North Cape 1968

Quite a long trip in a few weeks. We took the car ferry to Gothenburg from Hull, then all the way up the west coast of Norway to the North Cape. And back south through Finland, with a car ferry to Stockholm, and back from Gothenburg

To reach the North Cape, we drove up the west coast of Norway. The coastal road was a series of road sections each interspersed by a car ferry. One night while camping in the middle of nowhere, we were woken by a passing driver, who warned us of flash floods, so we moved our tent to higher ground


Eventually we reached North Cape Island, and took the car ferry across. The drive across the island was on a muddy, slippery track which was difficult to navigate in our van that did not have 4 wheel drive. However we eventually got to the Cape, and were astonished at what we saw, given the road we had just driven across. A large modern cafe, with picture windows facing north towards the midnight sun - and full of people. The place was clearly primarily to serve cruise boat passengers, who got there the easy way, with their boats just tying up at the base of the cliffs. A few hours here to take it all in, then back down the muddy track and the car ferry back to the mainland and the road south through Finland

Northern Finland does not have much population - a few nomadic reindeer herders and that´s it. I still have the pair of reindeer boots that I bought here, over 50 years later

Finland was known for its 1000s of lakes, but one sees very few of them as the whole terrain is covered in tall pine trees. One night as we were camping, again in the middle of nowhere, we heard wolves howling, and I though that it was more politic to sleep in the van, rather than pitch the tent

Rovaniemi is right on the Arctic Circle, and is the "home" of Father Christmas. I think that he was enjoying his summer holiday when we passed through

Heading south from Rovaniemi, we got to Helsinki and Turku, where we took yet another ferry, through the Aland Islands, to Stockholm: The old ship, the Vasa, had been unearthed and preserved and the museum had just opened. I was very impressed

Then back to Gothenburg and the ferry to Hull and home