To the Arctic via the Polar Circle|
This is it. Our gear is stowed away and the two kids are on board. The doors close and we take a last look back at our home - from now on our eyes will be fixed northwards. Our destination is clear, to reach the Arctic via the Polar Circle. After traversing Germany, we enter the Kingdom of Sweden and put the foot down. Sweden is beautiful, but we didn't come for that. Our pace slows down considerably as we cross the border into Finland. This is a turning point of our journey, as we don't have a plan, we take every day as it comes and go wherever the wind takes us. We have four weeks available and we are not sure how far we will get.
Finland is lined with moor lands, forests, mosquitoes and friendly people. A magnificent country with stunning scenery. We continue our way in a north-easterly direction. At Lake Inari, a phenomenal seascape, we enjoy nature at its purest and best. We take a memorable first glance into Russian territory and make our way around the lake. Stunning sandy tracks far off the beaten track provide a constant source of enjoyment and our G-Wagon makes light work of it. The Finland-Norway-Russia border triangle is unfortunately impassable, because bears frequent this area particularly this time of the year and we don't want to take the risk with our two children. It is after all one of the regions with the largest bear populations in Europe.
Norway beckons and, via Kirkenes, we reach the most northerly fortification on the planet. It is an amazing feeling to stand at the tip of Scandinavia and look out over the North Sea. At the Russian border we have a few minor problems and hence forgo a visit of the country (Russia, we will come back for sure though!). We continue along the coast, heading for the Northern Cape. A detour towards the geographic most northerly point turns out to be a good decision. In an endless desert of stone and moss we experience absolute silence for the first time in our lives. Goose bumps inclusive. Onwards we travel past the Northern Cape, always meandering the North Sea. We are lucky enough to experience a picturesque midnight sun, a truly rare sight. As we start to make our way back south, the North Sea remains our travel companion. The isles of Senja and Lofoten are unbelievably beautiful. We are slowly running out of time and drive back into Sweden.
We remain in Sweden three more days before we embark in the direction of our hometown in Germany. During the whole trip we saw elks and jumping fish in Sweden as well as reindeer and whales in Norway. As the journey went on, we appreciated our Gordigear roof tents more and more. Every morning we woke up relaxed and invigorated. With just a little bit of practice, setting up and striking camp becomes child's play. Having the two tents with us is quite a bit of an indulgence, as they provide more sleeping room than a mobile home. Even with me being over two metres tall, the sleeping space is more than comfortable. Needless to say, we are already planning our next trip!
Artwork and/or text courtesy of Sascha Ahrens.