Cities are small in Norway but still cars are subject to the ‘city driving’ syndrome where short trips after a while can clog up the engine. So every now and then, and especially in summer, it is good to take the car our for a long drive so it can stretch its legs.
We essentially have three directions to drive – along the E6 to go south through the country, the Kautokeino road towards Finnland or along the E6 north towards North Cape. This time our Sunday drive was north towards the sun. It was the middle of summer, the weather was sunny and dry, perfect for a casual drive.
Just coming out from Alta the windy road passes Rafsbotn, a little town. Not long after you hit the long straight road Stokkedalsveien. During the winter this road is very treacherous – snow, wind and ice. During the summer it is a wonderful place of discovery… if you really look.
Half way a long the road is a quaint little church in Sennalandet, the middle of nowhere. I think the isolation makes it very beautiful and in the winter time when everything is white the church stands like a beacon in the sea of snow.
Across the road is a small abandoned Sami tourist site. Two skinless lavvos stand over dusty fireplaces. We got to examine how big lavvos are structured – very handy for when we put ours up on the farm.
Skaidi is a ‘resting stop’ town. It has a service station, a roadhouse and a hotel. On a dry sunny day it is an oasis in the wilderness. Ice cream goes down well in the middle of our around trip.
Cycle tourists are very common on the E6. They usually travel in twos, often a retired husband and wife (I’m presuming). The wife is usually 100 metres behind (and I always just want to get out and give her a little push to help her catch up). The bikes have little trailers that carry all the essential gear. I know it would be cheaper to cycle than driving a car through Europe but their food bill must be outrageous.
There are always opportunities to see reindeer along the road. Reindeer are so used to cars that they often play chicken. The reindeer are free to walk everywhere. There are also Arctic foxes, hares and hawks to be seen if you are lucky.
As you can see in the picture below, even though it is the middle of summer and ice cream weather, there is still snow on the ground and on the small mountains.
An unexpected delight on the way home was getting very close to a moose calf. It was just standing there by the railing looking at the cars going by.
I so wanted to jump out of the car and give the calf a cuddle but that is not a good idea at the best of times. Moose cows are extremely protective of their young and will fight off any threat. But sadly we couldn’t see any cow. We got out of the car a little further up the road to wait for the cow to show herself but she never did. We got back in the car to drive home, exhilarated at seeing the calf but worried too for its future.