9th week : The paradise of the Lofoten islands and Tromsø

Day 57 : We slept on the parking of the Abisko national parc. In the morning, we decided to go for another hike but shorter this time! The path starts with Kungsleden track, meaning “King’s trail” that is 425km long. At the beginning, the path goes through a birch forest and along a canyon. It leads to the meditation place where we take a couple of minutes to meditate and enjoy the beautiful view over the canyon 😊. On our way back, the path is made of wooden boards to facilitate the track.

We appreciated the Abisko parc for its nice forest lands and easy paths without any important elevations! This parc is one of the thing to do in Swedish Lapland. And even if its remains a touristic destination, thanks to its ideal location for Northern Lights observation, it remains a well preserved nature place. We still saw more reindeers than humans 😊.

In the afternoon, we arrive in Norway, again, but this time to see the Lofoten islands and the North Cape, the first milestone of our trip!

Day 58 : We decide to go to the very end of Lofoten archipelago, that gathers 5 islands over 150 km, from Fiskebøl to Å (yep, it’s actually a name of a city😊). We have to take a lot of tunnels, some of them have nearly dozen of kilometers under the sea. Campi doesn’t really like the long downhill and uphill roads where we create some small traffic jams 😊. On the first and biggest island, Austvågøya, we visit the main city, Svolvær. It is essentially a touristic destination known for its large offer of different kinds of trips such as sea eagles safari, Northern Lights hunting, fishing and sightseeing trips to the fjords…

But we just want to get some information about local hikes. My masters don’t want to leave me alone, we are a team now! And hikes are great for me, that’s what I like the most! Moreover, those excursions are quite expensive and we prefer to stay on budget to be able to travel for one year! So we go exploring the islands on foot. And if we see a sea eagle or a dolphin on our way, we will be even happier 😊.

On the road, we stop in local organic goat farm Gardsysteri to taste some cheese. It is tasty but cannot equal the French quality ;).

We end this day by a two-hour hike to Kvalvika beach, starting in Fredvang city.

It’s an impressive beach surrounded by two cliffs facing the Norwegian sea and that can be reached only on foot. When I see the beach from far, I can’t wait to jump in there even if it is freezing! But I want to enjoy this amazing spot 😊.

It’s such an amazing place here, in this untouched and wild nature, even though some campers put their tents here for the night.

This spot is actually another great place to observe Northern Lights over the sea. Unfortunately, at this time and till September, it is not really an ideal time for Northern Lights because it never gets dark enough to see them. It is true that there is no night at the moment so it’s not easy to fall asleep… Just look at the picture below that was taken at 1 AM!

Day 59 : Today, we head towards the last island, Moskenesøya, located in the South, to do a famous hike from the Reine village. We are really amazed by the surroundings as we approach Reine. This fishing village is surrounded by many cliffs and small islands in crystal clear sea.

We then start the hike to Reinebringen, a cliff with a breathtaking view over Reine. We are quite lucky because after many days of rain, we have beautiful weather today and the hike is not as slippery as usually. Actually, on our way from the parking to the starting point of the hike, many signs have warned us of dangerous hiking conditions (slippery, steep and rocky path). Some hikers coming back from the top have, however, assured us that the hike is feasible even though really hard. And it is indeed a demanding track because of the steep rocky and sandy nature path. Bur after 2 hours, we made it to the top to admire this fascinating scenery over Reine city. Just look at the pics below!

It’s definitely one of the best spot in Norway and it’s worth a detour if you are in Lofoten! Those 3km are worth every effort put in it!  We will always be impressed by the perfect color composition of Norwegian landscapes!

Afterwards, we go quickly to Å city. It is the very end of Lofoten archipelago where the road ends and is replaced by an endless mountain range. We feel here like at the end of the world, in the middle of the Norwegian sea. We would be able to spend hours chilling out here but our adventure does not end here. We can’t wait to make it to the North Cape 😊.

On our way back, we make a quick stop at the Ramberg beach that caught our eye. What a beauty!

Day 60 : To not miss anything of Lofoten islands, we decide to make some quick stops in places recommended by the tourist guide. So we end up in the oldest fishing village of Norway, Nusfjord (well the entrance wasn’t for free so at least we took a picture in front of its traditional wooden houses).

Then we went to Eggum, a kind of stone amphitheater with a view over the sea (it’s not really worth the detour though) and finally end up in Henningsvær village located on an island.

We didn’t even miss a local tradition – wooden “fish dryers”. Dry fish, such as codfish, is actually a culinary specialty in Northern Norway.

All in all, we have a crush on Lofoten islands, there is such a wonderful scenery along the road, and especially in the South.

And last but not least, we took some hitchhikers today, a young Czech couple travelling for few months through Scandinavia. It was raining this day and we had some space in Campi so why not take them! We shared some really nice travel tips end experience, and they even played with me 😊. Those encounters make our trip much more enriching.

Day 61 : Today, we visit Tromsø, an important city beyond the Arctic circle. It’s another famous spot for Northern Lights. One of the main monuments to see here is the Arctic cathedral with its sharp roof.

During our visit of the city center, we come across a local market with foreign specialties, and taste some French cheese (yeah missing it)!

In the evening, we enjoy a beautiful sunset!Day 62 : Today, we plan a short hike to Nattmalsfjellet hill (297m) with a view over Ersfjordboten on Kvaløya island next to Tromsø. After only 2 kilometers, we arrive at the top. Again, a splendid scenery pops up in front of us.

We drive then again to the North. In the evening, we stop on a parking in the mountains, next to an old mine, Ankerlia, that we visit after the dinner. It’s a bit rainy and starts to be cold, so my master tries to make fire in the local fireplace and he succeeds! My masters seem to enjoy it and get closer, but I am so afraid of this big red thing!

Day 63 : Once again, we drive all day long. It’s rainy so we make no stops. At the end of the day, we stop in a remote place surrounded by mountains and forest. There is no internet, neither phone network. So what to do? Since we approach 10 000 km, we decide to change the engine oil to maintain Campi in good condition! But my master struggles at the beginning and it starts to rain again…Well, obviously, it wasn’t a good idea to get the oil changed in such a remote area with no phone network…we can’t get any help! But, eventually, we changed it! To calm down after this stressful moment, we make ourselves a nice dinner and go for a walk in the forest. Yeah, another problem solved! The one remaining issue is my little infection on my nose. It seems to be a fungus. So now I can’t swim in the sea or lakes anymore for a while :(… But the important thing is to stay positive! We can figure everything out. After all, we are almost in the North Cape, who would have believed it at the beginning of our road trip?!

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