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Lofoten In Eight Days

After having made my trip to Iran in Summer 2011, I got itchy feet after half a year. I really enjoyed the style of travelling independently with the backpack.

I want to apologize for any mistakes I made. If you find any, it’ll be nice if you let me know.

I decided that this journey will be the first one using Couchsurfing all nights.

Because I’ve never been to Scandinavia in winter before and have seen some nice pictures of Lofoten several times, I checked prices to go there.

I got lucky. After comparing some prices and dates, I decided to start the 28th February 2012 and took the plane back to Berlin the 7th March 2012.

Route in GoogleMaps

Going to Lofoten was not really expensive. I booked a Ryanair flight from Berlin-Schönefeld to Oslo Rygge (two time 8€, only hand baggage). Thanks to the Norwegian railways which offers really cheap tickets for students. That’s why for the 1150km from Rygge to Lofoten -taking about 20 hours- and back, I paid 66€.

So actually I only spent 6 days on Lofoten. I chose to make 3 stops with 2 night at each place.

The first, 28th Feb, I flew at 9.15 to Oslo-Rygge, where I arrived 100 minutes later. I went to Oslo where I fought my way through fog for two hours.

On my way to Fauske I had to change in Trondheim at 11pm. The night train was only a sleeper, but the old-school seats looked very fashioned.

I arrived in Fauske (29th Feb) where first intended to hitch-hike to my next destination, Myre. But it was quite snowy and windy, I got a bit insecure, so I changed my mind and took the bus instead.

I guess people go to Lofoten because of the nature. And it really worth it. The mountainous landscape is amazing.

I arrive in the afternoon in Sortland, it was already dark. I had like 3 hours till the bus to Myre to my first host left, so I decided trying to hitch-hike. So I went outside the town, prepare a sign, stepped on the street…..and the first car stopped! Well that wasn’t a great start for my hitch-hiking career!

They guy had a really old Opel which – due to being only the car to get to work – was a bit messy inside and muddy from the outside. But who cares. He dropped me at a crossroad where I waited for about half an hour till 2 Jazz musicians in their Mercedes gave me a ride to my final destination Myre.

They said it’s very uncommon to hitch-hike in winter on Lofoten, especially when it’s dark and I didn’t wear any bright clothes in addition.
So I considered I could be happy, that this one-time and first hitch-hiking experience worked out. Although it was only 50km.

The 1st March I went to Andenes, the northernmost point of Lofoten. I was windy and empty. But also icy, which was very fun. In general the streets was covered with ice or snow, but the locals seem to ignore the fact and didn’t drive carefully at all – in comparison to German drivers  when it just had snowed.

I walked around the coast, to a lightning house. The water was clear like air. I wanted to jump in and dive for hours.

Next day, 2nd March, in the early morning I went with my host and her colleague to Sortland and from there took the bus passing beautiful landscape sometimes illuminated by the sun.

My hosts lived on the edge of Lofoten, near Å i Lofoten.

In the evening I walked there flanked by hundreds of stockfish hanging upside down and looking like little dead sea monsters.

The 3rd March I started climbing the hills, but just ludged downhill on my trousers and stepped through 50cm snow into a hidden rill. Fortunately my feet didn’t get very wet. So I decided to walk to next supermarket 8km away. But it was exhausting, so on my route back I thumped a car of some Polish  who were living there.

And at night happened what I was waiting for but didn’t show up because of the clouds: Northern Lights.

They were not very strong or colourful, mostly green. Still it was a special moment. Being outside in the could watching these green lights moving along the sky….wonderful.

On my way to Bodø the 4th March I was able to get on the ferry in the morning. That meant that I could go via Værøy, a small island 50km south of Moskenes. I guess because it’s on the sea and passed by the Gulf Stream there was no snow at all, but who knows.

I enjoyed the time on the ferry, writing postcards and well just enjoyed going by ferry. Also because reaching the harbour of Bodø the Northern Lights showed up again.

I arrived at Bodø in the evening and thanks to my GPS got to my host, who lived on the uni campus, quite quickly.

My last full day (5th March) on Lofoten I spent with walking to Bodø, because the campus lays some 7km outside. There’s a NATO airbase, so jets kept on flying over the town. The town itself isn’t spectacular, so I just sat down at the harbour reading a book.

But in the evening my host showed me the campus. That was a nice walk. It was very quite, some Nothern Lights played in the sky again. A good end of my journey on Lofoten.

The next day (6th March) I went to the station and was able to see the landscape that I drove through at night the first time. And the flight back home (7th March) was just awesome, thanks to the weather and sitting on the right – in fact it was left – side of the plane. We flew over Skagen, the place where Nordic and Baltic Sea is meeting and where I’ve been three years before with my best friends. But not enough we overflew the Öresund bridge connecting Kopenhagen and Malmö and the Kap Arkona on Germany biggest island Rügen.

Although I didn’t started hitch-hiking for real during that trip I looked into it and did it during summer 2012 in Eastern Europe and Scandinavia again.

But that trip was undoubtedly a winter highlight.

Thanks for reading.

Crimea visa issue

The email from the Russian Embassy London The receipt from the consulate in Frankfurt (Germany)

It was hard to find information, whether a visa is needed after Crimea became Russian. One source said it’s possible to enter Crimea visa-free until 2016.

All other information concerning the fact that people would need a visa were quite vague. So I wanted to go to Crimea without visa and wanted to see what happens at the border. But after some days I saw on the website of the Russian Embassy in Berlin, that people who intend to visit Crimea, need a either a business or private visa. I called them, but didn’t get any further information.

I wrote the embassies of London, Vienna (Austria) and Bern (Switzerland). The London embassy gave me the answer, I wanted to hear:
Email from the Russian Embassy ( in London, 2nd April 2014

Dear Sir,
You will need a visa to Crimea.
Issue  of single or double private visas for a period of 90 days, will be  given on the basis of  the written statement in any form (from relatives or friends) addressed  to the Ambassador (Consul general), without notarial assurance from a  Russian citizen living in the Crimea, with a copy of the copy of his  Russian passport or the Ukrainian passport and  the page copy with a mark about registration in the Crimea.
Person need to attend our visa centre, with all necessary documents and write visa request form  (similar to Private visa)
At  the moment we waiting for list of accredited travel companies in  Crimea, to be able to provide  with tourist visa supporting documents, regarding UK based ones we  don’t have information, are they allowed to provide with those  documents.
For further information please visit our website or contact our call centre on  0905 889 0149 (calls to the premium rate number cost  55 pence per minute).
Kind Regards,
Information Service Desk
EST. 2001 | Partnering Governments. Providing Solutions.
Russia Visa Application Centre
15-27 Gee Street, London, EC1V 3RD 
I  wrote the first April 2014:
Dear Sir or Madame, 
I’m going to go to Sevastopol next week (8th April). I already booked a  flight to Kiev and bought a train ticket from Kiev to Sevastopol. 
Because I read different information on the internet and got different  opinions of travel agents, my question is, whether I need a visa to  enter Crimea or not? 
большoе спасибo, 

The receipt I got from the consulate in Franfurt (Germany)

visa receipt

I was really lucky that I could get the needed documents. In fact after the answer I didn’t believe that I would be able to go to Crimea any more. On Thursday, April 3rd I went to the Consulate in Frankfurt. They said, I’m the first who wants a visa for Crimea and accepted the documents without problems. But they said, it’s only that simple (no formal FMS invitation letter, quick processing time), because Crimea is a brand new part of Russia.

I just needed to fill out an letter for the invited (the stuff helped me) and gave a copy of the electronic visa application form (private visa, single entry). Although they had only 2,5 days for the visa get into my passport before my flight goes on Monday, I was charged with the normal fee (35€). Normally I would have had to pay an additional express fee as well.

I paid, got a recipe and hoped that everything will word out on Monday morning. And it did. I picked up my passport with visa with no problem.
For questions you can contact me via email: blog[ät]

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