The Northeastern End of Norway

 

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Image: Reindeer grazing in the tundra along the highway to Hamningberg, Norway, Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500 mm at 200 mm, f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO 800, hand-held

As part of our adventure to find birds, we headed to Sandfjord in the Batsfjord province in northeastern Norway over the weekend. We made one attempt earlier last week during a bout of high winds, rain and snow, but we turned around at the edge of the province when we realized that we were running out of gas and the only village in the province was abandoned. 

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Image: A stormy first try to get to Sandfjord in Batsfjord province, Norway, iPhone 7 Plus

We checked the weather forecast for round two and waited until the winds and weather calmed a bit. Our second attempt was successful, and although we didn’t find many birds close enough to photograph, the scenery was amazing! 

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Image: The scenic view of Sandfjord in Batsfjord province, Norway, Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 48 mm, f/13, 1/250 sec, ISO 400, hand-held

To get to this region, we headed east out of Vadso, past the bird cliffs of Ekkeroy to Vardo (the easternmost town in Norway).  From there, we headed north on the road to Hamningberg. The road started as a two lane road with no dividing line that soon gave way to a narrow road supposedly wide enough for both directions. 

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Image: Artie walking down the narrow “two-lane” highway in Batsfjord province, Norway, iPhone 7 Plus

As we climbed the edge of the mountains and cliffs, we stopped at various scenic overlooks to capture the jagged rocks against the tundra and sea.

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Image: The jagged rocks along the highway that make up Sandfjord in Batsfjord province, Norway, Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 24 mm, f/16, 1/160 sec, ISO 400, hand-held

We saw reindeer and sheep roaming the tundra at times and an occasional house.

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Image: Reindeer grazing in the tundra along the highway to Hamningberg, Norway, Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500 mm at 400 mm, f/8, 1/800 sec, ISO 800, hand-held

The 35 km drive from Vardo took a couple hours with all our stops to gape at the gorgeous scenery.

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Image: A sheep and her lambs graze and drink from a stream in Batsfjord province, Norway, Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 31 mm, f/16, 1/250 sec, ISO 400, hand-held

When we got to Sandfjord, we didn’t see any small shorebirds that the area is known for so either they weren’t out or had migrated further north already. We did see some gulls on the boulders far off in the distance. We had 5 km more to go to get to Hamningberg, the end of the road on the east coast of Norway. The town had a few houses that appeared to be second homes for Norwegian families but the town was said to be abandoned.   

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Image: A few houses in the town of Hamningberg, Norway, Nikon D500, Nikkor 200-500 mm at 200 mm, f/8, 1/1000 sec, ISO 800, hand-held

We came to the end of the road and enjoyed this old barn and a couple boulders with resting gulls.  It was a bit anti-climatic but just perfect for the quaintness of the area.

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Image: An old barn at the end of the highway in Hamningberg, Norway, Nikon D750, Nikkor 24-70 mm at 55 mm, f/13, 1/160 sec, ISO 400, hand-held

Despite the lack of birds, we (even Artie at times) enjoyed a day of landscape photography and exploring the eastern coast. 

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.

16 thoughts on “The Northeastern End of Norway”

    1. Yes, it truly is Mark. Thanks! I’ve seen cyclists on the stretches of highway because there are scarcely any vehicles. You would love it! I haven’t seen any other runners, so I’m a bit of the talk of the town since I’m the only one out running the streets and tundra. 🙂

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  1. Amazing scenery. Thanks for taking us along on your amazing journey. How are finding the food of Norway to be? Most of us know that your stateside diet is somewhat specialized. Interesting timing for a news report yesterday saying that nutritionist’s are now rating the Scandinavian diet just as high as a Mediterranean diet.

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    1. Thanks so much Jeff! I’m actually really surprised by the food. The grocery stores have vegan food! Most boxes or signs list food allergies, and luckily, I can read most of the Norwegian words of common food allergies since they are similar to English. They eat a lot of fish up here but when I was in Finland, I was told that the remote areas eat reindeer and potatoes. Carrots were considered the vegetable. 🙂

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    1. Thanks Troy! I think the two reindeer were younger males. We just saw a herd of several hundred about a half hour ago and they had babies!!!! I’m so excited and downloading those pics now!

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    1. Thanks Muriel! It reminded me of the moose in the Tetons. This was the only shot I got of this male. We literally drove down the highway and came around a corner and there he was. Anita barely had time to roll down the window for me to shoot across her and get this male’s photo before he took off.

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