The skies were still grey and gloomy when we woke up, but that did not deter us from heading out. Our first stop was Henningsvær, a small fishing village that we had missed out the day before.
Henningsvær is actually closer to Svolvaer (where we set off from the day before) than Leknes (where we were at). We took a different route this time, driving along the Rv815 instead of the E10 (the main road on Lofoten Islands). It winds through great coastal and mountain scenery, and is less traveled and more attractive that the main route.
The rain and snow fell throughout the journey. Whenever we saw clear skies, we would stop our car at the pull out points along the road and dash out quickly to snap some pictures. The need to dash was real because such moments of clear skies were brief, and good lighting is crucial to take beautiful pictures.
You’ll soon realise that Lofoten Islands is actually quite a small area. You can actually drive from one end of the islands to the other in under three hours. Nonetheless, the husband had planned for a five night stay here in case we were trapped indoors due to the unforgiving weather conditions.
We reached Henningsvær after a 30 minutes drive. The place is made up of a number of islets, and is supposedly one of the most well-preserved traditional Norwegian villages. Upon our arrival, we headed straight to the harbour to bask in the wonderful scenery of colourful wooden buildings and ships, juxtaposed with the steep mountains of Austvågøya at the back.
Henningsvær also houses some quirky and interesting art galleries, such as the Gallery Lofotens Hus, located at a former cannery and showcases numerous works by local painters. We also came across KaviarFactory which exhibits art pieces from artists all over the world, located at a former kaviar factory (obviously). Unfortunately, none of them were open when we were there. We were too early. We made our way to our next destination instead.
We arrived at another beach that was located near the town of Ramberg. We saw the ominous clouds being blown by strong wind towards our direction. It felt like we were being chased. We managed to snap a few pictures before the storm caught up with us. We ran helter-skelter back to our car to seek refuge.
We initially wanted to go to the Atlantic ocean road in Norway because it is probably the most famous and mind-boggling road in the world. However, we couldn’t fit the long detour into our itinerary. We made do with the road near Fredvang, where a pair of bridges connects the fishing village of Fredvang to Flakstadøya (one of the main islands in Lofoten).
The husband had booked a Rorbu for our accommodation for the next three nights. A Rorbu (rorbuer is the plural form of the term) is a traditional house used by fishermen in Norway (mostly on the Lofoten Islands). The cabins are built on land, but with the other end built on wooden poles that extend out from the sea to allow the fishermen easy access to their vessels. The first Rorbu in Lofoten were commissioned by King Øystein in 1120 as housing for the fishermen during the fishing season. However, the use of rorbu for fishing has diminished (due to the relative decline of the fishing industry and rise of large scale commercial fishing) and rorbuer are now largely used as accommodations for tourists (like us).
Our accommodation is at Eliassen Rorbuer, located at a small islet named Hamnøy. The husband chose this place due to its unbelievably beautiful setting, which (thanks to the snow and rain tonight) we only managed to witness the following morning. True to its reviews, it was located right smack in a picturesque area. We found ourselves walking out to the deck to take pictures every now and then. Sometimes, in our sleeping clothes which we nearly froze our butts off for being inappropriately dressed. But it all added to the fun and lasting memories of the time we had here. We highly recommend staying at this place. It is well equipped with a kitchenette, perfect to cook your own meals as we all know how expensive dining out in Norway can be.