On our final days in Norway, we cruise to the Lofoten Islands, located within the Arctic Circle. But it is summer. And the archipelago is “one of the world’s largest elevated temperature anomalies relative to its high latitude”. So the temperature is only a cold 7 degrees celsius.
These few days are slow and relaxed. The intervals between public buses are hours long, so we take chill and chilly walks to explore unpronounceable towns like Å and Svolvær. We meet a polyglot, codfish, elfin boats, traditional rorbuers, long roads, a church, and then more codfish. We also hoped to see the midnight sun; there is no aurora borealis in June. But the weather refuses to cooperate, pelting us with light freezing drizzles and cloudy skies.
At 12 midnight, the view is ominous and gloomy, though the sun is theoretically still up. So we stay in our cabin and eat cup noodles instead.
By the time we leave for our flight back to Oslo, I relinquish my shoes. They have endured rocks and road, mud and rain; they have served me well. It feels melodramatically significant to leave a part of me behind in this land which has bestowed so much on me. Or we could just call it consideration.