Driving 5300km, 7-9h hours a day, 10 days total. I must admit, it gets quite exhausting after you´ve been sitting in the car for days and days. Rough, but also the best spontaneous trip I´ve ever done. I would recommend it to anyone, given that you´ve got a drivers licence :D. So what me and my friend have been up to is that we drove up the west coast of Finland, to Vasa, then to Rovaniemi and then crossed Sweden to Narvik in Northern Norway. From there we drove to Å in Lofoten and then up to Tromsö and Alta in the north. During the finale day in Norway we went up to Nordkapp, the northernmost point of Europe, and then down to Skoganvarre, Kuusamo, Savonlinna and finally back home to Ekenäs.
We stayed in hostels mostly, but also in hotels and other kinds of accomodations. Some where better and some weren´t that good XD. For instance in Ballstad in Lofoten we had an entire cabin for ourselves, but no electricity after 10 pm :P. It was freezing cold outside and with no electricity we had no heating either. So we just had to manage sleeping in freezing temperatures... Another interesting hostel was the one in Tromsö. There we had to share a dormitory with other people. There was a German guy who was travelling the world, an Australian hippie, a British nerd and a Korean guy that didn´t say a word. Even though the Korean guy was shy, he decided to play games with me and woke up to my alarm in the morning just to get the shower before me XD. And there he spent a good 45 minutes before he decided that it was my turn. The German guy decided to boil eggs in the kitchen without turning the fan on, so the fire alarm went off early in the morning... I took my jacket and started making my way out of the building, but got stopped when we found out that there was no real danger :D. So yeah, the hostels were of different qualities. Tromsö was a nice city though XD.
Lofoten was absolutely the highlight of the trip. Not even in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that a place could be that beautiful. Like, WOW!!! We did a short hike in Festvågtinden, overlooking the town of Henningsvaer (pictures below), which was actually quite dangerous. There wasn´t really a designated trail for the hike, just a steep rocky mountain, where we had to try and find our own path. We climbed the Festvågtinden and up there was beautiful small crystal clear lake, absolutely stunning. After we had made our way down the mountain safely, the trip continued to Reine and Å. The view over Reine was after maybe Glenorchy in New Zealand the most beautiful view I´ve ever seen in my life. It´s so hard to believe that those beautiful places are this close to where I live :). I think the other highlight was Nordkapp. There was a big museum and the famous monument that marks the top of Europe there. I have some pictures of that below :)
The long drives in Northern Norway never got boring. There was always something new to see and something new to experience. Even the weather was on our side. Blue sky as far as the eye could see everyday in Norway. Even though everything sounds perfect, we had some rather dangerous speedbumps too. For instance driving for 5 hours straight without eating anything, and when we finally get to a restaurant, they don´t even give us the menu. We sat there for 30 minutes without even knowing if there was anything for us to eat. The waiter just told us to wait. XD... A couple of days after that we were inches from driving straight into a reindeer. Another time we drove 25km in the middle of the forest with the fuel meter on zero. A third time we lost the oil lid for the car without noticing it, and drove for 6 hours without it. Lucklily we found a car service store where they sold a new one for 15 euros :).
So yeah, a trip with ups and downs but certainly worthwhile. Not too expensive and a true adventure I will never forget. What´s next on my bucket list? In the near future I´d love to go and visit my friend Jasmine in Italy, see my host brother Luk in Switzerland and do a long hike in Iceland. It´s a big world, but now I can at least strike Northern Norway and Lapland off the list :D.