Driving on highway E8, an hour south of Tromsø, you will come across a graffitied stone. This gigantic boulder once broke loose and rolled down from the mountain above. Nordkjosbotn is a landslide-prone area with many large and small boulders decorating the landscape, but this one stands out from the crowd.
The boulder, called Piggsteinen or The Spike Stone, has 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. There was a petition by the locals to preserve the boulder and its graffiti, however, it was decided that the ever-changing artwork is what makes the boulder iconic in the first place.
Today the stone is a landmark for people travelling the E8 between Tromsø and Finland. 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 see the logo for the Norwegian reality gameshow 71° Nord, where contestants have to make their way through the entire length of Norway in a great race. 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’s artwork evolves.