About three months ago, in July 2015, I set out to climb a small hill in Norway. The journey started with a flight to Sweden, followed by a meet-up in Stockholm and city walking tour with a good friend, two more flights to Norway, a four hour ferry ride, two hour of hiking, six hours of waiting, 10 miles mountain biking, and the final 1,500 ft ascent. It took me 72 non-sleeping straight hours to complete.
You might think I am crazy. Yes, but this is an exceptional hill, at an exceptional time. The hill I climbed is the Reinebringen in Lofoten Islands, and I made the 72 hours journey under the midnight sun.
Lofoten looks like nothing you have ever seen. It is, hands down, the most amazing place I have ever visited. I am sure this must have been the last place God have created on Earth. After experimenting every formation of land and sea, the Creator is finally satisfied with all his skills and go all out on Lofoten: High into the Arctic circle, he puts the monolith of Yosemite and water of the Caribbean together, pack them side by side into those tiny islands in the warm Gulf Stream of the arctic Atlantic. Oh, and just to throw in an extra, he gives it 24 hours of unset sun in the summer.
The village of Reine, in west Lofoten, is a magical place. The fishing village and its red lodges are tranquil and sleepy, until about 9 pm when the trekkers depart for their day hike. The place is still quite off the map, and it takes just one turn from the main road to beat the crowd and have the entire majestic nature all by yourself. Yet it is run under impeccable Scandinavian efficiency, so you won’t worry about the disruption of unforeseen danger, like bears or President Putin.
If you love nature, and hiking, and spending long, perpetual insomnia hours under the midnight sun meditating about life, happiness and world peace, Lofoten is the place to be. If you need in-depth reading for anything about the archipelago, be sure to check out the superbly useful 68north.com.