Lofoten Islands, Norway 2017

Exactly a year ago, I was in Lofoten Islands, Norway, taking part in my first photography workshop.

I planned my trip in a way that I could spend a couple of days in Oslo before hand, as I had very fond memories of the city from when I was there for a conference in 2009... It is still a great city and I wish I had planned to stay a bit longer. If I had time to spare and if it wasn't so pricey! 

If you find yourself in Oslo, I highly recommend Thon hotel Rosenkrantz for your stay... Mostly for the restaurant on site (Brasserie Paleo), which was absolutely phenomenal for both breakfast (included in hotel cost) and dinner. As an added bonus for someone with celiac disease, the menu was very gluten friendly! It is also walking distance to pretty much anywhere else you want to get to, including the National gallery (I always wanted to see Edvard Munch's 'The scream' and 'Madonna' in person) and the Oslo Opera house, which is totally awesome building, inside and out.

I was a bit torn between going to Iceland or to Lofoten Islands and eventually decided the latter was a bit more of a hidden gem compared with Iceland and I wanted to visit before it got too busy... A year later, I definitely think I made the right choice, as I seems the area is growing in popularity, and for good reason! If the mountains, endless Fjord, the ocean and all around breathtaking scenery in a quiet and secluded part of the world are your thing, chances are your'e going to love the Lofoten Islands. The northern lights and spectacular arctic sunsets/sunrises are an obvious bonus and the scenery in general is a photographers dream. 

It took two flights and approx 3 hours of travel to get there from Oslo (not including a layover). Lofoten Islands are remote... North of the arctic circle between the 68th and 69th parallel. Apparently, the area has a warmer winter climate than expected given how far north it is... Something about the gulf stream, North Atlantic current and Norwegian current... Whatever the reason is, I was quite thankful for that given I live in Vancouver, BC! An average of -10 degrees at the end of Feb/beginning of March was cold enough for me, thank you very much! 

We stayed in these awesome traditional red fishing cabins, that are now used for tourism, with nothing else around us except the ocean and mountains... And cod fisheries - you'll see (and smell) fish hanging outside cabins everywhere you go. It was a great home base to explore the islands throughout the week. 

Part 2 will be the Northern Lights... Which was the main attraction for me. Then all of the seascapes! Stay tuned!