated and reported on, on a seperate page (link at bottom page)
and we pick up the trail when circumstance forced us to disembark at Harstad and proceed by bus from Harstad to Svolvaer.
We said goodbye to MS Finnmarken while wet snow continued to fall and we would soon find out that the road conditions
would play havoc with our schedules once again!

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
A military transport shows how their green camouflage has grown a suitable camouflage for the winter conditions.

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
You have to imagine the howling winds with the image here.

Lofoten, Norway - 2014

Lofoten, Norway - 2014

 

 

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
We were stopped by flashing lights: two ambulance units had arrived at the scene of an accident and we found
our way blocked for two hours.

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
A truck had skidded off the road. The two drivers were reported to have escaped without serious injuries.
The railing had been dislodged and a large section further down had been thrown onto the road, blocking our way.

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
As one can see the road conditions were serious. Compliments to the drivers of Palmberg Buss for their safe driving
Well done!!!

 

 

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
The saturday was to be spent at Svolvaer, either joining excursions of our choosing or at leasure.
I had made reservations for a rental car with Avis, but when I noticed the next morning (after a restful night in the comfortable Rica Hotel) it was still snowing, I decided to cancel that plan. Thank you for understanding, Avis!

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
Instead of a drive in the area, we explored the streets of Svolvaer once more.
This photo was taken from the comforts of a nice pizza restaurant.

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
Snow showers continued, but the sun made an effort too.

Lofoten, Norway - 2014

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
And indeed, we were also treated on some glorious sunshine!

 

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
 

 

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
The library I found to be an excellent escape from the falling snow.
The Svolvaer library has a truly excellent selection of photo books.
 

 

Lofoten, Norway - 2014

People appreciative of photography should not miss the opportunity to visit the gallery and shop of Anders Finsland.
We had an inspiring talk of Anders' photography and I could not leave without buying some of his work.
Visit his website: www.lofotfotografen.no

Also, through his photography I learned of the Norwegian Banksy! Anders had recorded some of his work on dwellings in the area.
lk (Norwegian for 'dagger') is the pseudonym for Norway's most recognized graffiti artist: Dolk Lundgren.
His motives are often pop-cultural references put into a humoristic or critical context. Dolks works can be seen at walls in cities like Bergen, Berlin, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Oslo, Lisbon, Stockholm, London, Prague and Melbourne.
Wikpedia, more..
 

 

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
Twenty-four hours after our MS Finnmarken had been unable to get into Svolvaer we noticed, with somewhat mixed feelings, how another Hurtigruten vessel docked in Svolvaer in peaceful conditions.
 

 

 

NORTHERN LIGHTS!

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
What a wonderful 'closure' of our trip: Northern Lights at the final night of our trip!
And thank you fellow travellers to warn me of this and bring me out before the show was over!

Lofoten, Norway - 2014

 

 

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
We had an early morning transfer to the airport; the 2.5 hours busride was blessed with the best weather we'd had all week. The early morning light showed the landscape in yet another perspective, the 4th I'd witnessed (one was in the dark of night with rain and snow so photography wasn't really much of an option then).

Lofoten, Norway - 2014

Lofoten, Norway - 2014

Lofoten, Norway - 2014

Lofoten, Norway - 2014

Lofoten, Norway - 2014

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
Just a bit of rock.

Lofoten, Norway - 2014

Lofoten, Norway - 2014

Lofoten, Norway - 2014

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
A reindeer forced off the road by our bus. It had used a roadbridge to cross a river. Smart.

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
Iced up trees were being defrosted in the early morning light. Magic.

Lofoten, Norway - 2014
Truly an inspiring landscape. Hope to return some time in the summer!

 

THE HURTIGRUTEN CRUISE

External link:
www.lofotenbilder.no by Eric Fokke, journalist and photographer; and someone who has the 'inside track' here!