On Thursday, the Norwegians finished high school. On Friday, we left for Lofoten. It was beautiful, and yes, it was epic.
We, the Rolling Stoned crew, decided to make the long drive from Narvik to Å in one day, though thankfully without Rolling Stoned itself. Å is pronounced like “Oh…” in English, which makes for a lot of jokes. (Like the modified street sign reading “Åh, så deilig!”) We´d read that the weather was going to turn for the worst, so we cruised down to Lofoten at full speed and stopped in Svolvær, Tredvin´s more-or-less future home. Imagine a totally okay-looking, normal little town with grocery stores and parking lots and everything normal, and then… THOSE mountain peaks. It´s intense.
We ate kebabs at a restaurant oddly named “Viva Italia”, where we experienced both absolutely terrible and over-the-top service simultaneously. Most of us were too poor to order a whole entree, so we split them, and left hungry. We figured we would want a meal later, so we bought tomato soup packages to cook on a camping stove, and breakfast for the next morning. The weather was absolutely glorious, and we drove down to Å listening to odd CDs from other phases in our lives and randomly snapping pictures out the window at the incredible scenery rolling by.
After what felt honestly like three days, we arrived in Å and walked down the bike path to the town center, which was more or less abandoned (strange because apparently a reggae festival began there that night, of all things) and were instantly inspired by the vintage, old-days fishing village atmosphere. Photoshoot time it was! We (the girls in the car) took off our shoes and tights and ran around through the ancient buildings, the fish-drying racks, the gardens and the Viking houses in the warm evening sun. Nina suggested that tourists would assume we were hired to create a feeling of authenticity. Life is rarely that idyllic.
When our memory cards were nearing full, we began the long search for a camping spot. Unknown to me, the entire island we were on is mostly swampy, wet and full of mosquitos – not exactly prime camping material. Although day and night aren´t especially different this time of year, it was late and we were tired, and to our delight, we came across an inexpensive campground featuring a perfect grassy field surrounded by mountains, a white sand beach facing the Atlantic, no wind, no mosquitoes, and flush toilets. It was perfect. We set up camp, which included the largest privately owned tent I have ever seen, and cooked the tomato soup. After a walk on the beach in the midnight sun, we began to realize how deeply we had underestimated our average intake of food. Our next-morning´s breakfast turned out to be the perfect snack at 1 AM.
Those who believe the expression “too good to be true” would not have been surprised when we awoke early to the sound of some nearby machines crushing boulders into gravel. We weren´t too thrilled, but managed to sleep long enough for Ida and Joakim to get up, drive to a nearby town, buy breakfast, and drive back with it. We ate an alarming amount of bread, packed up camp, and set off to Svolvær. It was cold and everyone was exhausted, so we had coffee at the local shopping center, where we randomly ran into Per Martin and bought cheap towels at Nille. Afterwards, we drove to Kabelvåg initially to make dinner, found out that it was too windy, and drove instead in the other direction to find a “real” camping place – one we wouldn´t have to pay for.
We had barely left Svolvær when Tredvin spotted the natural campground of our dreams. A grassy field, surrounded by trees and mountains and sheltered from the wind, with a pullout for our car and a picnic table! After the gravel-crushing incident we were naturally skeptical, but embraced the situation and, amazed that no one else was camped there already, set up camp. We realized that we actually had space in the “living room” compartment of the tent to fit in the picnic table as well, and as soon as our luxury camp was assembled, rain began to pour outside. The timing had been impeccable. We grilled some hamburgers for dinner, ate raw garlic cloves to ward off sickness and vampires, and when we got too cold, we piled into one sleeping compartment and listened to the rain for hours. Our conversation topics took flight, covering everything from energy, auras, philosophy, and astronomy, to religion and science. I had a seriously intense dream which probably deserves its own blog post.
We awoke stinking of garlic. That´s all I really have to say about the subject. Everything smells like garlic, even my hair, which I just washed. We didn´t manage to get out of bed until around four in the afternoon, at which point we ate and made a straight shot for Narvik. Lofoten is incredibly beautiful, but we are so glad to be home.
By the way, the Stockholm housing issue has become what Norwegians refer to as a luxury problem. I now have five offers and no idea which to choose. Also, I used to have some links on the righthand side of my blog… and now they´re gone. Mysterious.