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To the Roof of Europe

The natural arch Kirkeporten was pleasant enough. On returning to the car at the village ofSkarsvåg, we noticed a small oddity; namely that there was a small school there and due to the local terrain, part of the road doubled up as the playground. There were level-crossing style barriers on the road, presumably shutting at break/play time. By now, I was feeling symptoms of jet lag, somewhat disorientated and starting to feel some strange sounds in my head. All I remember is my brother talking to a German who was waiting for a boat to take him back to his cruise ship that had been all the way from Spitsbergen (Svalbard), going back to the campsite, getting in my sleeping bag in my tent, putting on my facemask and going into near-coma.

One point worth noting here is some people visit the areas north of the Arctic Circle not only in summer to see the Midnight Sun, nor in mid-winter to see the Northern Lights, but also during the spring and autumnal equinoxes, when the, sunrise/sunset and sunset/sunrise can happen within a very short space of time respectively.

The next morning (or was it afternoon or night time?) I spent some quality time resting ready for the next day at the Skipsfjord campsite, which would mean retracing our route on the long winding road via the North Cape Tunnel to Olderfjord and then on to the city of Alta, joining our old friend the E6 on the way. Although the drive to Alta seemed to go on forever, the blend of spectacular forests, fjords, barren hills and countless lakes made for a very scenic drive indeed. The town itself was fairly small. The name Alta is also applied to a municipality in Finnmark county and the town itself is the administrative centre. We stopped at a supermarket for some provisions and took a brief stroll around the town.

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