Sometimes things don’t work out as planned

Our summer backpacking trip in Swedish Lapland last year was such a case.  Originally we had planned a circular route starting from Kvikkjokk via Padjelanta and Sarek National Parks. However, we never made it as we encountered an impassable stream which forced us to backtrack. It was still early in the season and water levels were high.

The disappointment was great but in the end the trek back was quite relaxed and we had lots of time to enjoy the beautiful scenery. We fondly remember our adventure, although we had different plans originally.

The following video is a summary of our adventure:

South of Padjelanta - A backpacking trip in Lapland that didn't go as planned

Laugavegur, Iceland’s most famous trail – Was it worth it?

In the summer of 2020 my wife and I made a trip to Iceland. Originally we had planned to go hiking in northern Scandinavia but due to the pandemic we had to change plans. It has been 8 years since my last visit in 2020 and I clearly saw changes, especially at the typical tourist attractions: larger parkings with fees, guardrails, paved trails and viewing platforms, no drone signs everywhere (but sometimes ignored), etc. Were there more people than in 2012? Well, due to the pandemic this wasn’t the case. I strongly believe, that otherwise it would have been significantly more crowded.

During our trip we did a lot of day hiking but decided also to do the famous Laugavegur trail from Landmannalaugar to Þórsmörk. Of course, we didn’t expect to be alone on the trail – and in fact met a lot of people. On the other hand, hut wardens told us that in normal years there’s much more going on. So we were lucky. E.g., we didn’t meet any commercial groups and we always found a camping spot near the huts (there were even beds left which is unusual).

In the following a few images from the Icelandic highlands along the Laugavegur (including a detour at Landmannalaugar and Hvanngil):

I also compiled a short video to show what it’s like to hike this trail:

Laugavegur in Iceland - Crowded but Beautiful

To answer the question in the title: Was it worth it? Yes, it was a great experience, especially due to the spectacular, otherworldly landscape! The impressions along this trail inspired me enough to plan a more remote hike in the Icelandic highlands sometime in the future.

One year ago

A few days ago we had some snowfall and really cold temperatures in Hamburg. This reminded me of last year’s trip to the Swedish village Nikkaluokta in early March, just before the pandemic fully started. Nikkaluokta is located about 50 km from Kiruna.

This time my wife and I took a relaxed approach. We rented a small cabin and did some excursions on skis in the surrounding area. We knew Nikkaluokta from a summer backpacking trip. In comparison to summer it was not very crowded. There are marked winter trails in the area, in particular one section of the famous Kungsleden starts here.

We enjoyed the Vistas valley the most. Very few people and almost no snow scooters. A quiet and beautiful place.

The following short video is documenting our trip.

Winter Days in Nikkaluokta (Swedish Lapland)

Painting with Light