A Good Route to Travel Beyond the Arctic Circle
It’s been a while since my last post. The reason is I’ve been away from home for half of April. I went beyond the arctic circle, into the Nordic Europe.
Specifically, on the spur of the moment, when I found a relatively cheap flight deal to Finland, I called up a friend couple and organized a two-week trip to the Lofoten Archipelago of Norway via Finland’s Lapland by car.
Lofoten has been on my list of must-see-must-shoot-must-hike places for some time already. The high cost of flying directly into Norway is prohibiting and car rental is more than triple the cost here in North America. It just occurred to me that going there via the relatively cheaper Finland might be a good idea. And it is.
I found a return flight to Helsinki via Amsterdam costs only US$720, plus a US$210 flight from Helsinki to a Lapland airport (Kemi-Tornio). An officially called “Northern Lights Road” leads north from Tornio all the way to Tromso, Norway. From Tromso, it is only a few hours drive down to Lofoten. And it is a very scenic drive. Car rental in Finland is much cheaper, and one can stock up cheaper food in Finland before driving into expensive Norway.
My plan worked very well, economically. For a 15-day Arctic Europe trip, each of us three spent less than US$2100, all inclusive. The car we rented in Finland is a Mercedes A180 with GPS and studded winter tires, and we stayed in cabins with kitchenette most of the days (so that we could cook our oriental food). What can one ask for more?
Here is a map showing my travel route and the cities/towns where we stayed overnight:
The only thing that prevents me from rating this trip excellent is the weather. We had much worse weather than we expected, and ran into practically every kind of bad weather, including heavy snow, hail, rain and gale wind.
Still, we managed to have a few northern lights photos, and a bunch of post-card like Lofoten pictures.
I will post the pictures in the next few blog entries. So stay tuned.