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Songvår Lighthouse, October splendor

Lighthouses of Norway photographer Sigrid Thorbjørnsen is reporting from her four-week journey from Oslo to Kråkenes Lighthouse, Ulvesund Lighthouse, Ryvarden Lighthouse, Stavanger, Sognvaar Lighthouse, and Homborsund Lighthouse, and then back to Oslo again.

Songvår Lighthouse stands on an island outside Søgne, west of Kristiansand, 7 km out in the ocean. The view is ocean and horizon.

Svein Eikeland takes people by boat to the lighthouse. He is one of the people who make sure that this lighthouse will continue to exist. He's an all-over great person with patience and a good mood.

These stairs rise up from the boat house to the lighthouse area. It's a steep climb, but the minute you're up there, you forget all about the stairs – the view is beautiful.

In one shot, three incarnations of Songvår. In the foreground, the ruins of the oldest. In the middle, the light in use when the station was manned. Furthest is the current, automated light.

It may be October, but if feels like July. The sun is warm and the air is still. Rain puddles mirror the surroundings and the sky.

Wild sheep roam the island. They've never been fed by people. They live here all year round, keep the grass short, and control the other vegetation. Can you tell who's the boss? Don't mess with this dude! Fortunately, the sheep are shy and scamper away as soon as they see you.

The path from the boat house to the lighthouse is made of the old roof tiles – crushed and spread evenly. Besides making it easier to walk the path, the look is great. From here, one sees Søgne in the distance.

The rocks and stones formations here are amazing. As I was looking down, I thought I saw a photo of an ocean from above. Doesn't it remind you of waves?

Today there are no waves. The ocean and ponds are still, the wind is quiet, the birds are resting, and the sun is heating up the rocks. This spot was perfect for a siesta. I can never get enough of this view.

It is just fascinating how the last Ice Age formed this country. All along the coast the mountains are different, the patterns are different. At Songvår it looks like someone just polished the rocks, and left a map for me.

A new spot. A new reflection. This island is big enough to do some serious exploring without meeting anyone else. Yet it is small enough to cover everything in a couple of days. And then you realize you wanna do it all over again because when the weather changes, the landscape changes.

And then the weather changes!

Inside the main house at the lighthouse, is looks like the time has stood still for a while. 10:35 AM.

A small cottage sleeps five people. And you can also sleep in the attic. It is a small cottage, cozy, and a wonderful place to hang out. It has a small kitchen and an outhouse. The lights run on solar energy.

This is the view from inside the light of the old lighthouse. The lens renders everything upside down —a really strange effect.

By the light there is a place for just sitting and taking in the view. Here, Svein Eikeland shares stories of hours he has spent just sitting here, looking at the sunrise, sunset, the ocean, different weather. The glass has been cracked different places, but those panes are going to be replaced. This space is the heart of the island.

The setting October sun makes long shadows and warm light.

The whole scene has a new coat of golden paint. With night coming, the wind is up and it's time to go indoors. But not quite yet....

Three youngsters came ashore. They ran around the island for a while and then took off. I'm glad I got this photo. I miss those days when and my friends and I did just that sort of thing, spending the afternoon together near the ocean, hanging out, having fun.

The setting sun is wrapping himself in clouds.

Sunset in clouds is a beautiful way to end the day. Nature is a wondrous thing. Being aware of it is a blessing.

The blue hour has arrived. I feel like staying awake all night long, but the fresh ocean air puts me to sleep in one second. At Songvaar, I sleep like a baby.

Going to bed early, means waking up even earlier..... But when insomnia hits at 4AM, there is only one thing for me to do. Find my tripod and go out and shoot this moonlight and the stary stary night.  The whole landscape has changed. I feel like I am the only person on the planet.

A new morning, a quiet ocean. Waiting for Svein to pick me up at the lighthouse. My stay at Sonvaar is over. But the memories of the stay will follow me for as long as I live. The blue, the intense and many shades of blue.

Today the wind is fierce. Time for a hood and a scarf. A big "thank you" to Svein Eikeland and Songvaar Fyrs Venner for letting me stay at the lighthouse. One thing is for sure. I will be back.

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Text and photos by Sigrid Thorbjørnsen.

  1. Songvår Lighthouse stands on an island outside Søgne, west of Kristiansand, 7 km out in the ocean. The view is ocean and horizon.
  2. Svein Eikeland takes people by boat to the lighthouse. He is one of the people who make sure that this lighthouse will continue to exist. He’s an all-over great person with patience and a good mood.
  3. These stairs rise up from the boat house to the lighthouse area. It’s a steep climb, but the minute you’re up there, you forget all about the stairs – the view is beautiful.
  4. In one shot, three incarnations of Songvaar. In the foreground, the ruins of the oldest. In the middle, the light in use when the station was manned. Furthest is the current, automated light.
  5. It may be October, but if feels like July. The sun is warm and the air is still. Rain puddles mirror the surroundings and the sky.
  6. Wild sheep roam the island. They’ve never been fed by people. They live here all year round, keep the grass short, and control the other vegetation. Can you tell who’s the boss? Don’t mess with this dude! Fortunately, the sheep are shy and scamper away as soon as they see you..
  7. The path from the boat house to the lighthouse is made of the old roof tiles – crushed and spread evenly. Besides making it easier to walk the path, the look is great. From here, one sees Søgne in the distance.
  8. The rocks and stones formations here are amazing. As I was looking down, I thought I saw a photo of an ocean from above. Doesn’t it remind you of waves?
  9. Today there are no waves. The ocean and ponds are still, the wind is quiet, the birds are resting, and the sun is heating up the rocks. This spot was perfect for a siesta. I can never get enough of this view.
  10. It is just fascinating how the last Ice Age formed this country. All along the coast the mountains are different, the patterns are different. At Songvår it looks like someone just polished the rocks, and left a map for me..
  11. A new spot. A new reflection. This island is big enough to do some serious exploring without meeting anyone else. Yet it is small enough to cover everything in a couple of days. And then you realize you wanna do it all over again because when the weather changes, the landscape changes.
  12. And then the weather changes!
  13. Inside the main house at the lighthouse, is looks like the time has stood still for a while. 10:35 AM.
  14. A small cottage sleeps five people. And you can also sleep in the attic. It is a small cottage, cozy, and a wonderful place to hang out. It has a small kitchen and an outhouse. The lights run on solar energy.
  15. This is the view from inside the light of the old lighthouse. The lens renders everything upside down —a really strange effect.
  16. By the light there is a place for just sitting and taking in the view. Here, Svein Eikeland shares stories of hours he has spent just sitting here, looking at the sunrise, sunset, the ocean, different weather. The glass has been cracked different places, but those panes are going to be replaced. This space is the heart of the island.
  17. The setting October sun makes long shadows and warm light.
  18. The whole scene has a new coat of golden paint. With night coming, the wind is up and it’s time to go indoors. But not quite yet….
  19. Three youngsters came ashore. They ran around the island for a while and then took off. I’m glad I got this photo. I miss those days when and my friends and I did just that sort of thing, spending the afternoon together near the ocean, hanging out, having fun.
  20. The setting sun is wrapping himself in clouds.
  21. Sunset in clouds is a beautiful way to end the day. Nature is a wondrous thing. Being aware of it is a blessing.
  22. The blue hour has arrived. I feel like staying awake all night long, but the fresh ocean air puts me to sleep in one second. At Songvår, I sleep like a baby.
  23. Going to bed early, means waking up even earlier….. But when insomnia hits at 4AM, there is only one thing for me to do. Find my tripod and go out and shoot this moonlight and the stary stary night.  The whole landscape has changed. I feel like I am the only person on the planet.
  24. A new morning, a quiet ocean. Waiting for Svein to pick me up at the lighthouse. My stay at Sonvaar is over. But the memories of the stay will follow me for as long as I live. The blue, the intense and many shades of blue.
  25. Today the wind is fierce. Time for a hood and a scarf. A big “thank you” to Svein Eikeland and Songvaar Fyrs Venner for letting me stay at the lighthouse. One thing is for sure. I will be back.

3 Responses to Songvår Lighthouse, October splendor

  1. I need to to thank you for this excellent read!! I certainly loved every bit of it.
    I have you book-marked to look at new things you post…

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