Snowmen in July and Rolling Classes in the Arctic

Last week we crossed the Arctic Circle in Norway, and after stopping to play in the snow for a few minutes we headed even further north to Lofoten, a stunning group of islands off the coast.

The Arctic Circle.

As soon as our ferry pulled into Lofoten, the pace of life seemed to instantly slow down. It was as if the islands themselves were telling us to relax. We met with Jann of Lofoten Kajakk and talked about the classes that we’d be running for the next two days, and then we settled into our fantastic cabin, right on the water’s edge.

Our cabin.

Over the next few days we ran several classes, tried lots of tasty food and explored the islands by foot, by kayak and by car. Two evenings we found ourselves in Henningsvaer, a popular destination for rock climbers. Tents were scattered all over, and a close look up at the steep rock faces revealed more and more climbers taking advantage of the 24 hours of sunlight that are available this time of year. We didn’t bring climbing gear this time, but we enjoyed the Climber’s Cafe, a fun hang out spot with hearty food and a casual atmosphere.

A view of Lofoten from one of the many bridges.

Later in the week we hiked up a mountain to enjoy a bird’s eye view of the surrounding archipelago. At the top of the mountain was a logbook, and we keenly added our names to the list of people that had pilgrimaged to the top of the popular freestanding mountain.

The top of the mountain.

Mark signs the log book.

We spent a day exploring by car, stopping at scenic spots to take pictures and to take in a few breaths of the fresh and icy air. We also got a taste for the local food, and munched on fresh shrimp, whale, Norwegian cheese and other delights.

A rainbow over the water.

Of course there were classes as well, and the snow covered mountain peaks provided a stunning background for rolling classes in the crystal clear water.

Cod (the main fish in Lofoten) drying in the sun.

Mark enjoys a lunchtime nap in his tuilik.

Yesterday we took a three hour ferry ride back to the mainland. We sat on the back deck of the ferry feeling the cold air on our faces as we watched the mountains of Lofoten slowly disappear.

Zegul Woman appears in Lofoten.

This morning we woke to a fresh sprinkling of snow in the mountains on the mainland, and after an early breakfast we packed up into the van again to begin the long journey south for classes in Sweden later in the week.

Enjoying the crisp air from the ferry.

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