Norway seems really magical to me. I love the jagged peaks, the intricate waterways and the tiny villages tucked away in sheltered coves. On a sunny day, the water sparkles like a million diamonds. On a cloudy day, the glowing window of a fisherman’s hut invites passersby to step in for tea and a long visit. Norwegians are masters of two worlds—rain and sun, mountain and water, darkness and light. For nearly two months during the summer, the Lofoten archipelago (above photo), situated at nearly 200 km above the Arctic Circle, lives in a world of perpetual daylight. The sun never sets, but rather skips along the horizon like a tennis ball bouncing off a court. The winter is the complete opposite. A blanket of eternal darkness covers the land. It’s called the Polar Night, and it can do strange things to the mind.
Norway is a landscape of extremes, but I think of it as a place of harmony and balance. Call it yin and yang if you will, the contrast energizes. It reminds us that we’re alive on a wondrous planet filled with mystery and awe. Viewed from such a perspective, it’s no surprise that our Norway hiking tour should be so different from other hikes that we have on offer. In place of well-marked trails, we head off into the backcountry using the undulating sun and a compass as our guide. In lieu of alpine ski chalets for accommodation, we bed down in rorbuer (fisherman’s cottages), lulled to sleep by the sound of lapping waves and an occasional bell ringing from a fishing boat somewhere off shore.
From misty mountains to island-studded inlets, this is Norway, and I’m completely hooked.