Chasing the Midnight Sun in the Arctic Circle
This is not a usual post.
I’ll be sharing with you some images of one of the most magical places I have ever been to, while chasing the midnight sun in the arctic circle.
I have always dreamt of traveling all the way up north, to the Arctic Circle, and see the midnight sun. It was on the top of my list of rare, extraordinary phenomena I’d like to see. Like the northern lights, the glowing algae, the giant crystal caves, or some of the other amazing, beautiful rareties of this amazing world.
This summer, I had the privilege to make that dream come true and travel from Stockholm to the Arctic Circle, more specifically, the Lofoten Islands, in Norway, and spend 6 nights there.
We didn’t drive all the way there. We first flew to Kiruna, the northernmost town in Sweden, and then road tripped to Lofoten. And that’s me, in Kiruna, still city touristing, not yet fully embracing the camper style.
I was happy to visit the Kiruna church again, after the last time I’ve been there, 10 years ago.
Here’s a glimpse of what it looks like inside the largest wooden building in Sweden, considered to be “a shrine for the nomadic people”.
Then, the magic started. After crossing the border, the ground begins to take shapes, lakes and waterfalls start to appear, and little houses with their rooftops covered in grass and flowers let us know we’re in beautiful Norway.
And then there’s Lofoten. Arriving in Lofoten is like entering a new earth, and a new dimension of awe. Everywhere you look there’s a stunning scenery enchanting the eyes and delighting the soul.
And we were incredibly lucky with the weather. In fact, we changed our flights just to be able to take advantage of the fantastic weather forecast for that week. Sunny and up to 22 degrees Celsius (about 72 Fahrenheit) during the day, and down to only 6 degrees Celsius at night (about 43 Fahrenheit). This kind of weather, all the way up there in the Arctic Circle, was a chance not to be missed.
Our expectations did not disappoint us.
We decided to camp most of the days, and since all the few pretty places were fully booked, we ended up camping every day. Which was the best option, really. Why would you want to sleep indoors in the most beautiful natural place you’ve been to?
So every day we found a new camp, will the only requisites of 1) having a clear view facing north, to be able to see the sunset, and 2) be as far away as possible from the road.
The task wasn’t always easy, but we always managed to find the perfect spot. Our as don Juan would say, our “sitio“.
The Lofoten islands are known for the spectacular views of mountains, lakes, the open sea – home to some of the world’s biggest whales, picturesque fisherman villages, and untouched lands. After spending the days in awe of the beauty of the place, the sunsets were the cherry on top of the cake (quite literally).
At the time we went, it was a couple of days after the 17th of July. Therefore the sun was already setting (which doesn’t happen between the 25-26th of June and the 17th of July). But it was set somewhere between 12.20am, in the first days, and 12.00am in the last day.
So without further ado, here are some of the views during those days. Enjoy ♡
If you’re a highly susceptible person, or you’re a vegetarian or vegan, please forgive me. I confess: I have a big food crush on snails. So I got some from the rocks at the beach, cooked them in seawater, and ate them.
There is something quite special about picking food from its most pure original habitat and eat it. Though I don’t like fishing, and I would never, ever hunt. Apart from plants, snails are about as big as I go when it comes to killing a living being for food. I‘m sorry little ones, for my primitive self.
Being from Portugal (perhaps you guessed it after seeing the snails), and having eaten codfish for almost all my life (I know it’s hypocritical, I don’t fish it but someone has to fish it for me*), it was especially interesting to see where the cod is caught and dried. Before being sent to Portugal, and to our tables, to be one of the most (if not the most) iconic ingredient of our cuisine. (*For those of you surprised about my food choices, please note that my first option is almost always vegetarian/vegan.)
Finally, my favorite day, with the mandatory skinny dip in the Arctic waters. And a sequence of what was probably my favorite sunset, and where you can see how much the sun moves much more sideways here, as compared to in lower latitudes.
I don’t think there’s anything more recharging for the body-mind and spirit than to spend time in such pristine and magnificent nature.
I have left a part of my heart in Lofoten and would love to return, perhaps during the winter, to experience the Northern Lights.
It’s a dream I know one day I’ll see becoming true.
If you’re curious, all pictures here were posted straight out from my dear camera, the Canon G7X (apart from some cropping and the pictures where I appear, naturally, and the snails’ shot). You can check more about this gorgeous little camera here: CANON G7X.
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