Norway - He Did It Again!
Recently I had the great pleasure of travelling with Amazing Views to Norway’s Lofoten Islands again, for the second time within 4 months. The first time was for the “Autumn Colors and Northern Lights” tour, in October last year, the second time was just now, for the “Winter’s Dream and Northern Lights” tour.
I will answer the question I recently was asked the most, namely which of the two trips, Fall or Winter, I liked more. And I give you the short answer upfront, it is “Both!”. Given that leadership and accommodations etc. are the same, the differences are mostly in the daily photographic activities and availabilities of accessible and photogenic locations.
Fall and Winter offer unique perspectives, the latter showing here with a storm approaching
In general, the Fall landscapes are more colorful, displaying the rich autumn yellow to red/brown tones, while the Winter shots bring much more structure to the snow-covered mountains. But, from the beginning! Immediately after getting off the plane the first difference to Fall becomes apparent; all is white! And it’s beautiful and exciting to just look at all these mountains in white. Right thereafter, after getting into the cars, the other side of snow cover, and Winter overall, comes to mind, namely the snowy and icy roads. On some days in Winter we had gale force winds creating snow drifts on the roads, other days we had white-out conditions, with incredible amounts of snow falling rapidly. The weather in the Fall was much more moderate, with an occasional downpour of rain that resulted in beautiful rainbows.
The accommodations near Reine
After having spent a few days on the Winter trip, another difference to the Fall trip becomes clear; the options of shooting locations. Some of the most beautiful locations that offer splendid reflections of the landscapes in lakes and still waters are buried under snow in the Winter. During the Fall, these spots where the highlights of the excursions. OK, one of the highlights, at least. It is also much easier to reach the desired shooting locations when you don’t have to march through at least ankle high, if not knee high or higher, snow, possibly while wearing crampons. Interestingly, the number of times I fell on my rear-end was about the same on both tours, slippery rocks and slopes are present all the time!
Similar photos of the rugged coastline in their seasons
Lastly, I was surprised how many tourists, mostly photographers, where there in the Wintertime. I would estimate at least twice to three times the number in the Fall, making the latter an insider tip for people that don’t like to share shooting locations with lines of other photographers. The temperature difference between the seasons was not very high either, we dipped below freezing usually at nights in the Fall, in the Winter it was plus/minus two degrees Celsius most of the time. Oh, did I mention avalanches already? The chance that you will be in one in the Winter seems extremely slim, but you might feel the impact of traffic re-routing and such. The impact of the weather on traffic extends also to the air, a cancelled flight anywhere on the way to and from Leknes is more likely during the Winter, but the sight out of the airplane window makes up for it.
Sites that have only been visited in one season
To sum it up, I was blessed to have been with Amazing Views on both trips, Fall and Winter, and I can only recommend this experience to everybody who likes rugged coastlines, dramatic skies, serene locations, rapid weather changes, and a professional and friendly leadership. I had a blast!
Sadly enough though, shortly after the Winter Trip ended did the Coronavirus strike. It eliminated all of my current travel plans, with the entire the World fighting this disease.