“Nordkalotten 2015” – The plan

I know it’s not true. But sometimes I have the impression that I travelled more in Northern Scandinavia when I lived in Germany than now where it’s right on my doorstep. I know it’s not true but at times it feels like it would be.

This year in spring I got the idea of travelling around in winter for a longer time, two month perhaps or even three. When I just talked about this idea with my employer, I directly got the answer: Great idea! Do it! That’s why you moved to Sweden! Well – that was kind of easy! And gave me another reason why I love working for Hello Future!

Then summer came and the dreams of snow and winter melted away while we had one of the hottest summers for many a long year. But now it’s September, 24 hours daylight are past and today in the morning the thermometer showed only 1.5 °C. Time to start planning my winter tour which I call “Nordkalotten 2015”. Nordkalotten is the Swedish word for “Cap of the North”, which is the European region around and north of the Arctic Circle.

You see the red ribbon on the map? That’s more or less the Arctic Circle and a bit of the Finnish-Russian border. My plan is to travel north and west of the ribbon and I already have many ideas of places to visit, for example Abisko, Gällivare, Honningsvåg, Jokkmokk, Karesuando, Kautokeino, Kebnekaise, Kirkenes, Kiruna, Lofoten, Nikkaluokta, Rovaniemi, Senja, Sodankylä, Solberget, Tromsø, Vesterålen, Værøy …

Whoa, Olaf, take it easy! The Cap of the North is huge! How many thousand kilometres of winter roads do you want to drive? You won’t see all places in only ten weeks if you want to leave your car sometimes.

So true! Well, as a matter of fact I hardly have any plans at all at present. I want to visit some friends for sure. And then I’ll try to do at least one ski tour, hopefully not alone. The rest? I’m not sure yet.

This is where you get into the game: Do you have any ideas? Know secret places? Have other tipps? Or even a place to stay? You’re more than welcome to write a comment (or if you want to keep it private to drop me a line by email).

I’m looking forward to your ideas.

More planning

I never ever travelled for more than three weeks, two weeks in the winter. Now I’m planning for two month. And beside of which places I want to visit I have a lot of questions in my mind:

  • What do I need for the car in winter?
  • Will the petrol stove work?
  • How much water and food rations shall I have with me in case that I get stuck in the middle of nowhere?
  • How can I keep the laptop warm, when I leave the car for some days?
  • Which equipment do I have to buy that I don’t already have?
  • When will the Samyang 12mm f/2.8 ED AS NCS fisheye arrive in the shops and how much will it cost?
  • Do I need snow chains or are the spiked tyres sufficient?
  • Should I buy a bigger light than my normal headlamp?

And last but not least:

  • How will it be to travel for a long time in winter, partly alone? Just great or will I be longing home to my own bed and my grand piano?

Well, I’ll see.

Preparatory consuming

In round about five weeks I’ll start my long winter journey through Northern Scandinavia. There are three types of planning:

  • Which places do I want to visit on my journey?
  • What do I have to organise before the journey?
  • What do I need on the journey?

I’m still not sure mow much I should plan the route of my journey, and I’m right in the middle of organising, but part three seems to be almost done. That’s partly because I already have a lot of equipment (and in parts more than I need …) and partly because I ordered a lot of stuff the last weeks and many small and big parcels arrived here over the last weeks.

And that’s some of the items I ordered the last weeks:

  • Top: Super warm expedition down pants from Marmot. Probably not the latest model but quite cheap and good for staying warm if it’s really cold.
  • Left: New rechargeable batteries for my GPS, for the big camera flash light and my headlamp. Most batteries I have are ten years old and I do not trust them anymore, especially if it’s cold.
  • Right: A heavy-duty green PVC smock (which is a pull-over jacket) to protect my other cloth against salt water, mud and sharp rocks.
  • Middle/right: A power inverter that transforms 12 Volt to 230 Volt so that I can charge batteries (and perhaps even my laptop) when driving.
  • Middle/left: An L-Bracket for my Nikon D800 camera that I can fix it on the tripod ball head in both portrait and landscape format.

And guess, what was the most expensive part? Believe it or not, it’s the L-Bracket which was more expensive than even the down pants!

What you see on the photo is just a part of my purchases: With the down pants I ordered the matching down parka, with the smock I ordered bib overalls of the same material.

The tripod got a new ball head and the tele lens a new foot matching the ball head. (My thanks to Jochen for the tips!)

For the car I bought snow chains, a 10 litre petrol canister and a jump starter, which is an external rechargeable battery that will provide enough power to start the car if the original battery is not working. (My thanks to Delle for the tips!)

The only things to buy that are left: A bigger waterproof bag for the camera and a roof box for the car. I know, I know, I could travel with much less equipment but since I have bought the car some years ago I love to take a lot of things with me. And know – back to planning.

Some vocabularies for my German readers:

down pants – Daunenhose
rechargeable – wiederaufladbar
power inverterWechselrichter
L-Bracket – L-Winkel
tripod – Stativ
bib overalls – Latzhose
ball headStativkopf/Kugelgelenkkopf
snow chains – Schneeketten

Your mileage may vary

Another aspect of travel preparation: Getting a feeling for distances. I tried to get a feeling for distances by designing a map:

I marked some larger towns on the map and used Google Maps to calculate the distances. Then I wrote the distance on the connecting lines. Are you wondering what the numbers mean? It’s miles! But neither statute miles nor nautical miles, it’s Swedish Miles or Norwegian Miles which nowadays are exactly 10 kilometres. There are commonly used in everyday language and no one would say “It’s 30 kilometres to Boliden”, when you could say “It’s three miles” instead.

But numbers are dangerous. The numbers on the map are just miles on the shortest way between point A and point B. Not more. There’re saying nothing about detours, weather conditions, photo breaks and the fact that you’re not allowed to drive faster than 60 on many Norwegian roads. And the map says nothing about all the small nice places – known and unknown – that I want to visit. And a lot of roads to these places are dead ends, you’ll have to drive back the same way doubling the mileage.

But numbers are interesting too. Take your magnifier glasses and seek for Inari. Found it? You see Kirkenes—Inari is 20 miles. OK, that’s not too bad. But have another look for Vardø. Vardø–Mehamn is 61 miles, more than 600 kilometres even if it’s just 14 miles as the crow flies. That’s because my car is neither able to fly or to swim and I have to follow the roads. And there are a lot of fjords in Norway forcing you into endless detours. Sometime you can already see your destination but have do drive two other hours to arrive. Sometimes that’s great, sometimes you just want to arrive at some chosen destination.

That’s why I added the red dots between Tromsø and Kirkenes. That’s the stops of the Hurtigruten, the famous Norwegian ships. If I’ll take the big tour even to Kirkenes – one of the things I will decide much later – I definitely will take the Hurtigruten to cut down the miles sometimes. And I’m looking forward to that too, it’s always nice to be on a ship.

Now I have only two days job left, then my free time starts: 108 days till Easter Monday. But I won’t start the journey before the 8th of January. That gives me some more weeks for additional planning …

Postponement

Actually I planned to start my long journey ”Nordkalotten 2015” on this weekend, preferably on Saturday, but I have to change plans a bit. It’s not the car that leaked fuel to blame for it, it will be repaired tomorrow. It’s not the parcel that arrived in Germany too late and was resent to Sweden, it already came on Monday. It’s not the planning or the fact that I have to buy some minor items for the journey.

No, it’s a viral infection with fever that has caught me since Sunday. It seems to be much more tenacious than other colds I caught over the last years and I don’t know when I’m safe and sound again. I just have to wait, which is hard for me because I never have had much patience.

Of course I’ll let you know, when I’m able to plan again. Stay tuned.

Just testing the travel computer

I just have to test the computer I take with my on my journey before I leave tomorrow.

Copying images to Lightroom: CHECK
Finalising in Photoshop: CHECK
Uploading photos to the blog: CHECK

And here’s the test photo from today: The fence in my back garden.

I’m almost a bit sad to leave this fine place but the pleasant anticipation prevails.

Oh yes.

Publishing a blog article: CHECK

Starting the journey

Day one and two

Round half past nine I started “Nordkalotten 2015”, my long journey through Northern Sweden, Norway and Finland. The first destination is Stokmarknes, which is 880 km away and according to Google Maps it takes eleven hours, nine minutes from my home in Skelleftehamn. I’m not a long distance driver therefore I divided the journey into three parts.

Day 1: Skelleftehamn – Solberget

When I started sky was completely cloudy and overcast but right after Vidsel the sky started to clear up and the temperatures dropped from -8 °C in Skelleftehamn to -21 °C in Solberget (with a daily minimum of -23 °C). On the journey I had to cross the river Luleälven three times and on one of the long bridges I could see the sun slowly going down.

I’ve been in Solberget many times and I’ll be there again in February. This time I stayed only to sleep and continued the next day. I one woke up when Sesam, the tom cat and secret owner of Solberget lay down on my feet in the dead of night.

Day 2: Solberget – Abisko

The evening before temperatures increased and it started snowing. When I woke up almost 10 cm fresh snow covered the ground and my car and it was only -2 °C. Half past nine I continued my journey heading for Gällivare, Kiruna and Abisko. It was cloudy the whole time but fortunately almost no snow fell. That made driving as easy as on the first day. Just some kilometres before Abisko sky cleared up a bit. I was lucky and could hire the same nice room where I already stayed last February for a week.

Tomorrow I’ll enter Norway and continue to Stokmarknes.

Reindeers – many, many reindeers

Day three (part I)

Today I got up early, no wonder after more than 10 hours sleep. I packed my things, cleaned the room and left Abisko heading westwards. It was still twilit and I was quite alone on the road.

That changed after 18 kilometres: A huge herd of reindeers blocked the road. I slowed down and slowly, slowly drove through the reindeers. Right after the reindeer crossing I found a parking place. Good to exit the car and take some images of these beautiful and gentle animals.

The reason why the reindeers were hanging around was probably the pile of big bags lying beside of the road. I guess they contain reindeer food.

After half an hour of taking pictures and watching I entered the car again and continued my journey to Norway.

From Sweden to Norway

Day three (part II)

After leaving the reindeers behind I continued to the Norwegian border. But first I made a picture of the strange looking railway station in Vassijaure, the last photo from Sweden for some time. Soon I reached the village Riksgränsen and right after it the Swedish-Norwegian border. I took the first parking opportunity and made the first photo in Norway of my tour.

Just some miles (a Scandinavian mile is 10 km) later I could see the first fjord. And shortly after this another typical Norwegian happened to me: A construction site with a “follow me” car because due to work in the tunnel the road was only one-way.

I continued on the E10 to Bjerkvik. Shortly before Bogen i Ofoten I took a side road and took a picture of the beautiful sunset colours above the snowy mountains. Soon I reached Bogen and made two other pics:

… and another image in Kongsvika in the dusk:

The whole trip was amazing, mostly because of the varying landscape. Sometimes the road follows the coast line of a fjord, sometimes it crosses the fjell – the mountains. Once temperature dropped from 0 °C to -15 °C within two minutes just because I left the coast and entered the fjell.

I changed plans and made an additional stop in Lødingen where I am right now. When I arrived it was already too dark to take pictures, but I had a nice two-hour evening walk. First I followed the coast line (including wading, almost slipping on the ice and a bit of simple climbing) and then followed a forest path back to civilisation. It was great just walking through the lonely nature after having been sitting in the car for three days!

Tomorrow morning I’ll head to Stokmarknes and take a (late) breakfast with my friends. I’ll stay there for some days and I’m really looking forward to be outdoors instead of sitting in the car.

Arrival in Haukenes and greeting the sun

Day four

Today I only had 80 more kilometres to drive making it a total of 906 since my departure in Skelleftehamn. I started early and arrived in Haukenes on the Vesterålen at 9:30. The only picture I took was the view of the town Sortland seen from the Sortlandsundet.

The reason why I wanted to arrive so early was the plans of my friends that I’m visiting here. Today it’s the first day where you can see the sun again from their upland meadow Langbakken. The last day with polar night, that means no sun at all was 8th of January, but it took ten more days until the sun rose high enough to climb over the mountain tops of the Lofoten in the south.

We went up the hillside to the lavvu – a sami tent – where we first stood outside to greet the neighbours joining us and than sat in the tent round the fire altogether and ate and talked.

And finally – much later than expected – the sun found a gap in the mountain skyline! We all jumped out of the lavvu and looked at the first sun you could see from Langbakken since late November. Hooray!

The place where I am and will stay for the next days: Nøisomhed Gård, Haukenes, Vesterålen.

 

Two images of today

Day seven

After a demanding tour into the mountains yesterday I took it easy today. Some of my “activities”: talking with my friends, cutting vegetables for the soup, sleeping, walking the dog and taking some images at the seaside. One of the traditional Nordland boat of my friends and one of the coast itself.

A first mountain hike

Day six

Yesterday on Tuesday I stood up quite early to hike into the mountains. I packed my camera equipment, hot tea, nuts and raisins, compass, GPS and a down jacket. I considered first about taking my snowshoes with me but left them home, it didn’t look like much snow on the mountains.

I started the tour and headed to Langbakken, the place where we saw the sun two days before. I was greeted by the flock of sheep, some of them so tame and curious that they came to sniff on my hand. Then I climbed the fence and cut across country until I came to another fence with a gate. I went through the gate and followed the way beside of the fence until I came to a crossing where a way climbed up a forested hill.

The way didn’t continue but I just continued the direction until I came to a snow covered lake, the Dalvatnet.

I started to regret that I left my snowshoes behind, because with every step I sank 10 to 20 cm into the hard snow. It wasn’t the last time …

I knew the direction and had two options: Either crossing the open mountain brook or to just go ahead. I chose the latter. I had to cross a field with huge rocks where I really had to by careful and check every single step. After that I went up the steep slope. And it was much, much steeper than expected. I measured 40° with my compass. I had to be careful not to slip and I took many rests to calm down. Sorry, no photos.

But finally I reached the first hill took and horizontal terrain again. Just some more steps and I took a longer rest with the tea and my nuts. I was glad about my down jacket because the -8 °C felt much colder in the wind.

I could have sat there for hours and just watch the colours change. When the sun disappeared behind a mountain top the snow looked cold and bluish. When it appeared some minutes later in a gap between two mountains the snow was illuminated in yellow, orange and purple pastel shades. I’m no poet, I cannot describe it with words. After a while I continued to another lake called Finnurdvatnet, as frozen and snow covered as the first. I love the landscape above the treeline, especially in winter when it is reduced to snow, ice and rocks and some scattered small trees.

I would have loved to go further but the hard and partly crusty snow – knee deep some times – slowed me down quite much and both my condition as day light where limited. So I started my way back and went to another lake, the Nils-Persavatnet. Starting feeling exhausted I took another rest and continued to the ridge of the Hovden. I was quite glad to hit a snowshoe track that I could follow. It made it both easier to go. But first I had to look again. The sunset in the southwest, the intense purple colour of the sky in the southeast, the Hurtigruten ship on the Sortlandsundet, The huge bridge to Stokmarknes and the white snow-covered mountains everywhere. Just wonderful!

I continued the treeless ridge of the Hovden to the peak. Then I started the descend through the forest. I don’t think I would have found the whole way down without the snowshoe track that I could follow so easy. After a while I saw the same way I took when I started the tour, but from within the forest and the other side of a ditch. No wonder that I didn’t find this path in the morning! I jumped over the ditch and headed to the house of my friends. When I crossed Langbakken the same flock of sheep – as curious as in the morning hours – came again and some sheep (the same?) sniffed on my fingers again. But I longed after taking a hot shower and a nap in my bed and that was exactly what I did when I was back.

Conclusion:

A great first tour with beautiful weather in a fantastic landscape that would have been much easier with snowshoes. I guess that even the blister on my left heel came just from the wet snow in my boots that I could have avoided with snowshoes. Lesson learned, Olaf? Lesson learned!

Some vocabularies for my German readers:

down jacket – Daunenjacke
flock of sheep
– Schafherde
cut across country – querfeldein laufen
mountain brook – Gebirgsbach
treeline – Baumgrenze
crusty – hier: verharscht
ridge – Gebirgskamm, Grat
ditch – Graben

Links:

Map with the lakes and the peak of Hovden

The first polar light

If you like your beauty sleep and travel way up north, do not look out of the window too late! I did it and lost 50 minutes sleep standing outside and another 30 minutes writing this blog article.

And that’s why I stood outside: A really bright, moving and colourful polar light covered half of the sky.

It’s still out there but I’m tired and I have plans for tomorrow. Hopefully it’s not the last one on my journey.

 

Whale watching in Andenes

Day eight

To cut a long story short: It’s been a great day!

After watching the beautiful polar light last night I got less sleep than preferred because I drove to Andenes to participate a whale safari. First I had to drive round two hours. After that I had to wait, time I used to put my cameras in waterproof bags. Finally we where equipped with overalls and live vests and entered the big rubber boat. We left the harbour and headed an area where whales have been seen some hours before. This part was a bit tough since we drove against the wind and some waves where quite huge letting the boat rise and fall some meters into the wave troughs again.

But finally we reached the area and directly saw the first whale fins and the first steam blown out through the whales blowholes.

The next two hours we saw a lot of whales, sometimes we where almost surrounded by them. Mostly we saw orcas (that are called killer whales, too) and humpbacks, but some fin whales as well. The orcas are following the herring and I probably came just to the right time to see so many of them. We even saw orca calves that are yellow or even orange instead of white as long as they are breast-fed.

(Oops, the room where I get internet is closing soon, I have to rush a bit …)

For me the most amazing view were the huge humpbacks diving down showing only there big tail fin. And the orca child swimming near its mother. And now to the photos:

As I said – it’s been a great day!

Links:

Sea Safari – Whale & Bird watching Andenes (under construction)

Photoing whales

It’s hard to take pictures of the whales. Sometimes there where quite near, less than 10 meters, but mostly there are farer away and you need a good system camera, a good tele lens and much practise in focussing. The most of my photos were out of focus, but alas not all.

Some of the photographers that joined the trip had real huge tele lenses and I guess the value of the total camera equipment onboard was the same as my house in Skelleftehamn.

Whale names

Latin English German Swedish
Orcinus orca Orca / Killer whale Orca / Schwertwal Späckhuggare
Megaptera novaeangliae Humpback whale Buckelwal Knölvalen
Balaenoptera physalus Fin whale Finnwal Sillval

Back to Haukenes

Day nine

Today I drove back from Andenes to my friends in Haukenes where I’ll leave on Sunday or Monday. I didn’t choose the direct way on the eastern side of Andøya (82) but the detour on the western side via Stave and Skogvoll. There where some fantastic views, mostly at places where I couldn’t stop. But anyway, some images of today (and two of yesterday):

Let’s start with some houses in Andenes build on stilts (The greenish colour on the second photo comes from the polar light).

Andenes next morning and Bleik, where I took a long walk on the large sandy beach.

A small graveyard and a real tiny light house.

A man hanging up fish heads for drying (for the african market).

And last not least some landscapes when sun went down again.

That’s today in a nutshell.

Weather changes

Day ten

Today the clouds came, it became warmer, wind increased and some fresh snow fell. The perfect weather for a quite lazy day with only one shorter walk.

On the other side of the Sortlandsundet mountain range after mountain range vanished in the low clouds leaving only the nearest mountains visible to eye and camera.

I plan another lazy day here in Haukenes, then I’ll continue my journey, probably heading to the island Senja and the town Tromsø. It will take much longer time as in summer because the most ferries are closed in the winter time.

Car trip to Tromsø – partly nightmare, partly relaxation

Day twelve

Today I said goodbye to my friends that I stayed with the last week and headed to Tromsø in the north which is round 400 km away. I thought about driving as long as I like, making a over-night stop and continuing the next day.

The weather was quite bad. The temperature has increased to +5 °C, it rained and it was quite windy. But travelling was relatively easy until I came to the first mountain passage. And this part turned out to be the most terrible car ride I had in my whole life!

The nightmare part

The rain – sometime mixed with wet snow – became more and more intense, until rain was just bucketing down on the frozen roads. Sometimes I drove through deep puddles, pushing a bow wave like a boat, sometimes deep slush covered the narrow roads that oncoming cars tossed onto my windscreen temporarily reducing sight to zero.

But mostly the roadway was covered with a thick layer of wet new ice that was slippery as hell. So slippery that I hardly could accelerate or break or steer or do anything without starting to slide. Thanks god for the traction control of my Saab. I wouldn’t have managed without it.

Do not forget, I’m not talking about broad Swedish streets, I’m talking about narrow Norwegian streets, that only consists of tiny bends and sharp hairpin curves, roads that constantly go left and right, up and down. And that’s the main road I’m talking about!

And I’m talking about other car drivers. Car drivers that don’t mind the weather but drive as usual: Too fast! And I was way too slow for them. If they were behind me, they glued their car to my rear bumper and I used every parking place or bus stop to let them pass.

I was stressed, I was frightened and I was frustrated! Was it a smart idea to make this winter journey or was it just stupid? Should I skip Norway and head back to Sweden, where roads are broad and straight? I started to understand why many Norwegian roads are closed when weather is bad. I decided not to continue to Tromsø, but to drive back to Abisko, where the streets are better and in addition to that weather is cold enough to avoid these awful wet and icy roads.

The relaxed part

But first I had to continue the same road, regardless whether of staying in Norway or driving to Abisko. But alas, the weather became better and better and so became the streets. Now it was not only easy to drive, it was fun! It felt like I could continue for hours and hours without any effort. And so did I. 19:45, eleven hours after the start in Haukenes, Vesterålen I arrived in Tromsø.

Wait a moment, eleven hours of driving? For 400 km? No, not really. First of all I stopped at two different bays and walked at the sandy, muddy and ice covered shore lines. I love these walks and consider them extremely relaxing.

In addition to that I made a detour. OK, I’ll be honest: I missed the road to Tromsø and had to head back 19 kilometres to Breivik.

And I made a stop and ate a big burger with fries and drank a coke. Driver’s junk food!

Now I’m sitting in my tiny cabin on Tromsø camping and I’m writing this blog article. The radiator tries to heat the cold cabin but it will take some time until it is warm. But I’m wearing my down suit and even my sleeping bag, both are extremely warm and cozy. A cheer for good equipment and overdressing!

A day in Tromsø

Day 13

Today I woke up in our seal trappers hut which is located in East Greenland. First we sat outside and did our daily work as for example making firewood, then we took our wooden boat and rowed out to hunt seal. The other guys are nice but they’re quite stiff and don’t talk very much.

Ok, back to reality! Today I woke up in my small cabin outside of Tromsø. I went into the city crossing the Tromsøysundet on the big Tromsø Bridge. The weather was anything but a photographers dream: Dull, grey, windy and with showers of wet snow. Anyway, if I’m in Tromsø, I have to take some pictures …

Even in Tromsø thaw has set in and parts of the streets were very slippery. I was glad to have my “snow chains” with me that I can easily attach to my boots if it gets too icy. But I was inside, too: First in the big library, then in the Perspektivet Museum where they had a great photo exhibition: “Kom, for alt er ferdig”. Finally I visited the Polarmuseet and that’s where I took the photos of the seal hunting and the hut above.

At 14:20 the Hurtigruten ship Vesterålen arrived and landed in Tromsø.

I already was on my way back and when I took the photo of the church Ishavskatedralen 15:22, it started to get dark again.

Disclaimer: The usage rights of most of the images in this blog are for sale, but I have to exclude the first three photos that I made in the polar museet, because I’m not allowed to use these photos beside of publishing them in this non-commercial blog.

Tromsø: In the mountains

Day 14

Today I was up in the mountains. I took the first cable car at 10 o’clock and had a beautiful view on the town Tromsø below.

The whole day was like a symphony in colours. Starting with deep bluish purple shades and pink pastel tones the light got warmer changing the light to this incredible colour between pink and light orange. Does it have a name? I don’t know.

This time I had snowshoes with me. They weren’t necessary today but after the last mountain hike I won’t go without anymore. I headed for the first small peak called Fløya (671m), just two kilometres away. The views of the multicoloured mountains in all directions were fantastic.

I continued southward to the Bønntuva (776m), the next peak. I really love the patterns that the wind has cut into the crusty snow.

I continued a bit farther to a nameless peak (754m), mostly to make a photo of the pile of stones. Stone piles are used in Norway to mark ways, but I guess some of them are built of tourists just for fun. But the weather was perfect and the terrain quite simple so I didn’t mind the waypoints.

I was slow because I was more into looking and taking pictures, not into being fast. So I decided to turn and go back to the top station of the cable car. But not without taking some more pictures. One of them shows a ship, it’s the Hurtigruten heading Tromsø. I could see it far away more than an hour before it landed in Tromsø.

As you can see on the latter photo sun went down again and the shades turned into pink and purple again. When I came back to the fence protecting the tourists falling down the cliff it was dark enough to start the night photos. Tromsø looks really beautiful when it is illuminated in winter time and sky is still blue.

Half an hour later I took the cable car down and went back to the car. That took a while because the official parking place costs 20 NOK the hour and I was much to mean to pay 13,50 Euro just for parking.

My plan was to continue the journey tomorrow but I changed my mind because of the weather. The Norwegian region round Tromsø and Narvik will get a “liten storm” that matches level 9 on the Beaufort scale with gusts up to 35 m/s (level 12). The Swedish mountain region will get strong winds as well with poor sight and much snow. I’ll start a day later, on friday.

Just an image for the photographers: My cheap thermometer is Arca-Swiss compatible! – 7 °C today.

Blackout

Day 15

After a longer walk at the shore I returned to my tiny hut on the camping place and slept. It’s pure luxury to sleep on daytime while being in holidays. When I woke up it was dark. Really dark. I checked my mobile phone for incoming mails. No WiFi/WLAN. I stood up and switched on the light. No effect. It was chilly in the hut. I looked outside and couldn’t see much. Some warm tiny lights in other huts and cabins, a flash light. That was all. Looks like electricity is down.

Due to a technical failure in a transformer in the Ofoten (some hundred miles southwards) major parts of Northern Norway have been without electricity since three o’clock including parts of Nordland, Finnmark and Troms including Tromsø. It’s not clear when electricity will be back. I’m glad that I have a warm sleeping bag because this hut is heated by electricity, too and the temperature is already down to 11.0 °C sinking fast.

Both laptop and iPhone still have power and the mobile net is working, that’s why I can sit here and write a blog article even with a blackout in Tromsø and around. But now I’ll switch off them, I need them for checking the news and the weather forecast.

Addendum [18:17]:

Electricity came back, first for half a minute, now for already five minutes. Looks like I’ll get the hut warm again quite soon.

Addendum [20:27]:

WiFi is still down, I’m still using mobile internet and data roaming.