Welcome to our travel diaryFrom Italy to the North Cape in caravans
Start the return
We wake up slowly, the wind has no intention to leave peacefully, but despite this it has to start.
Our direction is Kolari us where we need to remount the tire temperature.
While we travel we realize that today is the Epiphany and maybe also in Finland is a day of celebration.
Then we rely, as always, to our Italian team to make contact with the owner of Kolari Kumi Oy and figure out if despite the festivities are open and are able to make us the Pit Stop.
The landscape that surrounds us, as we continue our march, is completely submerged in snow. We pulled over for a moment to take some pictures and we meet on the road… a guy who is riding a bicycle. Amazing!!!
The road is very long, the scenarios are fabulous and the colors of the sunset (although I’m not even 13:00) begin to aflame the sky leaving us speechless.
We meet the reindeer crossing the road and hiding immediately after the surrounding vegetation.
Despite having already achieved our goal also the journey back is giving us the memorable scenes, colors and more wonderful views.
At one moment we are so excited to approach the edge of the road to capture our jeep and caravan in this Arctic sunset.
We arrive in Kolari around 15:00 and we contact the owner that within ten minutes does get the workshop, it closed for the holidays, two guys who get to work immediately to changing tires.
Our drive man Tiziano is sad to have to leave the studded tires that did deal with these icy tranquility territories and to distract herself, waiting to leave, he opens the hood of his Jeep and controlled the oil levels, requiring a top-up.
Once the tire change we continue the journey in search of an accommodation for the night that is able to protect us from the constant wind that does not give us respite.
Arrival in Cape North
Our drive man, impatient to grind the last kilometers that will lead us to the goal, pulls out of bed all, including cats, before the alarm.
After a fast breakfast we start running: we must get to the meeting point for the departure of the train by 11:00.
After many kilometers inland now the road runs along the coast.
We meet a series of long tunnels that could also be closed. Each stiff northern temperatures fail to rise above the freezing level.
One of these tunnels go even below sea level and realize it for the pressure in our ears that is felt.
The landscape is always fascinating and the coastline reveals the exciting and unexpected glimpses.
When we meet the first sign indicating the municipality of North Cape (Nordkapp) we can not resist the temptation to take some photos.
Our driver climbs to be with him even closer feeling up the excitement for the great coming destination, then all together immortalize our first achievement. Already have arrived up to here makes us feel euphoric !!
Continuing on the road we cross the snow thrower that then there will be the forerunner.
Arrived at the meeting point for the departure of the convoy we are in the queue with only a few machines in a landscape completely submerged by the snow, where the road merges with the surrounding area.
Silence is surreal and the few people that are there, waiting for departure, you make a souvenir photo under the sign indicating the last 13 km.
Came our turn we too we throw down to take pictures and then also with our cats Martina and Novaljia.
While we’re in the car for shelter from the bitter cold and wind gusts we see coming the snowplough that is positioned in front of the bar.
Our time is coming…. we tremble with emotion and a bit ‘too cold.
The lights, the road closure barrier is raised and the train starts moving.
The road is straight uphill, the fund is frozen, and at every turn it seems that we lack breath. Alternate plain scenarios in long climbs, turns and descents. All around is very white but with that the “light off” typical winter polar.
In the distance you can see the cliffs to the sea. The convoy distances us almost immediately and you can see its lights in the distance in white.
We try to make shooting video and taking photos but the emotion is such that in the end prefer to enjoy it by ecstatic alive.
In these moments excited our drive man, during some challenging climbs where the medium seems to lose grip, even proceeds without noticing the failure to enter the four-wheel drive. We realize it only at the end of this adventure covering some photos. What is certain is that the wheels spiked, having more grip on icy surfaces, they made us go on without problems.
Only our driver Tiziano could do this stretch of road in winter, there and back, with a caravan in tow using the only rear-wheel drive !!
We arrived in the parking lot trying to put our jeep and caravan so we can take pictures that make you stand out in this scenario, but without hindering the other machines.
We know that the light will not last long here and try to take pictures as quickly as possible. An icy wind whips our hands and face at a speed of around 50 km / h and with these temperatures is really difficult to do anything.
After several minutes we realize that we have not yet gone to see the famous Cape ball North …. time passes tyrant and soon again the convoy to go back down and we can not lose it !!
The show, once crossed the central building, is breathtaking.
The colors of this kind of polar sunset (13:00 and seem to have our 18 o’clock) are lovely and everywhere we turn we caught the frenzy to stop to capture what we see to try to make indelible our emotions.
The cold is more and more pungent accentuated by a wind that does not give us respite.
We do the usual photo under the ball all together.
At some point, however, we do not do it anymore. No longer feel his fingers and toes… and face, in places exposed to the wind, has become a frozen block.
We are forced to go back into the building and take the opportunity to buy a couple of souvenirs for our friends back home.
The saleswoman tells us that the train is about to leave and we must hurry!!!
We believe that this visit lasted only a few minutes, however we have been here almost an hour.
The wind begins to worry and the return trip is done in complete silence for leave to our drivers the maximum concentration required for the control of the vehicle and the trailer.
This Nordic wind takes us for a long way, not only to the start bar but for the entire stretch along the coast even up to the hill areas not protected by trees.
The gusts of side wind, combined with the icy surface, are very dangerous because we could lose traction and skid. We decide to go very slowly because, since we are in absolutely nothing, we could not stop to wait for the wind to subside.
Eventually we found shelter in one of the city’s first encounter where we have positioned ourselves to sleep next to a mall that has protected us from the wind gusts.
In order not to miss anything…
When we wake up, the first thought is to try to understand the motives of the sudden deactivation of the heater.
While Silvia is a series of photos of the landscape that surrounds us…
… Our Tiziano wearing his black suit and jumps just below the caravan, although the temperature is around -25 °.
He wants to try to figure out if the problem comes from some obstruction in the exhaust pipe or suction device which, by condensing, may have frozen.
Both pipes are, however, free. His research then continue on the system power diesel.
Since this control is found that the system has probably caused by an obstruction diesel that has frozen.
We decided at this point to find a more comfortable place to be able to step in and out of the camp staff suggestion we head to Alta center looking for a pretty big place and heated.
After extensive research it can be hosted in a large car wash where we enter with car and caravan in tow.
We can bring the caravan temperature above zero and slowly defrosting.
The heater returns to work properly and we provide editing and even better insulate the plant to prevent future new frostbite. As always our Titian on the role of “Mac Gyver” and gets to work.
After losing a whole day to put back in full swing the trailer and its facilities we move more and more to the north …. the goal is approaching.
It begins to snow abundantly and snow accumulates quickly covering everything. Fortunately snowplows pass the time and the roads are passable thanks to our new studded tires.
Along the way, suddenly, back to keep us company for the dawn with its enchanting colors. We can find a clearing in the wilderness of snow and ice around us and we stop with the intent to enjoy this show of light above our heads.
Immortalize it is very difficult. The icy wind whips with gusts deadly and our fingers are frozen rapidly despite the layers of gloves.
When everything is finished we can understand better the meaning of the words that had sent us a message in our followers Davide Congia:
“The Lady and ‘unpredictable, a little’ capricious, but when dancing in heaven leaves you speechless”
We carry on as much as possible with the soul heartened by this show and we stop to sleep in a campground on the road.
Despite being immersed in the snow, and open only in the summer, it has a section dedicated to landlords. You can then, thanks to the kindness and willingness of the people who welcome us, find an open space to park our trailer and the current attack.
Just settled, we realize that the “Lady” is coming to give us good night dancing over to our trailer.
We fall asleep with the thought that now we really just missing the goal!!!
Awakening is as always anticipated by cats that attract our attention playing chase and to be teasing throughout the trailer.
The increasingly cold temperatures will begin to be felt, not so much inside the trailer where the comfort is guaranteed by the Eberspächer heater, but on some seals of the windows where the ice condensation.
The signs of the journey you begin to see the face of our “drive man” who did not even have time to shave because it must try to walk the streets, until they are in good condition, in the shortest possible time. We do not know what we will find more and more going North.
We allow ourselves a healthy breakfast and then we put ourselves in motion.
While we women settle the inside of the trailer and prepare the equipment for the day, Titian deals to release the trailer from the snow accumulated overnight.
The landscape around us is fascinating in its increasingly dark colors even though they are already 9.30 in the morning. All objects around us are covered by snow, the road and the surrounding nature are one.
For an overnight stop we chose an area for parking next to a gas station in a small town.
During a supply of diesel we can observe with a little ‘attention to the area around us and as always we are affected by this immensity of snow everywhere.
The back of our caravan is now submerged by the snow that covers all of our adhesives.
Even the road signs are in line with the Northern Territory.
We proceed on these snowy roads with prudent pace but several times we cross trucks whizzing at impressive speeds.
Surrounded by an atmosphere of peace and increasingly white landscape we get to the Finland border where we cross a bridge over a river now completely frozen.
Given the worsening of the conditions of the road surface and above having no certainty about how will the Norwegian roads during a supply of diesel in the country of Kolarin, ask for directions again changing our tires and we kindly accompanied workshop Kolarin Kumi Oy .
After explaining our goal we can find a good one: we do install studded tires for car and trailer leaving there on deposit our winter tires.
The Kolarin Kumi Oy team behaved with us with great professionalism and efficiency.
Now that we have studded tires definitely traveling differently: our drivers will immediately notice that there is more grip and can therefore be more relaxed driving.
While waiting for the tire change, note the presence of Titian’s workshop Best Grip brand, company that provides Bergamo nails for tires and shoes with which he had made contact when he retrieved the studdable tires in Italy.
We load back into the car and Novaljia Martina, who in the meantime have svagate and rifocillate in caravans, and we share with Alta destination.
Along the way we encounter the first real cold temperatures. The machine detects even -33 ° !!
During the trip we ask help to our Italy Support Team (Yumi, Davide, Mareika and Mattia) who promptly make contact with the only High campground that is open, asking the leaflets to wait for our late arrival.
Almost near Alta we see in the darkness of the sky a glow. We seek an open space where to stop to observe and be enchanted by the sight of our first aurora.
Arrived in camp still full of emotion but unfortunately we find that the Eberspächer heater stopped working !!
Try several times to start it again but to no avail because it is blocked. We try not to get us caught up in despair, luckily we are in a camp and we use the current. We put into operation is the Truma gas stove’s electrical Ultraheat and despite the external frost we can have in caravans absolutely comfortable temperatures.
After a pleasant refreshing hot shower we fall asleep, exhausted.
From Sundsvall to the Arctic Circle
The alarm “goes off” at 7:00 with Martina and Novaljia who begin to draw our attention by jumping on the beds and playing chase.
The night’s sleep has regenerated us and we were able to recharge caravan’s batteries without the use of the generator, because where we stopped for the night we were able to find a current attack.
After a quick breakfast, and a series of photographs at the landscape that surrounds us, we resumed our march towards the North. The sun is just popping up on the horizon and are the 9:00 in the morning.
The city of Sundsvall seems almost out of place in these pristine areas and immersed in nature. Its industries with chimneys that send steam silhouetted against the sky with the colors of dawn just mentioned … even if it’s almost 10:00.
Just past the town the landscape becomes the usual one, marked by the typical Swedish houses in bright colors and overhanging roofs.
Suddenly the horizon stands the silhouette of a bridge across what was to be an expanse of water, but as we passed is completely frozen. The show is really impressive and we try to immortalize the best with photos and videos.
During the trip we tried on several occasions to understand, with the locals, how to change our tire temperature and put those spikes. They are told that it was not necessary and that would have been enough of our winter tires because they had a tread in excellent condition. Of course, they are new !!
We continued grinding km and at 14:00 we stopped at a rest stop on the roadside for a bite to eat before it became dark.
We continue our march towards the North. The landscape gives us some breathtaking views. The thing that strikes us most is being aware of the presence of so much water around us, however, given the low temperatures, has turned into ice immensity.
Towards evening begins to snow abundantly, we continue for several kilometers and then we stop the nth gas station to refuel and grab a bite.
When we get into the caravan we realize that the snow has arrived even in the Truma. Tiziano promptly remove the cover and try to clean.
What has happened it depends on the fact that, with these temperatures well below zero, the snow does not stick to the road surface but remains volatile and the passage of the means creates a turbulence which makes it enter the hole of the burner of the stove.
For additional security Tiziano decides to make an “emergency” recovery by himself, having put his winter black suit, lies down under the caravan to seal the hole in the heater passage that so we should not use.
We continue our journey refreshed properly, we expect many kilometers and we can not stop!
The landscape is very impressive in the dark and the headlights illuminate the snowflakes continued to fall. Suddenly in the distance we see the reindeer in the middle of the road and slowly approaching, we stop and try to photograph them.
It ‘a great emotion that makes us smile and feel less fatigue of this very challenging trip.
At about two in the morning we decide to stop to sleep in a quiet area now within the Arctic Circle, surrounded by a snowfall that shows no signs of wanting to stop.
From Malmo to Sundsvall
We wake up in the morning regenerated from a good night’s sleep and after breakfast we are back on the road. The first stop we make is for the fuel supply: the machine drinks like a sponge. Recalling the journey of 2010 Tiziano notes that the Rossini caravan is stronger than the Knaus Sundwind FD400.
A positive element that can be found in all service stations is the Serviceplats: an area dedicated to water supply, equipment to clean the windows and inflating tires.
In these streets, and with so little light available during the trip, it is essential to have the always well-cleaned glass. Whereas the outside temperature is often below freezing this time of year we must never forget the antifreeze for the windshield and keep checking its level not to remain without.
Our next stop is a picnic area on the sides of the E4 where we take a little walk, Silvia takes a bit’ of photos and all take the opportunity to go to the bathroom. The Swedish car parks all have clean toilets and heated. Often they include picnic areas with tables surrounded by nature and playgrounds for children.
The road is smooth and the scenery, though not snowy, is impressive with its colors and frozen lakes.
We try to take advantage of the light and wait lunchtime until 14 when we stop at a Burger King on the way
Along the way we see from afar the sphere of Nordkapp that seems like a mirage. We divert our route to go and figure out what it is and we discover that it is a “hoax”: it is just the advertising of a nearby golf course. We return on our street smiling for the incident.
The light goes away soon and the four already pitch dark.
At 18 he is to keep us company with impressive snow flakes that we try to capture photos and videos.
At 19, when we stop to the fuel supply, this is the scenario that surrounds us ….
Tiziano, as always, makes the rounds of machine control and caravans which unfortunately get dirty easily with salt pulling itself up from the ground. Carefully cleans windows and lights so as to be always visible on the trip.
Since we had eaten lunch at a Burger King there seemed bad not stop to dinner at Mc Donald. Here there are many, in the first part of Sweden, almost every gas station.
With the trailer parked in plain view we stopped for a refreshing break and we left the signature of our passage on the outer tables covered with snow.
After dinner we go again for a couple of hours and we stop for the night in a rest area on the way to about thirty kilometers from Sundsvall