One day on our big Lapland road trip, we planned to go to Norway. The idealists, or fools, among us thought we should go to the North Cape. After two days of being late all the time they still hadn’t learnt this was just not realistic. We opted for a small village that was much closer. Entering Norway the landscape changed. It was less flat and there were less and less trees. The ground got rocky. We saw water that wasn’t frozen, although there was a big layer of snow around it. It seemed so special, as we hadn’t seen this in months.
The houses were beautiful, picturesque. We made a few photo stops and lost sight of the other car. When we saw them again, something was wrong. They had slid and spinned over the icy roads. Everyone was alright, but it was definitely an eye-opener. The condition of the roads was worse than we’d expected. After a break we decided not to go too far and drive towards Vardø. The road led us along the sea. We saw hills that looked like icebergs. I was surprised by the villages and the amount of people that still lived in this part of the world. It’s like Europe doesn’t really have a wilderness anymore.
We continued our way, driving towards what seemed like the end of the world. The town of Vardø was on an island that could be reached by a tunnel. This was the end of the road. You could only go back. People were moving around on their kick sledges with groceries. The elderly walked with kick sledges to keep their balance. Vardø wasn’t very touristic, so the few restaurants we saw were pretty expensive. That’s why we had a picnic on the back of the car. There was a little time to explore the town, but we had to get moving again soon afterwards.
On the way back the boys dipped into the ice-cold arctic sea water. The sun was setting as we drove and gave the landscape pastel colors. At the border our cars had to be searched. They were looking for alcohol and cigarettes. Who would buy that in Norway, where it is much more expensive than in Finland? It took forever and we got bored with the questions of the officers. I looked up at the sky and saw the northern lights. When the light show was finished, the officers were finished with our cars.