Lofoten seems to be widely considered as one of the most beautiful places in the world. Understandably so - it is indeed gorgeous. But I already ended my tour there last summer, and the year before that we drove there in a van with a bunch of other photography students from Kuusamo. So I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go this time.

I knew there would be plenty more to see and experience, but the same was true of all of Norway. Visiting completely new locations felt more appealing than repeating some of the same routes as previously. Seeing new places with fresh eyes is so satisfying, and a major part of the reason why I like to travel so much in the first place.

Apparently Norway isn't all mountains! I saw miles of flatlands like this in Andøya. This must've been the old sea floor thousands of years ago.

So this time I simply cycled from the northernmost tip in Andenes, to the southern Lødingen in a few days. The route may or may not have gone through Lofoten - I’ve never really been sure exactly which islands it officially consists of.

In addition to wanting to avoid repetition, I was becoming eager to enter the more comfortable climate in the south. North Norway had been really cold for the vast majority of my stay. Obviously, as an aurora photographer, I’m not a stranger to freezing temperatures. Chilly nights are perfectly fine on tour if they are followed by warm (at least +10C) days. It’s only when the cold continues without relief for days and weeks that it begins to wear you down.

Somewhere on the way, while having a brief moment to rest, drink, and absorb the beautiful and quiet early morning views, an otter surfaced from the fjord right below me. I froze, hoping it wouldn’t spot me. It had caught something white in its mouth, and proceeded to eat it. Otters usually eat fish, but this meal made such a loud crunching sound that it must’ve been something with a hard shell.

You might be tempted to call an otter that lives in the sea a “sea otter”, but that’s actually an entirely different species living in the Pacific Ocean. The Eurasian otters are very common in Norway and live quite happily in the salt water of the fjords, as long as they have a stream of fresh water available for washing their fur and the only reason I know any of this is because it was raining the next day so I had some time to google otters while hiding under a bus stop.

Everything is bigger in Norway.

I'm really starting to love my ND 1000 filter.

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