Nordkapp for Renata was all about Santa Claus and Car Accidents!

This time, my friend Renata will tell you about her trip to Nordkapp or North Cape if you prefer English… Keep in mind,  that all the copy rights go to Renata Liubertaite from Lithuania! I just
happened to be the lucky girl to have interesting friends. 🙂
So please ENJOY a Norwegian adventure…

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In the late November earlier than a year ago, around 10 o’clock in the evening our international team of 38 people, including me, got on a train to Lapland in Finland. The train brought us to a town called Rovaniemi, which is situated right on the Arctic Circle and is also known as the capital of the region and hometown of that big, beardy guy who used to bring you presents on Christmas. Of course shaking hands with Santa was on our list, but the plan was to do it on our way back home. So after brushing my teeth in the freezing cold weather just outside the train station, we headed even further – to an island in Norway called Magerøya, where you can literally stand on the edge of the world… Okay, maybe I‘m being slightly dramatic here, but let‘s start from the beginning!

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So Rovaniemi was the point where our road trip began. We had 7 cars waiting for us in the train station and immediately after we sorted all the practical stuff, we headed north. Since it was the end of November and we were already familiar with eternal darkness and aware of the ice on the road, the goal was to make the most of the road while it’s still bright and reach our first stop, Honningsvåg in Norway, as soon as possible. We were driving through the beautiful landscapes of Finnish Lapland, hunting for wild reindeers (with our eyes!) and enjoying every second of it. Well, but there’s a saying – man plans and God laughs. So our unintentional first stop was somewhere in the middle of nowhere where we crashed two of our cars. (Bam!!!) This took few of our precious hours away but the most important thing was that we all (almost) still were brand new. We reached Honningsvåg around midnight after crossing the undersea tunnel connecting the island of Magerøya to the mainland. I realized the fact that we were under the sea only the next day so the tunnel part was much more exciting for me on the way back. Well, for the first two minutes… It is really long and dark, guys.

Getting back to the topic! After we spent the night in a hostel right beside the Barents sea, enjoyed the greatness of the mountains that surrounded us (completely the most beautiful place I’ve ever slept in), we finally headed to the actual purpose of our trip – North Cape, usually referred to as the northernmost point of Europe. Actually, it is not really true – there is a place called Knivskjellodden which is almost 1,5 km further to the north but it’s not that easily accessible for tourists so as not very well known. Anyway – North Cape is a 307 metres high cliff and that’s pretty much it. Nooo, I’m actually kidding – it is unbelievable, you stand there facing the Arctic Ocean, amazed by the highs and peace and that’s all you need in your life at that moment. Well, I actually just thought that it would have been nice to see a whale there. So okay, I’m rewriting my last sentence – you stand there facing the Arctic Ocean, amazed by the highs and peace and the only thing that you need in your life at that moment is to see a whale. Definitely.

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Our last stop before coming back to Rovaniemi was a small town in the north of Finland called Ivalo. Since we “enjoyed” it for a few hours after the car accident, I was glad we were just going to sleep there. In the morning we headed to Rovaniemi where we planned to spend two nights in a traditional Finnish cottage and also where some more of our friends were about to join us. Those little houses are really important to Finns since they are so close to the nature (so close that most of Finnish last names comes from it! For example, Virtanen could literally mean “small stream,” but the surname was devised to mean a family living near a stream). So as we planned, the next day was all dedicated to Santa Village. The place is completely commercial but I still felt like a child while staring at those huge Santa shoes and listening to him talking to my friend in Greek (don’t ask, I don’t know).

During the last day the majority of us went to do those popular winter activities in Lapland like Huskies Safari and stuff. I heard it was great. But what happened to me was even better. We stayed in the city and went to “Arktikum”, the museum and science centre, where we found some exhibitions about culture and nature of Lapland. At that time the song about the fox was at its peak (Ylvis – The Fox), no one knew what does it say… But who could have thought that we will find the answer in “Arktikum” – there was an exposition where you could press the button and hear how do wild animals sound. And, of course, we checked the fox! It sounds like a bird, I wonder if that’s a reason why no one knows what does the fox say… They just don’t know that’s it!

Well, all in all, despite the fact that I didn’t mention our second accident when we slipped off the road during the snow storm, the complete exhaustion after the last day, I couldn’t be happier on that night train back to Tampere. Not only it felt so good to be back home (it really felt like that), but also I knew that those 3000 kilometres (+) on the road were completely the best in my life…. So far! minkyung

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