Lofoten – Norway’s hitchhiking paradise
When in Norway there is one place you have to visit, and that’s the Lofoten Islands. A beautiful Island group in Northern Norway with rocky mountains coming out of the sea like massive sea monsters. It’s famous for it’s picturesque landscape with deep fjords and splendid surf beaches.
My plan was to take the ferry from Bodø to Moskenes, the most Western part of Lofoten and then spend about a week hitchhiking from West to East all the way through the islands.
And that’s what I did, well actually not I but we. Because on the ferry I met Remi, a great French guy who had the same plan as me and decided to join me. He was travelling around Norway and volunteering on farms (mostly with WWOOFing).
When I first saw him, I thought he would be either going on an expedition or he’s a fully loaded weapon dealer. Neither of them was the case, he was just loaded with lots of unnecessary stuff. 😉
So after we met we spent a great week together hitchhiking around Lofoten, camping in the middle of the villages, getting our food from dumpster diving and hiking from beach to beach.
What I love about Norway is that thanks to the Allemannsretten (the freedom to roam), you are allowed to camp wherever you want, as long as you are out of sight of a building and outside of cities. But actually even if you pitch your tent in the middle of a city in a park no one really cares.
But I was not ready for camping in snow in October and although I was wearing all my clothes and the down jacket I bought in a second-hand store in Sweden for 28€, I was freezing my tits off in my summer sleeping bag.
As for hitchhiking I was really surprised how good it works on the Lofoten compared to the rest of Norway, where you sometimes need a lot of patience until you get a ride and cars tend to change the lane when approaching you. You could be a suicide bomber.
We met two great Polish guys who rented a car and drove it around the island without knowing where to go. They just said, tell us what you want to see and we join you. So the four of us hiked to a nice beach and back again. And then they even took us to a big supermarket were they went to buy some food. And while they were spending their money on food, we went behind the building to check the garbage, and… Jackpot! We found loads of good bread, pastry and other food stuffs. So when our Polish friends came back to the car we were waiting there with bags full of food. They couldn’t believe their eyes. The next evening we had a feast camping, dining well on free food and buying ourselves a cold beer to toast on this great life.
So in the tourist season in summer you should easily find a ride with some tourists. And for dumpster diving some time you’re lucky and find a good container, but many times the containers are locked or they store the garbage elsewhere.
Another cold evening we were on our way to one of the famous beaches looking for a place to camp while we came past a nice house with smoke coming out of the chimney. So we thought why not ask them if they have a barn, a shed or a warm garage where we could stay the night. And they went: “No, it’s much to cold in the barn, you sleep here in the house. Oh! And by the way, dinner is ready.”
That night also we were so lucky to see the most amazing Northern Lights.
The next morning it felt hard to say goodbye from this lovely family and to go out in the freezing cold again. But then it was so good to be on the road again, to travel to new places and meet new people.
This one week on Lofoten was an amazing adventure which could not have been any better. I love travelling alone, but sometimes you just meet the right people! I’m glad Remi is so open minded that he was willing to join my not so normal way of travelling. 🙂
I was very fortunate to learn a lot about photography since Remi is a professional photographer. Check out his Flickr account…
Remi also left a few words about our fantastic trip…
Going through the Lofoten was discovering two new worlds. The first world was that tragic, rough but eyes-star-filling landscapes of Lofoten. Small islands but so much to see. Every turn is a new mind-blowing picture for your eyes. Tough weather but every light makes these islands look different and eyes and mind catching, like a fist punch in you face.
The second world was mastering free travel, with the enlightenment of Stevie. How to be closer to people, how to share with them, how to use what’s around and not just living, but getting to appreciate every single moment, not being stuck when things don’t happen like planned. Actually, it was all about learning to stop planning and just enjoying what’s going on.
Since then I kept on hitch-hiking from the Lofoten to Tromsø, and from Tromsø crossing Sweden to Finland, and now going back in Sweden, because I want to… 😉
That’s really great to read, and what wonderful photos !
Still I hope you are not still ‘dumpster diving’ when you are 60. Then it wouldn’t be fun. &&
Haha! We’ll see in a few decades. I guess it also depends if I’m still travelling by then. 😉
I really enjoyed the photos. After meeting some Norwegians in the south of Spain, we’ve been interested in visiting…I’m sure we’ll do some hiking, but probably not camping and definitely no dumpster diving 🙂 It’s so refreshing to read of your adventuresome spirit and how your enthusiasm seems to attract kind people to you.
Wow the photography is insanely beautiful. Mountains are absolutely magical!
Thank you! Now there’s another place in Europe I want to visit for sure!
Haha! You’re welcome! 🙂
Just the thought of you in a winter sleeping bag in these temperatures is making me shiver. It does look beautiful though.
Yeah, when camping in winter you definitely should have a good sleeping bag! 🙂
You had me at your opening pic! Wow, what a stunning place! What luck to find the Polish guys who sound like they’d be fun to hitch a ride with!
I don’t believe in luck. I believe in the decisions I make and the fate that brings people together. 😉
I was thinking if it is a good idea to go to Sweden or Norway in March, your piece helped me out 🙂 you went for camping there in October that is cool 😉
This is amazeballs! I’m gonna become a dumpster diving, hitchhiking, smoke-searching traveller from now on 😀 But seriously, what a great story and how travelling should be! Thanks for the amazing adventure
First off your pictures are gorgeous! Wow!! Amazing that you got to see the Northern Lights too.
So beautiful! I’ve never been to Norway, and I am not sure I could go dumpster diving – but am loving following your adventures.
Love Norway, though it’s been ages since my last visit. The outdoor photographs are stunning, it’s such a beautiful country. Dumpster diving would certainly save on the food bills, Norway is insanely expensive.
Really great photos! I’ve been to Norway but only stayed in Oslo. The islands look beautiful And I’m so jealous that you saw the Northern Lights!
I love Norway! I have never hitchhiked in the Lofoten, as I visited this part of the country during my motorbike trip, but it’s simply amazing!!! And it’s good to know hitchhiking is easy there. Must say, we have never done dumpster diving but probably Scandinavian countries are the best place to try.
Yes and no. Hitchhiking is great there, not always easy though. 😉 I guess it’s better in high season in summer, but then again it’s crowded with tourists. Same for dumpster diving. Sometimes it works, sometimes not. 😉
I’ve always wanted to go to Norway!
Those are beautiful photos! I’d be too afraid to hitchhike, though. Too many scary stories. But it does sound like quite the adventure.
If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it is lethal. 😉
My my bro! Such a huge amount of people amazed by our trip. We should do this again somewhere else :p
And by the way, I’m no professional photographer, but thanks ^^
The freedom to roam rule in Scandinavia is amazing. We spent a summer cycling and camping in Sweden and Finland – put up our tent next to a different lake or bay every single night. Just amazing! I can’t imagine doing it in October though! That’s crazy!
Sounds like you had good fun in Sweden and Finland! 🙂 Well, camping out in the snow in October wouldn’t be so bad if you have good gear! I had a summer sleeping bag. But yeah, I’m crazy! 😀
Woah! It is soo beautiful there! Your pictures are amazing.
It is our dream to hitchhike on the west side of Norway all the way to Lofoten. Sleeping in a tent as you did and just slowely explroing beautiful norwegian nature. I hope one day we’ll do that too!
Yes, it was truly amazing! Norway has a stunning landscape and a beautiful wildlife. And although it’s one of the most expensive countries in Europe you can travel so cheap! 🙂