23 April 2014, 1:23 pm

The island of Magerøya, Norway (Day 18)

If the distant Norwegian island of Svalbard is excluded, then the northern most peninsula of this island marks both the northern most point of Norway and of Europe – the next location over the Barents Sea directly to the north is the North Pole.

So then, did I make it all the way to the top of Norway? Unfortunately no, I settled for being 12 miles off the northern most point due to some rather appalling weather. To get to the peninsula at Knivskjelodden (rather than at Nordkapp where the visitors centre is based) you need to drive up a snow covered mountain pass, park up and then hike for 10km. As it was, Hotel Note wasn’t able to negotiate the final 9% gradient incline to reach the small car park at the top – understandable given the gales and snowfall at the time. I had a second attempt the following morning but conditions had deteriorated further – even with the snow plough attempting to keep the road open so I retreated to the main town on the island, Honingsvag for a wander prior to heading southward.

Of note was the sunset – or lack of one, the second photo was taken at 0225hrs!

So to the stats :-

Distance since Alta – miles (5416 miles total)
Driving duration since Alta – hours (130:39 hours total)
Fuel economy – 53.1 mpg average

Category: Norway

23 April 2014, 1:19 pm

Rock painting, Alta, Norway (Day 17)

A UNESCO world heritage location so the signs say, here we have a museum containing stone age rock paintings situated outdoors in parkland adjacent to a visitors centre. As for the visitors centre, it was closed as it was the easter holiday however as there has been no fencing installed around the outdoor trail, I went for a wander on my own for the today only entry price of £0.00!

From what I had read, the paintings are no longer original – merely the over painting of the originals utilising a colour which it is thought they originally were. Not the greatest conservation technique which could have been utilised but they are now good as new and a red colour. A shame really, I would have been disappointed had I paid an entry fee to see them, possibly even considering asking for a refund.

So to the stats :-

Distance since Tromso – 309 miles (5416 miles total)
Driving duration since Tromso – 8:06 hours (130:39 hours total)
Fuel economy – 53.1 mpg average

Category: Norway

23 April 2014, 1:16 pm

Tromso, Norway (Day 16)

Near the top of Norway, this city is predominantly located on an island. For a settlement of this size, I was surprised to see very few pavements other than in the centre. The condition of roads in places was also very poor with not so much “potholes” but regular “potchasms” ready to damage your vehicle suspension! I was impressed though not so much by the road tunnels under the centre, but by the fact they included roundabouts as well – the first time I have seen that in Norway,

The library was a good architectural design, although on closer inspection, it was suffering from concrete spalling and exposed reinforcement already – a shame given it was of recent construction. The Mack brewery is also based here, the building which houses it is not worth mention however the old van outside is, so I took a photo.

So to the stats :-

Distance since Svolvaer – 288 miles (5107 miles total)
Driving duration since Svolvaer – 6:57 hours (122:33 hours total)
Fuel economy – 52.8 mpg average

Category: Norway

23 April 2014, 1:13 pm

Lofoten Islands, Norway (Day 15 & 16)

An archipelago of high rocky outcrops extend out into the Arctic Sea west of mainland Norway for several hundred miles. The area, historically a fishing centre still retains some of the old trades however tourism is becoming the main area of income. Given the number of residents present here, the amount of expenditure on local road infrastructure (bridges and tunnels) seems completely disproportionate to that spent on the mainland. The road stretches all the way to the final island.

As for the scenery, it is spectacular. The outermost island, the Moskenes is the most impressive – I stopped at the sign on reaching the final fishing village for a photo – “Å” it read. Apparently the circle above the A denotes it actually means Aa.

Weatherwise, given its exposed nature, storms can be severe, as was on my arrival. I found a large rocky escarpment to park the car up against for the night so it didn’t blow over – by the morning, others clearly hadn’t been so lucky. After that, the weather was nice and sunny, albeit cold so on finding a nice sandy beach, I didn’t stop for a paddle in the water!

So to the stats upon leaving Svolvaer, Lofoten Islands:-

Distance – 4819 miles total
Driving duration – 115:36 hours total
Fuel economy – 52.8 mpg average

Category: Norway

20 April 2014, 4:50 pm

The Arctic Highway – Route E6 (Day 13 & 14)

The main road up to the arctic circle whilst not as spectacular as that seen previously, the scenery was interesting to see. Almost 1000km to get through to reach my next point of interest, it was more necessity to use the E6 than the more minor touristy routes. That said, I got to take my photo at the road sign as the imaginary arctic circle line of latitude is crossed and followed it up with a little impromptu off piste skiing nearby. It is fair to say that my skiing ability today isn’t anything close to what it was back in 2006!

So to the stats upon reaching Svolvaer, Lofoten Islands:-

Distance since Trondheim – 474 miles (3667 4546 miles total)
Driving duration since Trondheim- 12:04 hours (85:28hours total)
Fuel economy – 52.6 mpg average

Category: Norway

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