Robin's Website

To the Roof of Europe

Some useless facts about Alta are that it has the most northern ice hotel in Europe, the most northerly Subway restaurant in the world and footballer Klaus Petterson comes from there. Perhaps Klaus is a mate of Lars Iver Strand whom, as mentioned is from Lakselv. But, this is not the main reason for visiting Alta. We drove just out of the town to see the ancient rock carvings. The age of the rock carvings are from 4200 to 500 BC. They are on the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites. We parked and went into the visitors centre. As we entered the museum (minus Kate) and exited to the rear of the building, we could see Alta fjord. To the right of the fjord is where the first people came ashore. This has been deduced by discoveries of the earliest archaeological finds. The rock carvings are approximately 100m from the water. In the ice age, all of this all of this would have been under a very thick layer of ice and snow. Fjords are formed by glaciers as they plough through the landscape in an almost straight line to the sea, unlike rivers which twist and turn. When the glacier retreats, the sea comes in to form a fjord in its place.

The rock carvings were made over a very long period of time. The museum has a wonderfully laid out board walk; strolling around it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. It was constructed so the rock carvings may be viewed closely without damaging them. There are more ancient rock carvings in Alta than anywhere else in northern Europe – a total of about 3,000 individual figures. Of course, I cannot provide photos of all of them, so best to see them yourself!

Page 19

Previous Page | Next Page