Inspired by a true story – Leo Houlding

I have been sick for quite a few days now, not lady-like symptoms so I won’t go into much detail. A while ago my friends and I had bought tickets for yesterday’s  presentation by the climber Leo Houlding. I was not 100% sure if I could make it till the very last moment but I decided to risk it and go anyway. And although it was a bit difficult to ignore my stomach-aches and other things, I am so glad I went to see him at Theatr Brycheiniog in Brecon. It was absolutely worth my effort.

For those who don’t know, Leo is a world-class UK climber and base-jumper who has achieved a lot in his young life. His slide show tour is about his latest adventures – from Amazon to Antarctica. Amazing stories with great photos and video clips (snapshots from the films available on DVDs). The tour is almost finished but if you’re in the UK and can make it, check out the dates. If not, try to watch the DVDs and you will be taken to the world of challenge, adventure and inspiration.

Leo Houlding at Theatr Brycheiniog in Brecon, November 2013

Leo Houlding at Theatr Brycheiniog in Brecon, November 2013

I started Somewhere It’s Raining wanting to share some stories with you. They are not as awesome as Leo’s but I wish I could inspire someone one day like he inspired me. Before preparing my blog to be published online and since then, I have listened to great podcasts by Pat Flynn and Natalie Sisson about having online businesses. I am far from being a business person yet but each podcast has been a lesson for me how to develop as a blogger but also as a person. Although Pat and Natalie approach things from a slightly different angle, they both believe that to be successful one needs to provide the unique value to their audience. And one needs to take action…

So yesterday I decided that “I need to move my freaking legs!” (This sentence is a politically correct version of an instruction I was given once when stuck climbing on the rock.) So I have just booked a full-day ski lesson (in the UK!) and I am planning to ski through a part of the Kungsleden trail in Sweden (which I hiked last year). Ok, I know it is quite a simple trail and mostly flat but I have never had skis on my feet before. So if I survive my lesson and I am able to move on skis for a few minutes without falling down and breaking my limbs, I will buy the gear and tickets. And I will have more stories to tell.

Backwards and forwards at Kungsleden trail, Sweden September 2012

Backwards and forwards at Kungsleden trail, Sweden September 2012

Last note to stress my point (and this can be only understood by a photographer’s girlfriend or wife – I have publicly (on social media) promised my boyfriend that I would never complain again if he asks me to turn around and do the same part of the route a few times to take hiking photos. I am not sure though if it is being inspired or just stupid on my part…

Very subjective guide on “city life” in Lofoten

Some people expect certain standards (like opportunities to eat out, drink and have fun) when travelling. Lofoten islands would not be this type of destination and the Italian guys from my other post learnt the lesson about it. It doesn’t mean though that the islands are a desolate and out-of-civilisation place either, which was a surprise for two German girls who brought all their food supplies in big heavy backpacks.

So can you do anything on Lofoten which is not outdoorsy? To be honest I can’t really say much about this subject. And it is not only that it is very expensive (which it is) to go out in Norway but I mainly go there to do more adventurous stuff or at least to be away from crowds. But there is always a time when you need to go shopping or feel like having a coffee in the café to warm yourself up after a busy or cold day. So below there’s my subjective guide about “social life opportunities” on Lofoten (“city life” from the post title is just a tease really).

Graffiti by Pobel in Henningsvær

Graffiti by Pobel in Henningsvær

I mentioned Henningsvær in my other posts, it is one of the places claiming to be the “Venice of the North” because of the great waterfront streets. It used to be a popular fishing village and although now it is getting quieter, it still has some “artsy” atmosphere about it (in a good sense). Café’s, art and photo galleries, climbing centre, etc., there is quite a lot to choose from. Unfortunately it is not very busy out of season and I could see some buildings in an urgent need of repair. More people need to go there to spend some money and keep the business going…

Henningsvaer, Lofoten

Henningsvaer, Lofoten

I sometimes wonder how it is going to be when I get older, how it will affect my energy levels. And there I was, admiring the views of Henningsvær when I noticed two elderly ladies having an afternoon stroll with their walking aids. They looked so interesting that I decided to take a photo and after running (!) to catch up with them I managed to capture two figures walking away with the speed I wish I had when at their age.

Two elderly ladies running away from me, Henningsvær

Two elderly ladies running away from me, Henningsvær

 

But back to my guide. Leknes is one of the main Lofoten towns but somehow it is not very appealing to me. It has all it needs to have but lacks some charm. There is an airport here and bus connections to all important places on Lofoten so one usually at least passes by. It also has a yearly country music festival which I missed by a few days without much regret to be honest. Because of the location I have spent a lot of time shopping or having a latte in the shopping centre called Lofotsentr. Tip: If you are after cheaper groceries, another supermarket called Rema 1000 usually has better prices than Co-op in Lofotsentr. Just opposite the road.

When meeting friends in Leknes we even risked a meal out in an Italian pizzeria called Milano. What I liked the most (being very indecisive when it comes to food choices) was that the price of a smaller (half-size) pizza was exactly half-price of a bigger one. And the pizza was good with price affordable even for UK standards. Cannot say it about beer though… One shop caught my attention when leaving the restaurant and made me question my geography lessons at school.

"Asia" shop in Leknes, Lofoten

“Asia” shop in Leknes, Lofoten

The most chance of social life one has in Svolvær. There is even kind of a town square there with shops, café’s and restaurants. I haven’t spent much time in Svolvær as we prefer the other side of the islands but it was busy even out of season. The shopping centre is bigger than in Leknes with more shops and food outlets.

Svolvær

Svolvær

Svolvær

Svolvær

There are so many other great places to grab some food or drink when driving around but it is so interesting to discover them on our own. So try and stop as often as you can on the way and forget about crowds as it is cheaper anyway to drink in a hostel or hotel. I will try to explore them a bit more next time although it might be difficult if I visit again out of season…