Many years ago I bought a jigsaw puzzle because the image on the box grabbed my attention. There were tiny wooden houses and huge jagged rocks that rose out of the ocean. I had no idea where on this earth it could be.
When I discovered it was the Lofoten, an archipelago off the coast of Norway I knew I would go there one day.
In 2008, I spent a week on the Lofoten staying in a rorbu, a converted fisherman’s cabin which jutted out over the sea. It was June and the sun never set. I could get in the car at midnight, drive to a deserted beach and watch the golden disc of the sun hovering above the horizon.
I went from island to island over bridges and through tunnels until I reached the very end, a small fishing village called ‘A’. Codfish hung on wooden racks air-drying in the coastal winds, a practise started by the Vikings. The landscape was dramatic. Mountains loomed overhead, their tops covered in snow while in the meadows below were bright yellow dandelions.
It was possibly the most inspiring place I had ever been to, thanks to that jigsaw puzzle.