February 22, 2017 (Day 7)


  • Visits to Ballstad, Bøstad, and Unstad Beach
  • Second Aurora Borealis experience in Storsandnes Beach in Flakstad

Sunrise was beautiful but unfortunately we were late getting up to do some serious photography. But we all shot some casual images right from our apartment.

Lofoten Rorbuopplevelser Sunrise (iPhone6 photo)

We decided to re-visit Ballstad as the sky was reasonably clear in the morning and our previous visit there was in the late afternoon and was very cloudy. Photo ops were plentiful and all grabbed a number of successful images.

First stop in Ballstad was at the marina next to the same group of yellow houses that we had shot 2 days ago.Light was quite good. Shot a few images of the boats at the marina and the yellow houses, this time from the southern side.

Ballstad Marina (Nikon D800e; 30mm; f11; 1/50 sec; ISO 100)
Ballstad Marina (Nikon D7100; 28mm; f14; 1/15 sec; ISO 100)

After spending an hour in Ballstad, we decided to drive towards Bøstad. At the edge of Ballstad, we sighted a terrific looking red colored boat. As usual, the car automatically stops when anything in red is located. Dash did a great job of parking the car at a small turnout next to a bridge.

Red Boat in front of Red Houses in Ballstad (Nikon D7100; 95mm; f11; 1/25 sec; ISO 100)

In the town of Gradval just north of Ballstad is a terrific wooden church named Buksnes Kirke. Per Wikipedia, the church site has been in use for centuries. The first written record referring to the church at Buksnes dates back to 1324. There have been several church buildings on the site over the years. Storms badly damaged the church in 1639. A new, wooden church was completed in 1641. In 1802 the old church was torn down and replaced, using some of the old timbers from the previous church. In 1882, the church was again destroyed by a storm and a new church was built in 1885. The new church was struck by lightning on 26 January 1903 and it burned down. The present church building was completed and consecrated in November of 1905. While the trio went inside the church, I stood guard as the car was parked illegally at the entrance of the church parking lot yet to be plowed.

Buksnes Kirke in the town of Gravdal (Nikon D7100; 120mm; f11; 1/50 sec; ISO 100)
A Selfie with Buksnes Kirke in the background (Nikon D7100; 24mm; f11; 1/60 sec; ISO 100)

We then filled up gas at a gas station just outside of Gravdal and drove towards Unstad beach.

Gravdal Gas Station (iPhone photo)

Like the Swiss, Norwegians are experts in building awesome tunnels through mountains and under water. Here is an image to the entrance of a tunnel on the way to Unstad.

A Tunnel on the way to Unstad Beach (iPhone photo)

We reached the small farming community of Unstad at noon. It was snowing off and on. We came across a nice looking yellow farmhouse near the beach.

An Unstad Farmhouse (Nikon D7100; 34mm; f11; 1/25 sec; ISO 100)

We reached the beach soon after. The visibility was rather limited with heavy cloud cover. The beach is a very popular spot for arctic surfing. Even in February when the temperature was in the mid 20s F, we saw a dozen brave kids in wet suits carrying their surfboards to the water. I took a few casual shots on my iPhone. We had our usual lunch well prepared by the trio.

Unstad Beach in B&W (iPhone6 photo)

After lunch, we headed towards the village of Eggum north of Unstad via Bostad. The weather was getting quite awful with visibility under a few feet. About 4 miles from Eggum, we decided to to cut short the drive, took a U-turn and decided to head back to the apartment. On the way back, we stopped at the Borge Kirke in Bøstad. As the light was fading, we just took a few pictures from the outside with the expectation of re-visiting the church the next day on our way to Kabelvåg.

Borge Kirke in Bøstad (Nikon D7100; 82mm; f11; 1/50 sec; ISO 100)

We returned to the apartment at sunset. As it was super cloudy, there was no opportunity to shoot sunset. We had an early dinner and I checked the Aurora Borealis forecast for the area, finding it to be favorable, with Kp index a tad above 4. At 8, we put on our winter clothes and headed to Storsandnes beach in Flakstad, about 6 miles away. It was partly cloudy but when we reached the beach, the show started which lasted for about 45 minutes. The display was brighter and more impressive than the one we saw in Hamnoy a few days back.

The Northern Lights at Srorsandnes Beach in Flakstad (Nikon D800E; 20mm; f2.8; 30 sec; ISO 1000)

We returned to the apartment at around 10, packed our stuff, and went to bed with satisfaction of a better AB experience!!!

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