Friday, 10 August 2018

Back In The Arctic

We have been very lucky to see Northern Norway more times than I remember.  We have seen northern lights and midnight sun, reindeer and pearl skies.  This time we travelled out of Alta, my husbands hometown, to Havøysund. We drove to a clifftop which was surrounded by windmills, and at the end was a restaurant hanging off the edge of a cliff, called the Arctic View (where the King and Queen of Norway have eaten!).  What a view! And delicious cuisine from the area. It's always surprising to see the landscape barren with only shrubs and moss.  It is too cold to grow anything else.  But at the same time people have started growing flowers more in their gardens and they are not dying over the winter.  So the climate is changing...
In the morning we took the hurtigruten through the fjord, past islands and main land, passing the northern most point of mainland Norway.  We stopped for 3 hours in Honningsvåg where we even saw the northern most "forest".  Another sign of changing times.  They might be small but they are growing at 71 degrees north. Honningsvåg is on an island off the mainland.  It's part of the North Cape community which is the northern most point of Europe.  Yes that's a lot of "most northern" things ;-)
We continued to Mehamn which was the end of our cruise.  A little town that isn't usually as warm as it was that night.  It was the hottest ever recorded at 28 degrees! Not hot for this Aussie girl but hot for these Norwegians.
We stayed overnight in an odd, rundown hotel that was apparently fully booked, even though we only saw 2 other guests in the morning. In the evening my husband, father in-law and I took a trip to Slettnes to see, take a guess...the northern most lighthouse of Europe.  It was very tall.  I don't remember seeing one that tall.  And my luck being on my side these days, let me see the midnight sun hit the tower before a storm rolled in and covered the sky, giving me my 5 minute photoshoot of the monstrosity.  The scenery on the way to the lighthouse was some of the most spectacular I had seen and I stopped to take a couple of photos of these gorgeous valleys I will always remember.
The next day we made our way back to Alta, stopping at a few places along the way.  The highlight of the trip being Trollholmsund which was so magnificent I can still not quite believe I saw it.  The kids complained the whole way on our 10 minute walk (that it was too far) until they finally saw the 700 million year old limestone pinnacles, and proceeded to climb to the top of the scariest ones and stand at the top for a photo.
It's one thing living in Norway, but it's another if you haven't been in the north, you should! It really is a different world up there.
Hope you have a look at my landscapes before it's back to wedding photography!