Posted by & filed under Travel Country: Norway.


Well I woke up this morning and it was raining cats and dogs. I was debating whether to go to the island of Skrova or not but when I got to the top of the road, I decided not to. It was miserable weather and there was a storm forecast for later in the day.

I wandered into Galleri Dina on the main square and got talking to the woman behind the counter. She was saying that it was a good idea not to go to Skrova today as the ferry might not come back to Svolvaer because of the storm and I could end up getting stuck there.

She said it would be a good day to sit and chill and that if I didn’t mind reading on my own, there was a lovely cafe in the Rica Hotel, on Lamholmen, that you can sit right by the water. It would be a good spot to watch the storm come in and sounded very inviting. I also asked her if she knew who the photographer was, that took the photographs hanging up in Cafe Bacalao. She said his name was Anders Finsland and that his workshop/gallery was just up the street.

The photos on the walls of Bacalao are fantastic, I think. There’s one of a stockfish rack, in black and white. It’s so atmospheric. There’s also another one that I like of his, of a particular type of plant. The photo is taken from ground level looking up into the stems and underpart of the plant. All these photos are in black and white.

So I found the workshop. It’s a small place with all of his photos and pictures spread out throughout the gallery. He was there, working on the computer. I was telling him about the night in Hov and my experience with the Northern Lights. He said that you really do need a good lens, in order to be able to take those kind of photos at night time. He has a lot of photos of the Lofoten Islands in the gallery but also on his website. He was selling the smallest photos: 10 x 15cm for 350NOK. I love his photos of nature on his website. I’ll definitely be having a look at his website on a regular basis in future.

I went back in the later on in the week too, to have one last look before I left Svolvaer. There was one photo by the door, of water lilies on a pond somewhere and I would love to have it on my wall. He was giving me a few photography tips, showing me what techniques he used for various photos. He showed me 2 different photographs of the same location but taken within 24 hours of each other. It was very interesting to see the difference  the time of day can have on photographs. For someone like me, who is developing my photography skills, it was great to get these tips. Anders Finsland, I think, is a great photographer and has up till now, only exhibited in Norway. It would be great to see him get more exposure and be promoted in other locations. Seeing his photos really makes me want to improve my skills and think about investing in a good camera.

Later in the day around 2pm, I headed over to the Rica Hotel.  Part of the foyer extends out onto the water. So I sat there by the window for a couple of hours reading. There was a great view of the harbour and all I could hear was the radio in the background and the sound of the ramp going down to the jetty groaning, as it rubbed against the metal of the bobbing jetty. Peace and solitude! A great place to just read and unwind, with no one else around.

I wanted to try somewhere different this time for dinner and decided to go for the Lofoten Biffhus. Well I shouldn’t have bothered! The restaurant was in the basement and it looked quite nice, sort of Greek-like, with its whitewashed walls and arches. But that was about as far as it went, with regards to being nice. There was a couple there having dinner, so I wasn’t the only one there. The menu was in English and Norwegian. The waiter came and took my order of Beef with sweet paprika, onions, mushrooms and bearnaise sauce. It said that all meat dishes were served with either French fried potatoes, baked potatoes, boiled potatoes or potato gratin. But the waiter didn’t even ask which of these I wanted and ok, I must admit , I forgot to mention it. So when the food came, on the plate were chips, salad and what looked like kebab meat and the most disgusting bearnaise sauce I have ever tasted. I ate the meat that wasn’t covered in the sauce and the chips and that was about it. The didn’t once come over to ask me if everything was ok and there was no music at all on the sound system. It came to 204nok, including a glass of house white wine. Well I wouldn’t go back there again and I wouldn’t recommend anyone else to go there either. Maybe their burgers and pizzas are ok but I wouldn’t bet on it!