On The Edge of Europe

When Anssi says: "I don't know if our old car can take it", I know it's time to start throwing my skiing boots, my other skiing boots, snowboarding boots and boots "just in case I get my knee back and can run" to Ikea bag and start packing. 

I used to be a light packer. I could survive with a small bag, running shoes and a yoga mat everywhere in the world for weeks. Then I met Anssi, and I needed to change my little backpack for an Ikea bag. It is paradoxical that I use travel sized shampoo and soap when I could fit all of my toiletry in one of my shoes.

We decided to use our sudden free days of Easter well and go to North Cape, Norway. Neither of us hadn't been there before and it's not that far. Now, when the news are full of words of how Europe is either in war or collapsing, I thought it could be politically wise to go to the furthermost cliff of the old continent and try to see what is coming. I saw fog and strong waves. I felt hopeful in all that windy whiteness. 

We booked a room from a little fisher village of Honningsvåg from Airbnb. Honningsvåg, like North Cape, is situated in an island of Magerøya. One could not reach North Cape by car until 1999, when The North Cape tunnel between the mainland and Magerøya was opened. The tunnel goes under the sea and is almost seven kilometers long.

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The Arctic Ocean was greenish or blue, depending on the time of the day. The ocean looked like a giant, who knows its power but who doesn't give a shit of using it. Everybody knows how strong it is, and no one wants to mess with it anyway. 

The mountains were breathtaking as they always are. In Magerøya the mountains stood out from the sea sharply and suddenly, but there were also lots of accessible mountains. In Finland you must know where the good backcountry spots are, but Norway is full of them. Everywhere you look you see another perfect place for a little ride.  

Funny thing. When we booked the room from Airbnb, we were informed that there is a guy living in the house. When we got there, there were actually three guys, but only one lived in the house permanently.

It was just a good thing.

We met Giacomo, The Man on The Snow, an Italian explorer who had, for example, rowed from London to Istanbul. If you're interested of reading how every travel can be ecological, check his web page. Even Giacomos van is an eco-van. When he drove from Oslo to North Cape, he got the petrol from restaurants, who gave their leftover cooking oil for feeding Giacomos car. The lesson learnt: there are so much options to travel and do sports ecologically. Giacomos skis are made of bamboo and his sledge is made from hemp, his sport underwear is recycled silk. He gets my respect.

So, there we were. Two Finns, an Italian, a Spanish and a German sitting in a house having a unforgettable Easter. If that's globalization, I like it a lot.