Driving on highway E8 an hour south of Tromsø, you will come across a strange sight. There, right next to the road, is a gigantic diamond-shaped boulder that once upon a time broke loose and rolled down from the mountain above it. This is a landslide-prone area with many large and small boulders decorating the landscape, but this one stands out from the crowd.
This boulder seems to have become a pilgrimage for graffiti artists and taggers from all over the world. The entire front of the stone is covered in more or less impressive artwork.
The Sara Stone, or Sarasteinen, was according to tradition named after a young Sami woman who took shelter behind the stone to give birth sometime in the early 19th century. Today the stone is a landmark for people travelling the E8 between Tromsø and Finland, and it even has a nearby bus stop named after it. Travellers love to stop and leave a little signature or greeting on the stone, much like building a cairn when crossing the Arctic Circle.
On the left side you can even see the logo for the Norwegian reality gameshow “71° Nord”, where contestants have to make their way through the entire length of Norway. In one of the seasons, this was one of the stops along the route. It will be interesting to see how long that logo is left alone, as the stone is constantly redecorated.