Words and images by Sarah Ann Noel
Tucked inside the Arctic Circle, connected by bridges and tunnels, await the Lofoten Islands, a Norwegian treasure of unspoiled beauty. While local and European tourists flock to the archipelago in the summer, to experience the midnight sun, we chose to visit mid-October, as the temperatures dipped and the mist set in, in hopes of catching the Northern Lights. It had been a bucket list item for me, to see the Aurora Borealis, and we were able to marvel at the dancing light show three nights.
But I think I fell even more in love with the place during the day, touring the E10 from Svolvær to the “end of the world” in Å. The sun was golden across the sky, from sunrise to sunset, and with mountains jutting up haphazardly, crashing waves on every side, and rolling, grassy meadows, it seemed like the Islands held within them everything a person could want. We booked a remote cabin in Gimsøya, where our “backyard” was adorned with a beautiful lighthouse. And each day, we set out for unplanned adventures, from horseback riding along the coast—to cheese tasting and wool shopping at Aalan Gård Farm, and touring the arts in Henningsvær.
For our entire stay, I was reminded of the beauty of nature, the warmth and kindness of people, and how, when you step outside of yourself for a bit, the discoveries you make are the kind that remain with you for a lifetime.