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North Cape

Oslo, Lofoten, skandinavian Cities, Lapland, Finland 

Travel with us towards the sun and experience the mid-summer night's dream: North Cape 71 degree 10'21". The unique Lapland tour: Germany - Denmark - Sweden - Norway - Finland - Sweden - Denmark - Germany.

Itinerary: Trip with our Bus from Hamburg or Berlin via Luebbeck (West Germany) - Copenhagen (Denmark) - Goeteborg (Sweden) - Oslo (Norway) - Trondheim (Norway) - Bodo (Norway) - Lofoten (Island off the coast of Northern Norway) - Hammerfest (Norway) - North Cape - Inari (Finland) - Rovaniemi (Finland) - Oulu (Finland) - Kuopio (Finland) - Helsinki (Finland) - Turku (Finland) - Stockholm (Sweden) - Helsingborg (Sweden) - Luebbeck - Hamburg or Berlin. 
Some distances will be covered by ferry.

Accommodations: 18 overnight accommodations at camping sites in tents. One night on ferry with Pullman seats from Turku to Stockholm. All camping sites also have cottages which can be rented for $3 per person per night.

Meals: For your meals you should expect to spend approx. $15 per day.

At Your Disposal: We will provide camping equipment such as double-burner camping stoves, gas canisters, large cooking pots, foldaway tables and benches.

Tour Escort: Tour coordinator

Extra: Entrance fees, food, drinks, additional excursions by boat, canoe, horse, motor bike, bike, unless mentioned above. For a four bed cabin on ferry from Turku to Stockholm add $15. Please state when booking.

Climate: Day 70 degrees, night 56 degrees, water 68 degrees Fahrenheit.

Currency: US $1 = 1.8 German Marks; 7.1 Danish Kronen; 6.3 Swedish Kronas; 6.7 Norwegian Kronen; 4.2 Finnish Marks.

Visa: No visa required for US-citizens.

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Mid-Summer Night's Dream

"Here I stand at the North Cape, the most extreme point of Scandinavia. At the end of the world. Here, where the world ends, my curiosity also ends. I will return content."

This was written in 1664 by the first "tourist" at the North Cape. We will also return content after having experienced the midnight sun and the fascinating landscapes on our journey "to the end of the world."

We've worked out an exciting round trip that reveals all of Scandinavia's attractions. Let us explain the proposed route for you -- keeping in mind that it is very flexible and can easily be changed. There are hundreds of possible paths to reach the northern tip of Europe. On our route, we'll drive along the Norwegian coast, because this particular fjord route provides us with the greatest variety, excitement, and sheer beauty. 

We start at Hamburg and head directly north to Denmark. Before crossing into Norway, we spend the night in southern Sweden, near Goeteborg. After traveling (via Oslo) to Norway, we'll set up camp at the truly breathtaking Gudbrandsdahl. Then, it's off towards Trondheim. After less than a hundred miles, we'll reach Nordland Province. Nordland has probably the most beautiful coast in Norway. Its deep fjords framed by the steepest of mountains are simply so beautiful that words aren't adequate! We're closing in on the Arctic Circle. Our journey slows on the winding E6. Who would want to go any faster with this unique landscape? Forty-five miles north of Mo I Rana, we finally cross the Arctic Circle, which is marked by a pillar of stones. The further north we go, the longer the sun stays in the sky. Only the our fatigue allows us to sink into sleep, and won't even have to get out your flashlights! The countryside now takes on a considerably different appearance. The trees disappear and moss, lichen, and brushwood now dominate. We'll spend a night near the town of Fauske at a camping site that lies on a mountain ridge in the middle of a peninsula. There's a glorious view across the picturesque town and fjord.

We would like to point out that all of the camping sites selected by us are extremely comfortable -- and have quite romantic settings as well! Almost all have cottages, each with up to six beds and cooking facilities. So... if you sometimes would rather not pitch your tent, go grab a bed in one of the cabins.

Now, where were we? Oh, yeah, the next day we'll reach Skutvik. It's port of the Lofoten, a 95-mile long group of islands with imposing rock faces and vertical drops of up to a 3000 feet! If we want to get a real feeling for the natural power of the scenery, we'll take a two-day trip to Svolvaer. There's an enchanting two-hour ferry trip that will drive anyone wild! As we move away from the land, a massive, primeval landscape rises out of the water: a majestic, deep-fissured and high-peaked mountain range in the middle of the ocean. Soon, we'll see small fishing villages situated close together, embracing the protective bays of the high skerries. Our camping site at Svolvaer lies in just such a bay. We'll be staying a day or two here before heading slowly north through the Lofoten to our next major destination, Tromsoe.

Tromsoe, with its wooden houses and overhead power lines, conjures up images of an old gold town. For many Arctic travelers, it is the "Gate to the Arctic" or the "Arctic City." Either name is justified, as many expeditions to the North Pole started or ended here. At the harbor, you'll find a monument erected to those heroes who did not return. The principal source of income for most of Tromsoe's citizens is deep-sea fishing. Tromsoe will give us the chance to visit the famous Arctic Ocean Cathedral, eat some of the most delicious fish in the world, or ride on the cable car to the top of the 4000 foot high Tromsdalstind. From here, you'll have a marvellous view over Tromsoe and the nearby islands. This time, we'll set up camp in a beautiful birch forest close to Tromsoe.

Not more than a day's journey away, lies Hammerfest, the northernmost town in the world. At 70o 40' north, it is approximately the same latitude as the north coast of Alaska. But here, the Gulf Stream, the central heating system of Europe, provides more varied temperatures than anywhere else in the northern regions. Our camping site is located outside of town high up above the sea on a rocky outcropping. This is the perfect place to enjoy our mid-summer night's dream to the fullest. And believe it or not, we've still not reached the northern-most point: the North Cape on the island of Mageroya. The road leading there has been upgraded for the most part, with the exception of a 1.5 mile long unlit tunnel, where the road is unfinished. It's not at all unusual to catch a deer in the glare of headlights. Once again, we'll take a short ferry ride from Kaoefjord to Hoenningsvag, where we'll be met by a bare landscape covered by Iceland moss and lichen. This is the summer grazing land for Lapplanders and their huge reindeer herds. 

You are now at the extreme edge of the continent. In the distance, you can make out the white dome of the radar station: we have at last reached our destination and the climax of our journey. We cannot go farther. A 970 foot cliff drops straight into the crystal-clear Arctic Ocean -- the beginning or, if you prefer, the end. Many people travel to the North Cape, get out of the bus, take a photo, receive their "North Cape Diploma," get back on the bus, and leave. But, since we want to do things a bit differently, we'll hold a festival of the cliffs (so long as the wind doesn't blow too hard or cold). We'll take out the tables and benches, make some German Gluehwein (hot, spiced wine) and hot coffee, and celebrate into the white night. If you're interested in specifics, at this point, we will have covered over 2,200 miles. If we're tired, we can drive back to the campsite at Honningsvag. We won't start our relaxed "return journey" through Finland until the following day.

And the return leg is no less interesting. Our next stop is the city of Ivalo, on the holy lake of the Lapplanders. It is known as Inari Lake and, because of its countless islands and broken shoreline, no one has been able to calculate its exact size. We know that, at our campground by the lake, the sauna will be hot and invigorating. Refreshed and pleasantly tired, we'll stay here at least two nights before heading for the gold claims of Finland. Yes, in Tankavaara, forty-five miles to the south of Ivalo, a few people are known to have caught gold fever. Maybe, we will too, who knows? Everyone can try their luck with a pickax, shovel, or pan. If something suddenly glitters, you may forget about the return journey. Don't! The next day, we'll cross back over the Arctic Circle at Rovaniemi and head for the Gulf of Bothnia.

The day after, we'll enter the Land of a Thousand Lakes (actually more like 60,000!). Here, we'll find the city of Kuopio, the hub of central Finland. The campground in Kuopio has a sauna, and a beach next to Kavallesi Lake. If you want to see the labyrinth of the 60,000 lakes from above, you can climb the nearest mountain, the Pujo, or you can see them close up by ship. From Kuopio it's not far to Helsinki, a good evening meal, and one more night on Finnish soil. Then, we take the night ferry from Turku to Stockholm. Anyone for a sight-seeing tour and a Swedish breakfast?

Quickly, home begins catching up with us. After an overnight stay on the southern coast of Sweden, near Ronneby, we'll head home via Helsingoer and Puttgarden to Hamburg. But we'll have lived an extraordinary adventure in an extraordinary part of the world -- a land of quiet grandeur. And that is rare enough.

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