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To the Roof of Europe

The next morning was an early start. We partially dismantled the tents and loaded up the hire car in a sort of “how many elephants can you fit in a Mini?” fashion. From Kirkenes, we took a long drive west and northwards and pretty much in all compass bearings along the E6 road, hugging fjords with occasional inland stretches through barren landscape, forests and bend after bend. We crossed a bridge at a place called Tana bru, where the E6 went left and another road, the 98 went right. We were heading for a town called Lakselv, but after crossing the bridge, my brother by now obsessed with the E6, turned left, in a southerly direction. After pointing out that the fjord-cum-river was on our left, we had taken the wrong direction. After taking a rather long time to find an appropriate place to turn the car around we headed back north to Tana bru, connecting with the “correct” north bound road 98. Now the fjord-cum-river was on our right. I was confident we were heading in the more scenic and right direction. The road to Lakselv seemed like an eternity, but was more than pleasant, albeit not one built Roman style. Again, a blend of barren landscape, forests with the odd bridge (we didn’t stop to look for trolls underneath them) and very sparsely spaced campsites and hotels. When we eventually reached Lakselv, it was time for a break. The town of Lakselv (population just over 2000) has its own airport with flights to Tromsø, Alta (where we would later be heading to after the North Cape) and Kirkenes, operated by Widerøe, apparently the largest regional airline in the Nordic countries. Salmon fishing in summer is popular there and it also has a small golf course. In winter, skiing is popular. There are two hotels and the odd restaurant. A famous person from Lakselv is a footballer, Lars Iver Strand, who has played for the Norwegian football team as an attacking midfielder. I have not heard of him, but I am certain he must be a local celebrity. We opted for the town’s main supermarket. Kate enjoyed a nice tub of Neapolitan Ice-Cream on the car park ground.

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