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Experiences of a Dutch Journalist




Round trip Scandinavia, August 2010

Heavily pregnant I made a round trip through Scandinavia with boyfriend Jan. Ultimate goal was to get to the North Cape, the most northern point in Europe.


We took a boat from Rostock in Germany to Helsinki in Finland, which appeared to be a rather boring city.


Our home during the three week trip: an improvised camper with three-quarter bed.


Mosquito net an absolute necessity. Even with mosquito net the sum of bites after 1 night was 150 for Jan, 80 for Petra - I used insect repellent too.


Rovaniemi in the North of Finland is said to be the home of Santa Claus. It is nothing more than a bunch of souvenir shops. I could not resist buying some Lapp clothes for our future son.


These mailboxes are typical of Lapland.


Supporting the Finnish economy by buying a felt hat.


Reindeer all over the place. The first time they crossed the road our mouths fell open, but seeing these animals on the road is so common that we lost count.


Lacking a shower in our improvised camper we were very happy to find saunas everywhere.


Birds fleeing for a storm we didn't know was on the way to the North Cape.


On 14 August, which is the birthday of Jan, we finally reach our destination. Too late for the midsummer night, but it is still pretty light for 23.00hrs. The moment we get outside a heavy wind starts to blow.


 Just before we're blown away we manage to make the ultimate shot: a picture with the symbol of the North Cape.


Pretty steep rocks. It is only decades ago there was no road to the North Cape. At that time the only way to get to the North Cape was by boat and on foot: climbing the rocks.


Our camper was almost blown off the cliff. Dead slow we drove back to the civilized world.


No civilization yet on the morning after the North Cape visit as it gets really cold in our improvised camper. We're fed up with the camper for now and long for a 5 star hotel.


Summer in Norway...


Clear blue skies on the Lofoten but it is freezing cold.


Half way the Norwegian coast is the largest Viking settlement ever found.


A replica of a Viking ship.


Salmon cultivation in one of the many fjords.


Crossing the Arctic Circle for the second time. Back to warmer weather and more civilization - which is very welcome one month before I am about to give birth to our first son.


Bergen is said to be the most beautiful city in Norway. We agree with that.


The original vessel of Roald Amundsen that he used in 1903 to sail the North West Passage is now exhibited in Oslo.


Bridge from Sweden to Denmark.


We made it back the to the Netherlands just in time for the delivery of son Oscar. We thank the sofa bed for its services - we only slept in a hotel 5 out of 23 nights. But now dump it on the scrapheap - it wasn't that comfortable...