Long road to Arctic Norway

Our great European adventure began yesterday morning with a 1.5 hour ride to Orlando International Airport. As you can see below, we are ready for 6 weeks on the road in Europe and the Arctic!! I imagine our driver’s eyes bulged when he drove up to Artie’s house. 😳


Image: iPhone 7 Plus photo of Amy and Artie taken by Andreas, our driver.

Our first of many flights was to Toronto, Canada. We spent the night in Toronto and had a lazy day at the hotel to relax and regroup before our next three flights that will begin with a red eye to Reykjavik, Iceland tonight. Anita North joins us on this part of the journey and for the next 6 weeks.  We will arrive Wednesday morning in Iceland and catch another flight to Helsinki, Finland. After a couple-hour layover in Helsinki, we fly to Ivalo, Finland.

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Image: Flights from Toronto, Canada to Reykjavik, Iceland to Helsinki, Finland to Ivalo, Finland.

After we arrive at 6pm in Ivalo, Finland, we will rent a car and drive an hour north to a small Finnish town called Kaamanen.

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Image: Our drive path north in Finland to Kaamanen after arriving in Ivalo at 6pm Wednesday night (if all goes well).

We will spend the night at a roadside hotel Kaamanen before beginning the 3-hour drive to Vadso, Norway where our hotel on Vadsoya Island will serve as our home base for 3 weeks.  Artie was very excited to hear that there are breeding plumage ruffs outside this hotel!  I’ll make sure to follow this up with some photos when I see a breeding plumage ruff!  🙂

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Image: Our drive path Thursday morning from Kaamanen, Finland to Vadso, Norway.

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Image: The map to Vadsoya Island where we will be staying at Vadso Fjord Hotel.

From here, we will travel all over the Varanger Peninsula each day photographing a variety of birds.  We are told we will have internet access, and I’ll post as often as I can to give you a flavor of the region and landscape.

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Our hope with this trip is to capture images of a variety of birds, especially ruffs, in this remote location north of the Arctic Circle.  It will be interesting spending the summer solstice in this area and seeing the sun never fully set.  I hope you all can follow along!

Take care,


Author: Dr. Amy Novotny

Amy Novotny is a physical therapist, marathon/ultra runner and nature photographer. She treats patients for a variety of conditions but specializes in chronic pain and calming an overactive nervous system using special diaphragmatic breathing. She has used this technique to help her qualify and run in four Boston marathons! She enjoys the outdoors and can often be found running and hiking on trails in throughout Arizona. She attempts to capture the beauty of nature with her photography both locally in Arizona and also throughout the United States. She is becoming more interested in wildlife photography and attempting to capture the emotion of animal interactions. In her spare time, Amy volunteers as a photo guide for the Arizona Highways PhotoScapes nonprofit and shares her joy of nature with others. Please feel free to contact her regarding her photography, physical therapy or running.

14 thoughts on “Long road to Arctic Norway”

  1. Wow, incredible! I’m envious and very happy for you – looking forward to whatever photos and information you can pass along, travel safe!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Long journey to get there. Hope you have lots of opportunities photographing birds. Looking forward to follow you and arthie on your blogs.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Amy, what type of weather will you be encountering in these areas? Will you have free time to run? 😉 So excited for what is to come!💛

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Doenice! So far it has been in the 30’s-50’s although it feels colder. It has been cloudy with occasional raindrops. I haven’t had a chance to run yet but I sure hope I will!


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