Archive for October, 2014

Skarvassbu

A couple of weeks ago I went on a weekend trip with two friends, to Skarvassbu, the only cabin on the mainland near Tromsø that I hadn’t visited. We drove to the parking place of the ski slope and made our way up Krokelvdalen from there. It had been getting colder in the week leading up to this trip, but we were still surprised to see how much ice there was – frozen rivers and frozen waterfalls everywhere.

On our way up Krokelvdalen Lots of ice!

We took it easy and had a nice lunch break when we had climbed out of the valley. We stopped for photos quite a lot, plenty of pretty ice to photograph! Coming out of Krokelvdalen we walked in open terrain which was relatively flat.

Pretty patterns on a freezing lake Moon landscape :)

At the edge of this area, we suddenly had this view – so beautiful! The big lake is called Storskarvatnan and we could see the cabins from up there. We were all awed by the spectacular view!

Coming down towards Storskarvatnan, calm as a mirror A wider image of the pretty view - and if you have a keen eye you might be able to spot the cabin :D

The distance from Kroken to the cabin was 8 km and it took us 4 hours at a very leisurely speed, including the lunch break. There were 2 girls in the small cabin which sleeps 4, so we decided to claim the newer, larger one (which sleeps 7). There were a couple of people around who were just stopping for a break, but in the end our only company was a Polish priest. He looked like a monk in long robes, and he had climbed Tromsdalstinden on the way to the cabin – impressive! He was slightly strange and unexpected company (walking back and forth outside the cabin reading his bible), but he was very friendly 🙂

Signe and I took some photos of cotton grass at a frozen lake, just when the sun was setting.

Arriving at Skarvassbu, the toilet/wood shed on the left and the old/small cabin (sleeping 4) on the right Sunset, cotton grass, a frozen lake and Tromsdalstinden - so pretty!

At Skarvassbu you can normally get water from the nearby river, but it was completely frozen now – even throwing a huge rock on the ice only resulted in some impressive cracks that showed the ice was impossibly thick. As there was no snow to melt, our only option was to get water from Storskarvatnan, which was open. This was quite a challenge, as it was almost 500 m to the lake. I know this doesn’t sound like much, but try 500 m uphill balancing over rocks covered in rime, trying not to spill your bucket full of water!

The last light of the day

We had high hopes to see the northern lights, as they had been very active in the days before the trip. The weather had been clear all day, but just as it was getting dark, some clouds came out of nowhere and soon covered the whole sky. What a pity! Around midnight it was even snowing lightly… oh well! We had a cosy night in, and a luxurious dinner with wine, followed by whiskey 🙂

The next morning the skies had cleared, and it was beautiful watching the first sunlight reaching the top of Tromsdalstinden!

Sunrise the next day has reached the top of Tromsdalstinden A morning view of the frozen lake

The old cabin at sunrise Jennifer takes a photo of the view towards Storskarvatnan

Some very pretty clouds drifted in 🙂

Pretty clouds! Another photo of the older cabin

We decided to walk back a different route, going from Skarvassbu to Blåkollkoia (another cabin, in the Tønsvik valley) and cross from there back to Kroken. The views were beautiful, and Storskarvatnan was like a mirror again.

This lake sparkled like it was covered in Swarovski crystals :) Tromsdalstinden and Skarvassbu reflected in Storskarvatnan

Storskarvatnan…

Storskarvatnan was like a mirror again

We did this hike at a perfect time of year, as the track between Skarvassbu and Blåkollkoia is very wet once you reach the Tønsvik valley. Now all the boggy areas and all the streams were frozen which made it a lot easier! We did have to cross a couple of larger rivers, which sometimes took some walking back and forth trying to find the best place, but we crossed all of them without incidents 🙂 Here is the frozen Tønsvik river we followed for a while (luckily we didn’t have to cross that one).

The frozen Tønsvik river that we followed for a while

We had lunch at Blåkollkoia before climbing up to Gråurvatnet which would get us back to Kroken. We were startled by a few rype (grouse) hunters, but luckily we were colourful (and loud 😉 ) enough to be spotted in time, and not mistaken for a grouse 😉

Another frozen lake

Before making our way back down to Kroken and the car, we took a group photo 🙂

At the end of a very successful trip we had to get this photo of the 3 of us: Jennifer, Signe and me

It had been a wonderful trip! So glad we made the most of such a sunny weekend 🙂

A Sunday Walk

Yesterday was a beautiful day, and I decided to go for a walk with a friend. We walked along the ski trails to the lake Prestvannet on top of Tromsø island. There was frost everywhere, and it was a bit sad to see how close to the horizon the sun is even at 13:00 – winter is truly on its way…

Long shadows - we're loosing daylight very fast now View from Prestvannet towards Kvaløya

It seemed like all of Tromsø had the same idea, and we met several people we knew along the way. Tromsø feels like a village sometimes 🙂

Tromsdalstinden - no more reflections as the lake is starting to freeze Picknick place with a great view

Today it’s raining heavily, so I am glad we made the most of yesterday’s sunshine!

Kjerringøy

Last week I spent two days in Kjerringøy, a village 30 km north of Bodø. I was there to attend my second “regionsamling”, a meeting between all the people working for the meteorological institute in Northern Norway (we have people in Bodø, Andøya, Bardufoss, Tromsø and Longyearbyen). Three years ago we went to Longyearbyen, which was fantastic – so I thought this one might be slightly boring in comparison. How wrong I was! We arrived on a wet and windy day, and I took this photo for our work’s instagram account – it’s the view from my room in one of the cabins at Kjerringøy Bryggehotell 🙂

View from our accommodation on Kjerringøy

We spent the afternoon discussing all kind of themes relevant to our jobs. One of the main themes was the future of our offices in Bodø and Andøya which is not looking too good (they will most likely be closed completely in a couple of years – very sad 🙁 ). Anyway, after that it was time for something lighter: a guided tour of Kjerringøy Handelssted, or trading post, within walking distance from the hotel. This is Norway’s best preserved trading post, a beautiful place! Unfortunately it had gotten too dark to get good photos…

Kjerringøy Handelssted - Norway's best preserved trading post Our guide :)

We had a nice dinner that evening, followed by an entertaining quiz (especially since I was on the winning team :D) and rather too much whiskey 😉

And here’s what we woke up to on Tuesday morning… this view just took my breath away 🙂 tired or not, I had to go and take some photos before breakfast!

The view at sunrise - breathtaking! What a difference with yesterday :) From the pier, with the hotel on the left and the trading post in the middle

It was hard to concentrate on the rest of the meeting while it was so beautiful outside. We were leaving after lunch, but luckily there was just about enough time for me to run back to the trading post to get some photos in better light 🙂 These yellow houses were just behind the hotel.

A row of yellow houses

And some panorama’s taken at the trading post – what a beautiful place! And what a glorious autumn day, I really didn’t want to leave 🙂

A quick visit to the trading post before it's time to head back Impressive jetty What a beautiful autumn day, I didn't want to leave!

But we had a plane to catch, so off we went. The trip by bus was beautiful, this is an area I’d love to come back to – lots of exciting mountains as well! Before going to the airport, we drove to the top of a hill to have a view over Bodø…

View over the city of Bodø Colleagues enjoying the view over Bodø

We also took a group photo here, so you can see half of my colleagues here. Half? Yes, due to (almost) all of us working shift these kind of meetings always have to be organised twice. The second group is there at the moment 🙂

Group photo, unfortunately we're all staring straight into the sun ;)