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From Ivalo (Finland) to the North Cape

Home -> Europe -> Norway -> Travelogue Norway -> 24 June 2002

Monday 24 June, from Ivalo (Finland) to the North Cape

At Utsjoki in Northern-Finland we finally cross the border with Norway, while more and more rain pours from the sky. The road is winding and desolate, but we enjoy the changing landscape: finally we see more hills and even mountains covered with snow, and twisting roads. Approaching Karasjok, the sky becomes clearer and sometimes we can even see the sun. We feel we are now in the most beautiful of all four Scandinavian countries, if only for the presence of mountains.
Northern Finland, near the borderHalfway the road to Karasjok we halt at a parking lot for a picnic and although we liked Finland very much, we like this place even better. In Karasjok we take a quick look at the parliament building of the Sami, near the open-air museum about the Mountain- and River-Sami. But soon we go on, further to the north.
At Kolvik we take a small road to Trollholmsund where whimsical rock formations should represent petrified trolls. A beautiful area to take a walk, but we don't have time for that, today. Further to the north, where we pass the first toll tunnel (almost € 26), going under the sea to the island Magerøya. After that we pass one tunnel after another and most of them are quite bad. One is still unfinished, without lights and the rocks still seem to be hanging over the road; very scary.
Reindeer on Magerøya Waterfall in the northThis island is one of the summer residences of the herds of reindeer and the first herd we encounter consists of almost 100 animals. From now on, so we decide, we won't stop for every reindeer we see to take a picture. We also see the first big waterfalls on this trip and probably it will be the same as with the reindeer: after having seen a hundred of them we will probably stop photographing them.
A broken busThe road on the east coast of the island is very small and quite bad. The bus to the right drove a little too fast and lost its bumper. A traffic jam of at least 30 minutes is the consequence.
But although the road is bad, the scenery is beautiful. The more we go to the north of this island, the more the landscape resembles that of the Highlands in Scotland. There we tried to find words for the scenery and couldn't find any, but now we know: this is a tundra landscape.
The island Magerøya The island MagerøyaFrom sealevel we rise to substantial heights and descend again to the coast. Sometimes the sun is shining overwhelmingly and suddenly we are covered by a thick cloud of fog. It is a treacherous island, for sure.
Honningsvåg In the village Honningsvåg we take a walk through the centre and have a snack (€ 8 for a sausage). Because the sun is still shining regularly and the weather forecast is predicting bad weather, we decide to drive on to the North Cape immediately. We can always return at midnight if we want to.
Reindeer on the road Going to the North CapeThe road from Honningsvåg to the North Cape is very spectacular and we take a lot of pictures while we are driving. And our minds keep thinking we are in Scotland, the sceneries are so alike.
Going to the North Cape Going to the North CapeThe sceneries remain fantastic until we finally arrive at the North Cape where some idiot has put an ugly mega-million building and we have to pay almost € 60 to get in.
Going to the North CapeWe have learned from many other people there is not much interesting to see at this place. Everything is included, the girl at the ticket office tells us, but apparently not the coffee which costs several Euros. Well, one can walk around for free, there is a exhibition and a movie about this place, all for free. An let's not forget the free toilets!
Going to the North CapeWe have come here since we are in the neighbourhood and when will we ever have another opportunity to visit the place? We like the nature on this island much better than the North Cape itself, but when you are around, you have to visit this place. But the real most northern place of Europe is not here: that takes a walk of 18 km. and our desire to see that point isn't big enough.
On the North Cape On the North CapeOn the extreme north (at least, accesible by road) of Europe we watch the polar seas, a disconsolate and hopeless view. And it is very chilly with the wind.
On the North Cape On the North CapeBut at least we have been there, as our photographs can prove. But we don't want to stay another day here, it's not worth it.
At 9 at night we leave and since the entrance ticket is valid for 2 days we hope our Dutch neighbours are still on the camping, so we can give them the ticket and we can share the costs. This high entrance fee is really not worth the place.
On the North Cape Our cabinAnd they are still there, they will go around midnight to the North Cape. If it works, it saves us all € 30! While the wind is ranting and raving outside and the sun keeps shining we decide to leave for Alta tomorrow because we think there is more to see there for us than here on this island.


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