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We’re glad you asked.

Above the Arctic Circle, just off the coast of northern Norway, there is an archipelago of seven islands with narrow straits, numerous fjords, a few towns, and mostly small fishing villages. It is a place of blowing winds, a good deal of rain, and stark beauty. The entire scene is stunning and unique.

These are the Lofoten Islands.

In our recent two-week trip to Scandinavia (which also included a few days into Copenhagen, Bergen (Norway), and Stockholm, we spent five days exploring and photographing (maybe 1,000 photographs) these landscapes.

The harbors and inlets are filled with boats of varying sizes, and you both see and smell drying racks of fish (cod) everywhere. Mostly red and some white houses dot the landscapes throughout the 475 square miles. (Red paint is cheaper than any other color. Wealthier families paint their homes white.)

At this time of year, the sun sets at close to midnight each day and rises again at 2 AM. Thus, there was no ‘dark sky’ or Northern Lights’ photography opportunities while we were there. (So why did we take a tripod?) The surrounding mountains get snow in the winter and there was plenty of snow still in the mountains. At the lower elevations the temperature can apparently vary anywhere from 30 to 70 degrees throughout the year, though the temperatures hovered in the low 40’s when we were there. We recently learned the Lofoten Islands are in the 8th percentile out of 100 for pleasant weather. (A surprise to us!)

The fishing industry, and now tourism, account for most of the activity. The people we met were friendly, and we stayed in a lovely red cabin just on the edge of a fjord. Our days were spent wandering through the small towns and villages as well as driving (being driven) throughout the full length and breadth of the islands.

Photography was challenging, but that didn’t stop Ellen from capturing a sense of the place as you can see from the pictures below and in the linked slide show. Ellen decided to leave the raindrops that accumulated on her camera lens “to lend a little atmosphere to some of the photos.”

We will add photos from the other parts of our trip to the album below on Flickr in few weeks, but take a look at these 10 photos and the 32 slides she’s posted.

To see all 32 of Ellen’s photos go to: The Lofoten Islands: Thru Ellen’s Lens

As always, we recommend you view all the photos in the largest size possible (use a laptop or desktop computer). They are sharper and show more details than the ones above.

For the best viewing, click on the little arrow at the top right of the first page of the link to start the slide show.