Svalbard – the wild North

Svalbard 001The first snow

Even if Svalbard is a remote place, situated between the Norwegian mainland and the North Pole, it is really easy to go there. From Oslo you fly either direct or via Tromsö to the Longyearbyen Airport. The flight takes between 3-4 hours. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Svalbard

When you arrive, you immediately feel that this area is totally different to other places in Norway or Scandinavia. Surprisingly you hear all kind of languages when you walk on the shopping street and it is not tourists. It is people that come from all over the world to work and live here. The University is well known and has a good reputation. The city is “young”. Even if I feel that I am at the end of the world, I hear loud dance music from the bar next door. It is Friday evening and the night just started.

Since my day started early, I will go to bed now. I really enjoy my cozy room at Basecamp, Trapper’s Hotel.
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I am looking forward to tomorrow!

The Lofoten Island – love at first sight

Haman Group has a fishermen’s cabin (Rorbu) of our own. IMG_0267

The reason for this is that Lofoten probably is one of the absolute highlights in Scandinavia. The nature is spectacular, the people are friendly and the combination of nature, sea and mountains raging into the sea is unique.
Add the best fish you ever eaten and the midnight sun to this and you understand that Lofoten is something you should not miss.

Carl Wilkinson from Finacial Times wrote this article: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/c79255c0-59b2-11e1-8d36-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1o2H00Zhw

There are many ways to come to Lofoten. Either you fly in to Leknes, Svolvaer or Evenes or you can go to Bodö (you come by car, train, airplane or bus) and take the ferry to Moskenes. I always go to Body and take the ferry since it brings me direct to the most beautiful part of Lofoten.

When I arrived in Bodö the sun was shining and the street cafés were full of people. Imagine Bodö is 150 km north of the polar circle and at the moment you find the best weather up here in all northern Europe.

In Bodö I have my “vehicle” in the basement of the Rica Hotel. It is not the car – it is the old bike.
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It works perfectly for me and makes me mobile during my stay. If I need a car, you can always rent a car at the harbor of Moskenes.

This year the ferry company invested in new ferries and they are both more comfortable, faster and I also have a feeling they are more stable in hard weather.
The ferry crosses Vestfjord and if you are lucky you might see whale. I was lucky 3 days ago and even saw orca’s playing, jumping and “waving with their tails” just outside Moskenes harbor.
http://www.lofotposten.no/lokale_nyheter/article6697445.ece
It is magnificent to see these big animals jump and swim like acrobats.
This is a small film when the ferry arrives in Moskenes, Lofoten

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The ferry arrived  at 20.30 in the evening but it is the time of the midnight sun so it never gets dark. I jumped on my bike and after 10 minutes I could not resist to stop at Maren Anna and have a glas of wine on their terrace.

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At Maren Anna you find local good food and sometimes they also have dance and music. It is a very popular place for the locals.

Now I can look forward to some beautiful and relaxing days. Perhaps I will take my bike and go to Skarisöy and get some fresh shrimps.

Luleå – just relax and be calm…

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Luleå - just relax and be calm...

Early in the morning my plane left for Luleå, a town situated in the northern part of the Baltic Sea. It was -17 degrees C but it only felt slightly colder than a normal rainy winter day in Cologne.
You realize that time is something different here. Even if Luleå (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lule%C3%A5) is the Capital of Norrbotten everybody seems to be so relaxed and calm. I adapted very quick to this relaxed and slow way – so much I almost missed my bus.
Luleå is a nice city and the trees close to the railway station look really cool with their red stems.