I took a flight up to Tromsø, hired a car and drove due west via ferry to the island of Senja, over 100 miles inside the Arctic Circle. It was May and there had been late snowfall. It was a true winter landscape with frozen lakes and white mountains. Yet the sun was shining and flowers were bursting out of the hard ground.
I stayed at the popular resort of Hamn i Senja, a once thriving fishing village. Out of season, it was tranquil with plenty of opportunity to indulge in the many water activities like kayaking amongst the many tiny islands with their white coral beaches and sea eagles circling overhead. The midnight sun barely dipped below the horizon for an hour before appearing again creating a wonderful warm glow.
Norway Day was celebrated across the fjord in Skaland, with a church service and parade through the main street. The locals dressed in national costume and waving flags, followed the marching band back to the town hall for tea and cake.
After a few days in Senja, I caught a ferry to the next island Vesteralen which is on the eastern edge of the Lofoten. It is so quiet here that if you see more than three cars on the road, it is rush hour.
Vesteralen is known as Kingdom of the Whales so I joined the Andenes Whale Safari. Within 20 minutes, I spotted three huge Sperm Whales at close quarters. So close my zoom was too long. This area is also famous for its puffin colony that has taken over Bleiksoya, a fin shaped rock just off the coast. I have now seen enough puffins to last a lifetime.
This road adventure up in the North, made me realise how much I love Norway and how much more there is to discover about this country.