In the Lofoten Islands, in northernmost Europe, gorgeous, snow-covered peaks are surrounded by colorful fishing villages. Temperatures on this Norwegian archipelago are relatively mild considering its latitude. But during the winter, nights are long and the wind blows constantly, allowing only a few trees to grow and a few people to live here.

It was the sea that brought them here, not the soil: hardly anything grows on the islands. The 25,000 inhabitants, mostly fishermen and their families, settled along the fjords, their houses woven into the natural landscape. During the four months of winter, the snow blocks roads and access to human interaction. Bjorn Nilsen represents a precious link to civilization.

Bjorn Nilsen, the Lofoten Islands’ mailman. He has been working for the Norwegian Post since 1984.

Nilsen is a postman. He drives 125 miles every day to deliver mail and newspapers to the residents of Lofoten Islands. Sometimes, he also stays for coffee and a chat about what’s happening in town or the latest gossip. Among older residents, who suffer most from isolation, he might be the only person they see for days. Born and raised in Svoalver, the main town on the archipelago, Bjorn Nilsen connects people with each other, and with the rest of the world. He helps to create a society in this desolate corner of the world.

1: A big part of Bjorn’s route is the run between his car and the mailbox. Bjorn’s daily route is about 125 miles. He stops about 50 times each day. 2: The amount of mail has decreased considerably because of the internet, but the newspaper still connects older people to the world.
Bjorn preparing for his rounds.
A resident telling Bjorn stories about the neighbors.
1: No matter the weather, Bjorn must deliver the mail and newspapers. 2: The Olsens haven’t seen lot of people in the last few days. Bjorn gives them the latest news.
In a way, Bjorn is at home with all the post’s users.