Mainly kayaking photographs taken on the Isle of Man and beyond.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Kayaking Isle of Man - Lofoten Reflections.

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I have spent most of the last 2 weeks on the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway. In fact they are so northerly that they are over 100 Km above the Arctic Circle. In my first blog entry posted soon after arriving in Lofoten I wrote "The oddly shaped island mountains which rise straight out of the sea, were surely moulded by some strange mythical being. For this is the land of Giants and Trolls, humans cling to the margins resisting the elements." My views have not changed. Indeed the photographs published with my recent entries bear this out. But Lofoten is so much more. It is a place of the weather and is moulded by it. These Islands do nothing in half measures. If it's going to rain then it delivers a short lived monsoon. If the wind blows then it's a hurricane causing "steam" to rise hundreds of feet into the air from the sea. If there's to be a mountain then what a mountain; what they lack in height they make up for in bazaar alternating curved and needle like summits dropping shear down into the sea. And of course, if there's to be a tidal race then Lofoten offers us the infamous mighty Moskstraumen, otherwise known as the "Maelstrom". Indeed the word Maelstrom is now used to describe a system of tidal races, vortexes and whirlpools and the ones in Lofoten are amongst the most powerful in the world.
Lofoten is also a place to find yourself. It may get over 280,000 visitors per year but you would hardly know. Life goes on regardless and there is virtually no commercialisation. In fact very few concessions seemed to be made to tourist at all! You can visit Lofoten and put your life into perspective. Simply take in this concentrated dose of natural wonder, beauty and the extremes of geography, nature and climate and those petty problems back home are put into their rightful place. Lofoten is a place which opens your eyes, and puts the individual into context.
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