New Photos – Narvik New Years

There is a small town in Norway not far from the Swedish border called Narvik.  The town is full of history, setting the stage for numerous WWII battles and attracts many tourists each year because of this. Its natural beauty is unreal as well, with huge peaks jetting straight out of the fjords and surrounding the town.  We spent New Years here and although at first it seemed like a quiet little town with nothing to do, suddenly around midnight thousands of locals poured into the streets setting off the finest run of amateur fireworks I have every seen.  We were told that this would be the last year for the fireworks as it was going to be outlawed because to many people had been getting hurt over the years.  It seems that the rest of the world is getting law crazy just like the United States, although I have a feeling that the locals may not adhere to this law all too well.

There is no doubt that we were ducking in fear as rogue bottle rockets and airborne spinners whizzed by our noggins, but this excitement is something that should be preserved instead of legislated against.  I guess it is just becoming the way of the world to make a law instead of learning some tolerance for one day each year.  Lawmaking aside, this is a hot spot for New Years.  Where the Narvikians lack in population, they certainly make up for in zest.  This New Years will certainly be one that I will never forget.

The day after new years we actually missed a turn on the way out of town and ended up at the Viking Hotel in Bjerkvik, a small town in the same area.  Here we met the owner of the hotel and a few of his friends.  They told us of the plans to remodel the hotel and put a huge Nazi Junker 52 airplane from WWII on the roof of the building that was recovered from the bottom of the bay.  Mark and I had a chance to go with the guys to see the plane in the process of restoring it that evening.  The two days around New Years could not have worked out better for us.  Check out the photos below.

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Looking over the town of Narvik at about 1pmThe view of the Fjord from just outside of town around the 3pm sunsetThe colors change very drastically in the arctic sky as the sun sets.Giant peaks surround the town and drop directly into the seaMountains are in clear view on all sides of town.Just as midnight comes, the entire town convenes to set off fireworks in the center.Just outside the only bar/club open for new years we had an amazing fireworks show put on solely by local amateursThe locals were setting serious airborne fireworks off just feet away from the balcony we were on.  Many times we had to duck toJust before the light goes away, this is what it looks like.The big guy on the right is Jan Leifrantzen, he owns the hotel in Bjervik where we stayed the day after new years.Mark and I spent many hours talking with Jan and his friendsThe view from inside the recovered Junker 52 from WWIIThis plane was used in battle nearly 70 years prior and we were at the controlsThe plane had bullet holes and real damge from the battle in Narvik.The plane is slowly being rebuilt to be displayed on top of Jan's hotel.What an amazing way to spend new years day looking at this plane.Giant corrugated peices of metal make up the wingsWe got a tour and explaination of the plane from Tore and Dan.It needs a lot of work, but someday we will be back to see the finished product.