Stairway to heaven – or stairway to Hallingskarvet? Both real awesome choices, but the 2000 steps that lead us directly up to the mountain massif Hallingskarvet National Park was this weekend’s winner for sure. I… More
Everyone that has read Jack London’s book The Road in younger days will for sure understand why some of us still have a fascination for goods trains. Every time I happen to drive or bicycle parallel to a goods train I smile big like a happy child and get set back to Jack London’s adventurous stories for a little moment.
Imagine my happiness when I discovered that there is a draisine railway in moderate driving distance from the cabin I as often as possible spend time at. So, recently me and puppy drove up the serpentine mountain road over to the next valley and hoped for some available drop in hours to finally try a draisine.
The rental guy at Veggli Vertshus was very helpful. I brought my own bicycle helmet and headlight for tunnels, and we decided to fasten a big green bread basket to the passenger area with a pillow in for my dog to sit on. He also instructed me about necessary things like how to handle a railroad switch, how to brake, to lift up the draisine for turning etc. Then finally – we where set to go!
I would lie if I said we had a “flying start” into Jack London’s adventurous hobo world. My dog Jenta did not agree to sit on that suspicious bread basket, and I was shit scared she would get her paws or tail squeezed by the heavy iron wheel. But with a little bit of “patience” and many bits of candy, she finally understood she had to sit down when we moved.. and we could finally roll veeery slooowly out of the first train station…
It really is as lovely as it looks like.. so awesome with that familiar and rhythmic sound from the wheels hitting the rail joints. We followed the river Numedalslågen along beautiful landscapes, old buildings, equipment, signs and a dam.
On a Sunday trip in nice weather you will probable not be alone on the rail tracks. We met a nice group of people that used their draisines to get around for mushroom hunting, cool. And we usually helped each other lifting off a draisine when a meeting or passing occurred.
So, I would love to rail all the way to Rødberg end station, but I think it would be too long for my dog to handle that this first time. Instead we turned at Fossebrekke and headed back for Veggli station again.
I could also have let my dog run aside the draisine, it is a nice idea where the ground is “paw friendly”, but I discovered a poisonous vipera berus besides the rail on our trip, so no way this day, but it will probable be a solution for colder days. On our way back over the Veggli mountain road we instead went for a evening hike so my Jenta got some good exercise too.
The little village Unstad quickly became a favorite place to visit this season, and I have done 4 nice hikes (incoming) from this adorable and peaceful place by the sea. Longing to spend a night here, me and puppy one day I was off work packed our tent and headed for Unstad Beach to hike and spend a night there.
After hiking 2 peaks that day we went down to the sea and found a nice grass spot among the pebbles and pitched the tent. The light rain drops we sensed up in the mountains gradually dissolved and the evening turned in to warm and beautiful sunset.
Most of all I just wanted me and puppy to be here together, with no time to keep, to do nothing and just enjoy the absolutely lovely sound of the waves hitting the shore. There really is no better lullaby than that.
What I like about Unstad is that it is very peaceful and usually not so crowded in high season as other well known beach villages in Lofoten. The little white sand beach and village are also surrounded by several good hikes. It’s also a place for surfers, so you can rent equipment for surfing at Unstad Arctic Surf.
It is so beautiful in Norddalen valley. In here we could see about 6 or 7 white-taled eagles flying around, where one of them “smacked” another eagle in the air so it dropped a dead captured crow to the grown – nature drama IRL!
Unstad map & driving distances
- Unstad – Leknes: 25 min. (21,2 km)
- Unstad – Svolvær: 68 min. (66,4 km)
- Unstad – Reine: 85 min. (73,6 km)
Finally me and puppy was on on our way with the ferry to wonderful Værøy island again. I did the longer hike to Måstad and Måhornet last year in a not so nice weather (yes, it happens to us all) and wanted to do it again … but both Håen, Hornet and Nupen hikes was very tempting today, so me and puppy went for them all – with no regrets!I
HÅEN & HÅHEIA
I usually have some kind of plan, but keeps it open for changes depending on circumstances. This day it was the sun, it’s position and the heat. I need to take care about my furry dog’s health in the heat, so I chose to first hike up to Håen, hike along Håheia and the scenic ridge with the sun in our back, and then ascend Hornet before a descent to the parking place. All with that lovely breeze in our fur.
Once again we met lovely hiking fellows that make our day just a bit brighter than expected, I am always thankful for those meetings, to continue hiking with a big smile in our face.
Back in the car me and puppy had lunch, rested in the shadows and drove to Breivika to hike up to Nupen in the comfortable afternoon shadow. The fog came in while we ascended along the ridge, but fortunately it was just temporary, so we continued up to Breiviknuten, the last narrow meters to Nordlandsnupen was not so tempting to do with my dog, but I was more than satisfied with the amazing views from Breiviknupen.
After the last hike we had some extra time for disposal (before we had to queue up for the evening ferry back). We drove along the absolutely adorable Nordlandshagen just to take in the idyllically and peaceful surroundings here in the afternoon sun.. a little peaceful paradise at the end of Lofoten indeed.
This amazing and magic day on Værøy together with my dog will always be safely stored in my very best of memories ❤
I have made you a rough map of where me and puppy hiked, click on it to open the IRL map with more details at http://www.Norgeskart.no
If you crave for a longer and solid day hike in Lofoten with amazing views, very nice (and mtb-bike friendly) trails, than I can recommend Justadtinden (738 masl) in Vestevågøya.
This day the weather forecast promised gale at some peaks on the outer (north) side, so instead I chose to go to Justadtinden located on the inner (south) side hoping for some less strong winds. It turned out to be a good choice
The trail has several “up- and downhills” until the final ascend where you probable will use your hands to light scramble the last few meters – not so airy or exposed – until you go near the edges on the top area of course.
I can see the highest peak Himmeltinden over there.. such good memories from last week’s awesome hike there
Some open places during ascend the wind really was working it, but reaching the peak, where you kind of expect the wind to howl, it was close to total calm, almost to hot for my dear furry friend.
I met a local guy there that told me he sometimes experienced this, that the wind blows much harder around the mountain “passes” here, but barely on the top .. our lucky day!
On our way back again…
Lenght: Approximately 12 km round trip
Route marking: Cairns
Bus: Leknes – Stamsund
A late evening hike to Himmeltindan is well worth it in nice weather. If you are normal fit and healthy you will have a very pleasant hike.
Our opinion is that this hike is not as strenuous and steep as written on the Internet (that must probable be from another side than from Haukland beach parking where we started from).
I actually left my dog back home because of that info, but my puppy would have loved to hike this mountain too without any problems. We met several smaller dogs, and it is only airy if you actively seek it along the edges. But the other hike we did the day before is another story alright, but more about that later 😉
So, this time I was in good company with a dear colleague from work, and we really had a fun and happy hike together when Himmeltindan finally loomed towards the sky without being totally covered in fog. Just some cotton fluff here and there, which makes the views more interesting.
Himmeltindan is the tallest peak on Vestvågøy, so the ascent took us about 2 hours upwards on a nice and clear trail. We first reached the south peak, and then decided to visit the north peak used by the military with radars and stuff, but oh sooo very nice views from here, and hopefully worth the risk of not being able to reproduce our self any longer.
We had our late evening meal above the cotton fluff between the two peaks. And had a magnificent view towards Uttakleiv, Veggen and Mannen bathing in the warm and beautiful sunset on our way down again
Hight: 962 masl. (north peak)
Hiking time: Approximately 2 hours (one way)
Car parking: Haukland beach
By bus: Visit Hauklandsbeach.no
More to come soon dear readers 😀
From the peak Møntinden I got a nice view over the seashore below us. I got a glimpse of a tempting trail along the shore far down there and decided to pay it a visit at the very next opportunity. So we did. And as usual I shot some photos along the hike for you to view.
The trail starts (sign post) at the end of the road in the little village Vikten (see map) where I parked the car. Approximately 3 km one way hike. We chose to start the trail that goes along the beautiful sand beach (it is also possible to start the hike right behind the very last farm).
The beach trail eventually turns into rocks and boulders, then it joins the nice and clear trail that will lead you all the way to the solar driven light house at the very tip of Hornneset headland. Bear in mind that sheeps will pop up here and there along the trail.
Once again I regret leaving my zoom lens in the car – of pure laziness. This white tailed eagle was just sitting there posing gracious on a rock, totally ignoring the mocking sea gull. Nice bird area for bird lovers.
I discovered this beautiful area while me and puppy went for a evening stroll along the landslide-exposed gravel road by the sea. At the end of this road you will find the very peaceful, authentic tiny little village Myrland surrounded by mountains, heathland and a little white beach overlooking the open sea.
I quickly found out that there was several hiking trails in the area among the heaths and towering spears, so at the very next visit here me and puppy went for the peak of Møntinden (the one with a telemast on top). I will post more from this area soon.
It is possible to hike straight upwards too the peak of Møntinden (if that is your only goal), but me and puppy did a little “detour”, yes, why go directly up if you will miss the best part of this hike…a walk along the edge!
When you reach the edge from Krykkjedalen you will see a trail along the edge towards and up to Møntinden – some places the “outer” trail looked a bit insecure, but it will always be possible to choose the safe inner trail where necessary.
The trail: After parking the car (blue spot on my map) I followed the trail(s) that seemed to take us towards my eyeballed goal, the trails are mostly of nice quality, not at all muddy after a rainy night, but perhaps a bit soaked here and there.
Lots of sheep poo here too, so If you have a dog that like munching on that (unfortunately my dog think this is M&Ms) this is probable like walking in chocolate-wondertrail for them) puh…
Here and there the trail turn into a sheep trail that will dissolve here and there. Just keep your direction through Krykkjedalen towards the beginning of the edge below Bjørntinden – eventually you will find the trail again.
Along the edge we could look faaaar down at the pebble beach down there, with views towards Fredheim and out towards the open ocean while following the nice trail along the edge towards Møntinden. Absolutely awesome!
After Krykkjevatnet me and puppy followed a trail along the mountain side that eventually dissolved in the middle of the mountains side – we just went back a bit and found a tiny trail that took us the last part up to Møntinden.
Fab views from Møntinden towards Ramberg, Fredheim and Yttersandheia
Take a look at Møntinden seen from below in my post:
I made you a rough map of my and puppy’s hiking trail to Møntindennother
I will soon be back with our second hike in this area.. from another view 😉
From a far distance I could see that the peak was covered with fog, and the risk was to see absolutely nothing when reaching the top. But still me and puppy decided to chance it. And we where rewarded plentiful.
Depending on your fitness it is a relatively easy hike up, approximately an hour one way, at the upper ridge there will be steep edges here and there, but the trail is very nice quality and safe to follow.
At first we could see absolutely zip nada nothing in the fog reaching the top, but when the curtains went up it was absolutely magic. I truly think that photos also becomes more interesting when some fog or clouds appears on a blue sky, makes it more “alive-ish”.
Map and information about the trail if you start from Skjelfjorden
I wanted to avoid windy and fog covered peaks this day, so a hike up to Svartvatnet lake turned out to be a very good choice when the wind comes from southwest… but don’t forget that no wind means more damn mosquito’s 😮
We took the same way as we did last year hiking up to Solbjørnvatnet lake. Arriving at the lake me and puppy followed the trail to the left (instead of to the right) this time.
Looking towards Solbjørnvatnet lake
It is possible to follow a trail along one side of Svartvatnet lake – where we also spotted some nice potential camp spots. We turned when reaching a little river, but the trail seems to be continued.
Still ice on the lake, so a very refreshing dip is possible. But I was very satisfied with this mirroring lake view – in between these mountains we where well protected from the wind, but not from the mosquito’s 😀
If you have any questions regarding this hike – let me know 🙂
Remember our hike along Yttersandheia last year? This year we started our summer in Lofoten with a hike parallel to it along the seashore, an easy and family friendly hike to Mulstøa in Fredvang.
Puppy has finally got her very first dog backpack. I choose a light version for her as a novice that will be perfect for day hikes. Ruffwear’s singeltrack has 2 included water sacks (0,6 L each), room for her candy/meal and some other smaller stuff to. Her own pink water bowl in rubber are attached on it too with a carabiner. It is probable possible to attache more if necessary.
A light pack version for my lappjenta dog that works well for day hikes with the 2 water-bags included. We have also tried it out in rough shrubland/bush, where it seems to be pretty scratch resistant too.
After doing a couple of smaller “saltomorales” with the packpack on, she accepted it pretty quick. Maybe she understand that she carries her own stuff in it. She is also of a dog race that likes to work, so I believe it is also healthy for her mind to be contributing.
On our hike we came close to a white-taled eagle (havørn). It popped up at several places in front of us, didn’t seem to be too scared of the dog either, we came about 8 meters at the closest. This are the moments you regret not doing the effort to carrying the heavier camera with zoom, but hopefully we will get another chance this summer.
There is a lot of sheeps along this trail. The mommies are looking well after their lambs and usually step aside, but one of the sheep mom’s came forward to puppy and they saluted each other with a “nose kiss”, sooo adorable and cool. It will probable also contribute to make my puppy Jenta “sheep-safe”.
3 quick ones
- You can park your car at the parking area close to trail start.
- Take a nice stroll along the beautiful Sandbotnen beach nearby
- You will find the scenic Fredvang campsite placed close to the beach
Yes, you probable guessed correctly. Me and puppy are finally back in Lofoten again, for the 3 time, it is just something magic about Lofoten, and most people that have been her would most probable agree to that.
We already had a very busy day where everything seems to happen at once. A couple of photos from our very first sunny day here is naturally included.
We drove to the closest village to have a mechanic’s check my car, while waiting we did a lovely stroll passing a beautiful swan lake and some magnificent views. We where also invited home to a friendly dog owner and had a look at he’s cool Harley Davidson bicycles. Turned out we also had a mutual friend where I grew up. I just adore how friendly and curious inhabitants are up here in the north.
Later me and puppy also did a dedour to stroll along a shoreline where the spectacular and windless views made me stop a lot.. make sure you do that too, cuz these magnetic views can cause tricky situations while driving. the very same day I almost got squeezed off a narrow road by another fascinated tourist in his rental car.. but I kind of do understand him too 😀
During our seashore stroll here I remembered that I also biked through here a couple of years ago. Road 815 is a very nice alternative to the more trafficked E10 road indeed!
I do drive like a priest, but on our way back home I got a darn speeding ticket, driving a lil’ bit too fast not paying attention to the speedometer at that moment, it really sucks!
You know, it’s already expensive here in Lofoten, and that goes for the the speeding tickets too, so pay attention here so you don’t end up using your travel budget on unnecessary and costly “experiences” like that. If you end up behind a slow driver around here, it is probable just me, please be understanding..ha..ha
Me and puppy will for sure be back with more very soon, alright. In mean time: Drive safe dear readers! 🙂
We started in Tinn, Telemark. I had some extra days before work startup, and decided to finally visit my family on the west coast of Norway, so me an puppy drove E134 across Haukelifjell, through beautiful steep landscapes of mountains, fjords and waterfalls.
It mostly takes longer time for me to get somewhere, almost like a curse, cuz in Norway I just have to stop a lot to capture awesome travel moments..pretty often. Haukelifjell was looking at it’s best this very day as you can see
It was so lovely to visit my dear mother in Hordaland for a couple of days, but then me and puppy had to hit the road again to once again cross the mountains and head northwards. We zigzagged on narrow serpentine roads, in long dark tunnels and over the impressive Hardanger bridge.
Driving through Lærdalstunellen (Lærdal tunnel) which I believe still is the longest road tunnel in the world. The spacious, brighter and colorful “breathing holes” at some spots in the tunnel is certainly a cool idea!
We finally arrived to Vang in Valdres where I decided to get a tiny cabin for the night – at a friendly camping site based at Vangsmjøse. And of course me and puppy went for a evening hike up to Skakadalen. Next morning we woke up to stiff breeze outside, what do you think that resulted in?
So the very next morning we drove up to Beitostølen, only to discover that the mountain pass Valdresflya had been closed due to bad weather. Also the next road pass was closed, so I had to drive all the way to Bagn and Dokka to reach Lillehammer instead…duh..
Finally reaching Oppdal me and puppy got a wonderful cabin with TV, my own shower/WC and kitchen for a super-nice (single)price – and dogs welcome! It was settled for a nice TV/sofa/chinese food-evening.
Our last night before we reached our main goal for the summer, we slept at a place not to brag about outside Bodø, but the evening walk we did in Geitvågen area was just awesome, and I realized that I have really been missing the scent of the sea…mmmmm.
Now me and puppy was only a boat-trip away from our place to stay for the summer (can’t be too hard to guess right?) – we are ready for summer work and adventures!
Our roadtrip map – plenty of things to see and to along the route, but make sure you have plenty of time for it too 😉