Like El Camino de Santiago, The Hajj and other great pilgrimages around the world, one also exists for motorhomers; Nordkapp (North Cape). Something we only learnt well into our trip!
Billed as the top of Europe, although Knivskjellodden is around one mile further north, thousands of motorhomers make the journey each year.
Many routes can be taken through Norway, Sweden and Finland, but the most popular route is the European Route E6. The 1,919 mile road begins in Malmo, Sweden and runs the full length of Norway, through Oslo, Lillehammer, Trondheim, passing the Arctic Circle and eventually ends in Kirkenes near the Russian border, but before that, pilgrims must take the 80 mile long E69 from Olderfjord to reach Nordkapp.
Our journey on the E6 started at Trondheim, the day after England finally won a game on penalties. As if to justify the tolls we were accumulating, road works were in progress for most of the trip to the Arctic Circle, making the journey even longer than it already felt.
Passing future tunnels, bridges and surfaced roads which would straighten the route, and presumably allow for an increased speed limit when complete in 2021, we made the Arctic Circle with approx £39.60 on our toll bill.
With a surrounding landscape not too dissimilar to North Yorkshire we called at the visitor centre, consisting of a shop displaying stuffed animals and selling usual tourist tat, a restaurant specialising in reindeer burgers and a cinema.
We spoke briefly to the Swedish sales assistant about the upcoming World Cup Quarter-Final against England, he didn’t say it, but I think he was optimistic of their chances.
We spent the night in the car park there, neatly tucked in our own corner watching other motorhomes avoid the black campervan from Britain!
It’s from this point that most motorhomers make the common detour and drive to Bodo to catch the ferry to A at the end of the Lofoten Islands. A logical approach as it means you only drive the length of the Lofotens once, but we didn’t book the ferry and instead continued on the E6 and crossed from Bognes to Lodingen, meaning if we drove the 229km to A; we would need to drive all the way back.
At a popular scenic parking spot we witnessed a large white motorhome reverse directly into a small grey car. Everyone in the car park watched the scene unfold, but the Dutch (again) driver, either suffering from catterax or so ignorant of others around him, ploughed right in there to the sound of a vigorous coach horn trying to warn him.
Realising the bump wasn’t his spare crocs rolling around the living space, he slowly moved forward and remained there praying nobody noticed. To the pleasure of the on looking crowd, the owner of small grey car jumped out and approached the motorhome.
The crying Dutchman climbed out of his ironically named ‘Vision’ and with a watching crowd thought better of the usual “you came out of nowhere” approach and jumped straight to “it don’t look that bad mate” as he reluctantly pulled his wallet from his beige Dockers. Rather him than me with these Norwegian prices.
Unfortunately the weather turned by the time we hit the Lofotens, we failed to capture all those amazing photos you see on social media, many places prohibited camping (probably due to arrogant drivers of white motorhomes) and Stanley receieved an electric shock on a cattle grid.
The only positive was an England victory over Sweden to reach the World Cup Semi-Finals. With this in mind we turned around and aimed to watch the Semi at Nordkapp, still 14 hours away!