Scandinavia (2021): From Thuringia to the North Cape and back

North Cape, here we come!


From Tromsø it is a 9 hour drive to the North Cape. Since that was a bit too much for us, we “only” drove 7 hours to Repparfjord instead. The disadvantage of this was that we didn’t really have a choice as to our next accommodation. So we ended up at a Christian campground and mission center somewhere in the middle of nowhere off the freeway. We got out of the car and headed towards the reception. Just as we were about to open the door of the building, it opened and a whole row of Sami people in traditional festive clothing stepped out. In the building itself there were at least double the number of people. Later it turned out that a baptism was being celebrated there that day. At the reception we met one of the few people in Norway who apparently didn’t speak English. However, it was enough to get a room (the rooms were relatively cheap and the temperatures were also quite cool). Our room was quite basic but comfortable. Of course there were Bibles on the bedside tables. There was also a common room with several pictures of Jesus, Bibles and a non-working router with the password “JesusIsKing1” written on it. The highlight of the camp was a scenic waterfall just behind it, which we visited once we were reasonably settled. After the obligatory photos, I decided to go for a run while Kevin settled in with a book in the common room surrounded by Jesus.

As always, we prepared our own dinner. So while I was preparing a healthy soup for us, I met a Spaniard in the kitchen who was already on his way back. He drove from Helsinki to the North Cape via Finland and now wanted to go back via Norway. The special thing about it was that he had completed the entire route by bicycle. So of course Kevin and I had a lot of questions for him, not only about how it is at the North Cape, but above all about what it is like to cycle the whole route. He patiently answered all our questions and finally we wished each other a good appetite and said goodbye.

North Cape

The next day it was time. After almost 4000 km we should arrive at our destination today: North Cape, the northernmost point in Europe that can be reached by road from the mainland. I paid one last visit to the waterfall behind the camp, climbing up it and even spotting a second waterfall, and then we got in the car and we drove off. At first the weather was not in our favor, but after a short time the clouds cleared. The landscape was mountainous, but hardly had any trees and we saw reindeer again and again on the roadside and sometimes on the road. Shortly before our destination we passed an almost endless tunnel and then we were already there. The North Cape as such is freely accessible, but in front of it there is a hall with information and exhibitions for which you have to pay an entrance fee. Even if it was touristy, where we have already taken the 4000 km on us, we of course also paid the entrance fee. The hall was larger than expected as much was underground. There was a small cinema, a chapel, a room with a kind of light installation and a museum on the history of the North Cape. The heart of the hall was a stone on which a Thai king had once immortalized himself. A whole room of the exhibition was dedicated to him.

The landmark of the North Cape is not in the hall, but outside in the freely accessible area: A large metal globe, on which everyone (including us) naturally took their obligatory photos. In addition, there were other attractions on the outdoor area, such as 7 medals that children from all over the world designed in the sign of peace. The North Cape as such may seem a bit sobering: lots of tourists, all looking at a piece of land with a lot of water around it. However, the fascination with it is probably the fact of where you are on the map.

Another small attraction in the immediate vicinity of the North Cape, which Øystein from Tromsø recommended to us, was Kirkepoten. This is a natural rock archway through which one can admire the North Cape plateau. It was indeed an interesting vantage point, but we didn’t reckon with the other visitors to this place: German tourists! An elderly couple wanted to shoot the best photos of the day for their holiday album together with a family with two adolescent children. True to the typical German “I’ll put my towel on it” manner, the elderly lady stood in the middle of the archway, while her husband walked to an adjacent cliff for several minutes to take pictures from there. Not only could you have easily taken your own photos and been done in the time it took the gentleman to get to the photo spot, the lady was also consistently unhappy and yelled instructions at her husband on the cliff how to do it should put down. Each time he did something wrong and each time he was punished with his wife’s yelling. After what felt like an eternity, the lady finally left the archway, which she always reserved completely for herself, and it was the turn of the family. Shooting photos with two adolescent children turned out to be a challenge again. And so it was the children who were constantly dissatisfied. After another eternity I was finally able to take a quick photo before returning to Kevin. Kevin watched the spectacle from further away, as he was not comfortable with the steep descent just before Kirkepoten.


The North Cape was of course a tourist magnet, even if we were there outside the main season. We became painfully aware of this when we realized that all the campsites in the area were fully booked. But sometimes you don’t know that the first perceived bad luck turned out to be a real stroke of luck. A campsite owner took pity on us and so he called a friend who should have a vacant cabin nearby where we could stay. Shortly thereafter we set off for Trollholmen. (Note: There is another larger island not far from the North Cape, also called Trollholmen, which is a more or less common tourist attraction. However, this is not “our” Trollholmen.) We pulled off the main road according to the campsite owner’s description and parked ours Car in a gravel parking lot in front of a long jetty that should take us to Trollholmen.

Trollholmen was a small island (I guess about 150 m²) with exactly one resident, Ole. He was already waiting for us on his island. It felt like in the movies. In the middle of the island there was a hill and behind it were three buildings, a shed, Ole’s house and the hut where we were supposed to sleep. Although we had just left the main road, there was of course no internet on the island and no real mobile reception either. But who needed that, after all we were on a paradisiacal little island that we had to ourselves except for Ole. What made meeting Ole even more surreal was that, like in the film, his right hand was missing and he had a hook instead. What was it like with the unrealistically naive people in the beginning of the horror movies? The really unrealistic thing here is probably the films, because Ole with the hook hand was actually very friendly. He showed us the hut, which had a bunk bed, a sitting area and a kitchen, while if you went outside there was a toilet and even a sauna at the back of the hut, and lent us his wheelbarrow so that we could borrow our luggage could bring the car over the jetty to the island. We then spent the evening cooking, writing postcards and playing cards while the waves pounded the coast of Trollholmen outside our windows. The moral of the story is that something good can always come out of something bad and that you shouldn’t always believe Hollywood because Trollholmen was by far the nicest accommodation we had on this trip.

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