After all the bad weather in northern Norway I almost gave up on seeing the midnight sun, but since arriving in northern Finland the weather cleared up. Last night were the midsummer night festivities here in Inari. A large bonfire on one of the islands, barbecue and beer, all the ingredients one needs for an amazing night, and most important a clear sky!
“Røros Mining Town and the Circumference is linked to the copper mines, established in the 17th century and exploited for 333 years until 1977. The site comprises the Town and its industrial-rural cultural landscapes; Femundshytta, a smelter with its associated area; and the Winter Transport Route. Completely rebuilt after its destruction by Swedish troops in 1679, Røros contains about 2000 wooden one- and two-storey houses and a smelting house. Many of these buildings have preserved their blackened wooden façades, giving the town a medieval appearance. Surrounded by a buffer zone, coincident with the area of privileges (the Circumference) granted to the mining enterprise by the Danish-Norwegian Crown (1646), the property illustrates the establishment and flourishing of a lasting culture based on copper mining in a remote region with a harsh climate.”
Considering the tunnel digging skills of the Norwegians one might not be surprised that the longest tunnel of the world, almost 25 KM, is in Norway. And yesterday I could have driven trough, however I didn’t. Instead I drove over the Lærdal tunnel, trough cold white landscape and even camped in the snow.
On the way up the mountain I met a relative of Brutus, an equal metallic blue Land Cruiser 95 “Prado” also dressed up for adventure. The further up the mountain I came the thicker the pack of snow was getting and I was driving trough walls of snow eventually.
My camp fore the night was at Flotvatnet, a still frozen lake and waterfall. Yes, it was cold, but the scenery was definitely worth it.
Just a bit after my camping spot an art installation was constructed by the name of Vedahaugane. Inside a bear’s den a bear was having a winter sleep on a pile of rubbish from ancient to modern times. The message was clear.
In the afternoon I visited the UNESCO World Heritage site Urnes Stave Church. The wooden church of Urnes, the stavkirke, was built in the 12th and 13th centuries and is an example of traditional Scandinavian wooden architecture from that era where traces of Celtic art and Viking traditions are brought together.
At the end of the evening I arrived at one of the foothills of the Jostedalsbreen glacier. Here the glacier ended and every now and then pieces of it broke off and felt down in the valley, an impressive sight. Eventually this ice melted and went up in a stream. A peaceful and quiet setting where I decided to make camp for tonight.
This night I was invited by Alf from CouchSurfing to spend the night on his couch and to join him to the Nattjazz festival, but I first explored the city of Bergen by myself on the bicycle.
I parked the car close to Alf’s home and from there cycled to the city centre which was about 10 KM downhill. At the tourist information I picked up a cycling route which al in al took a couple of hours and gave a good sight of the city.