Tue, 26/04/2016

After having left Hotel Pohjan Tuli and Utsjoki, we drove Northwards into Norway and then towards Batsfjord, about 200 kilometres more to the North. When we had reached Norway, it started to snow severely, and it became quite scary to drive. We decided to park the car aside, but we had first to drive about 30 kilometres to be able to do this: there was a very thick layer of snow next to the road, so parking was not an option. We finally drove until the first house we came across. After having eaten, the weather soon cleared up, and a few minutes later there was a bright blue sky.

Lucky us, as we heard that road across the fjell was closed during dense snow fall. We were soon driving over the fjell, which is a barren high plateau covered in short tundra vegetation. The landscape was almost surrealistic, consisting of a widely stretched out snow-covered plateau, as far as the eye could see. Meanwhile clouds were coming up, which created fairy tale-like overexposed patches contrasting with shadow-covered snow patches. I decided to take a few pictures, before it started to snow again. Meanwhile we had heard that when the weather gets too bad, one has to drive in a convoy behind some of the huge snow ploughs. We decided to take a little risk and wait until I had achieved some good images, before driving further northwards. I decided to process the images in black and white, to accentuate the harsh life upon the fjell in the winter.

Under here a first image of local wooden houses, completely covered in snow.

The next images give an impression of the weird and surreal snow-covered landscape with the constantly changing light conditions.

Finally, under here an image from three Reindeer in a vast white landscape. The Reindeer is one of the only animals who can survive under these harsh winter conditions. They feed on lichens, but they can survive for quite a while on their fat reserves. A little after I took the image, the wind started blowing very heavily and it started to snow again. Glad we were able to get back into the car, and … deep respect for the Reindeer!

The last ten kilometres we were driving in a so called 'white-out': we were in the middle of clouds or fog, we could barely see thirty metres in front of us and everything was white. The landscape and the sky were no longer separated by a clear horizon. The only orientation points were the poles marking the edge of the road. Very impressive circumstances to experience, but we were very glad to finally reach safely Batsfjord.