My group of friends that we formed during the excursion collectively decided that we needed another adventure, Lapland is beautiful and everything but we craved something different. We had heard from other exchange students that Lofoten in Norway is the place to go. After some quick research and a spontaneous afternoon we had booked a lodge in a quaint little fishing village called Ballstad, and we had rented a car. So on the 5th of October we were off on our 14-hour car journey, driving through Finland-Sweden-Norway.

As you would expect the views from the car journey were gorgeous, to the subtle landscapes of Sweden to the mountains on the outskirts of Norway. We arrived quite late to our lodge and I had to quickly run inside to vomit, as someone who suffers with travel sickness I would have expected nothing less from a 14-hour car journey. I had to sleep straight away because I felt too ill, however when I woke up the next morning the view from our lodge made the trip worth it. As we arrived in darkness the night before we couldn’t believe what was outside our windows when we woke up, we were surrounded by water, colourful houses, mountains and fishing boats – picturesque!

As we could only afford two days to actually explore the area we wanted to cram as much in the days as possible, easier said than done. We decided to start the morning off by hiking one of the trails that was pointed out to us by our host, followed by an afternoon of exploring Ballstad around our lodge. However, the weather turned foggy and rainy making the trail slippy, and we couldn’t see anything! It was a shame, at least we reached the top but we had to turn back and dry ourselves (and our cameras) in the car. From hiking in the awful weather we were all knackered and had to return to the lodge for a nap/chill out. We stayed indoors waiting for the rain to pass before we ventured out in the evening to explore the area. We got some great images in the twilight so I guess it was a blessing in disguise that our plans were slightly postponed!

The next day we had beautiful sunny weather! We decided to do another hike (but properly this time). We hiked for five hours! FIVE, and that was taking the quicker route. It was a hard hike, we lost our way so we ended up climbing massive stones, I was quite proud of us and I hoped I had a chiseled body after all the exercise (wishful thinking). The view from the top was actually ridiculously beautiful; I couldn’t believe how high we were. We could see the whole of Ballstad and the surrounding mountains! Returning to the car we were on a high of what we just accomplished but we were worried that it took longer than expected and we still wanted to explore Reine (as we were told it was gorgeous) which was an hour’s drive away from our location. We decided we just had to see this place before we got an early night before the drive home the next morning. Arriving it was getting dark, we stayed for around half an hour to photograph the village and gazed out into the sea and what we saw was amazing – dolphins! We couldn’t believe it. What a great way to end our trip!

We knew the drive home was going to take all day because we made a deal that if anyone wanted to stop to get out the car and take photos we just had to say. We did give these stops a five-minute time limit or we would never make it back to Kuntotie! Regardless, we made a lot of stops on the way home as we drove in daylight. We just couldn’t believe how amazing Norway is and all wanted to return in the future.