It is 2 o’clock in the morning and while the sun is about to rise on the East coast of Sweden, I am being attacked by the garden robot of my colleague Gunnat Schöbel who very kindly had allowed me to pitch my tent underneath one of his apple trees…..
Since leaving London I have been swimming in a kanal in Friesia, I witnessed a horse race on the bottom of the North Sea, I had breakfast with a cappuccino made by one of my favorite barristas in the medieval town of Lübeck,
I had been introduced to the benfits of nightvision cameras to trace the whereabouts of your cat and I finally caught up with a Polish friend I had never met in person.
With other words: I had traveled over 2000 kms
and I still had a similar distance ahead of me……
Yes, I have been on the move again with my services this time required in the town with the world’s most Northern industrial brewery and the home of both the Arctic Cathedral and the Polar Museum – Tromsø !
From Surrey to here, there are – with a few detours on the way – just under 4000 km to cover, which means that it would have been shorter to drive to Athens or to Marrakech.
Having successfully discouraged the agressive lawn mover from chewing up my tent, I managed to squeeze in a few more hours of sleep before having breakfast with Gunnar and continuing on my journey to Sundsvall – my next stop.
Here I not only renewed my aquaintances with the hard working team of the emergency clinic, I also saw the disposal of the Swedish women’s fotball team by the hands of their English counterparts. Following this result I decided as a matter of precaution to park my right hand driven car for that night a bit more out of sight…..
I then headed North-West and called on a colleague who not only runs her own clinic, but who also owns just short of fifty Alaskan Huskies (Mia preferred to stay in the car during this visit…) , before I was crossing in the middle of the hardly appreciatable night the border to Norway, where a kind lady from Latvia offered us a room in a mountain cabin.
Not quite in line with the usual climate pattern the weather improved considerable as soon as I ventured into Norway (being on the Western fringe of Europe, the Norwegian mountains tend to have more rainfall than the Swedish side).
Passing Mo-i-Rana and Saltfjellet, I crossed the Arctic Cirlce
and here I couldn’t resist the temptation to try for a change a wrap with smoked reindeer meat (sorry Rudolph…..) – it was excellent !!
There was not much point to travel too fast I thought while there was a clear blue sky above me and once I had reached the Nordland region, it was time to stop for some hours on the beach of a mountain lake
before enjoying the scenery of an alpine plateau far away from the main road….
While looking out of my tent I was wondering : “ Who needs to go to Yosemite if we have mountains like these just on our doorstep (nearly) in Europe”. These thoughts didn’t last very long though before they were disrupted by my hungry companion……
The journey carried on and after a a few more kilometers the Lofoten island chain came into view …..
These magical islands are worth a journey like this on their own, both in the summer at the time of the Midnight Sun as well as in the winter to see the Northern Lights.
Not for me though as once I had driven through Narvik, I had to cover another 240 km (with more beautiful scenery) before finally reaching Tromsø – my home for the next 4 weeks!