|483 km - Average speed 86 km/h
Today I was waken at 7.15 a.m. by SAS who had found Elaines suitcase that were lost on her flight from Geneva. I told them they can deliver it when we get home. We left here around 10.30 a.m. We only travelled some 20 kilometres before we reached the Arctic Circle. The Arctic Circle actually moves in cycles. There is a long time cycle of 40000 years with as much as 180 kilometres movement and a shorter cycle of 18 years and about 570 meters. Not even the Arctic Circle is a fixed point...After this we crossed the river Torne älv into Finland at Pello. We had two stops on the way up to buy souvenirs. The first shop was not so well assorted but they had some Lapp-knives that will be handy as gifts. The second shop was large and they had everything. We stayed for a long time and strolled around amongst the shelves. Here Euro was the valid currency as we were in Finland. We now found a reindeer-skin and Elaine found herself a well-needed belt, as her old one was ready to be disposed of. Here we also took coffee and "renklämma" thin bread with reindeer-meat. That was good and it was the first time Elaine tasted reindeer. Now it went on over the mountains towards the Norwegian border. It is desolate and beautiful in an indescribable way. We stopped and took pictures but no picture in the whole world can do full justice to that landscape. We had already met with reindeers that ran in front of the car something that should be frequent the farther north we came. Well into Norway we drew closer to today’s goal that is Alta. Last part we travelled downhill parallel to the river that falls steeply down towards the fjord. It was fabulously beautiful and for the first time we got sunshine on our trip. We had so far travelled with a low depression that had drawn to the north over Sweden, Finland and Norway in the same pace as us. Just before Alta we stop at a camping site to rent a cottage with no shower or running water. We unpacked and went down to Alta where we exchanged some Norwegian money. Here rules the Norwegian crown and everything must be multiplied by 1.2 although the prices already lies higher then the equivalent Swedish. The view over Alta fjord is so beautiful that it cannot be described in words. We just stopped and sat silent. The clearly blue fjord with snow clad mountains along the fjord-side. Norway is beautiful. We asked advice for a good restaurant and an elderly gentleman showed us the best there is in Alta according to him. It was a hamburger bar. After consulting a more trustworthy Norwegian we came to a Steakhouse with excellent food. For the first time in our life we tasted whale, of course catched in research purpose. We shared one entry course consisting of marinated whale and salad. In consistence it is like salmon but it tastes like meat. The waitress said that old whale tastes a little whale oil but a young whale tastes just like meat. She had served a Spaniard last week that didn’t believe her when she said it was whale. He was convinced it was beef. The main course was beef and reindeer respectively. We ate half each so we could taste both courses. On the way to our cottage we took the opportunity to wash the car at Statoil. It more looked like a mosquito-trap than a car after our trip over the mountains. The disadvantage with our Jaguar is that it doesn’t lick itself clean when it gets dirty. Safely back home Claes had a shower, the only time it was pay shower, 5 Norwegian crowns for 5 minutes. We booked the cottage for one more night as we planned to go to the North Cape round trip the next day and return to the cottage in Alta.