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Inland to Finland

sunny 10 °C
View Around the Baltic Sea on maxari's travel map.

Saturday, 31st of August we headed across the border into Finland to visit the Saami Museum www.siida.fi in Inari. It presents Saami history and culture both in exhibitions indoors and out of doors. The permanent exhibition in the main hall revolves around the year, month by month, explaining the Saami way of life of following the reindeer on their migrations. We thought it was very well done and we learned a lot about the only European indigenous people. One of the best museums we have seen so far on this trip. Outdoors pictures only.

Max trying out his Saami lasso skills on a training reindeer. Let's just say he won't give up his day job just yet:

Just when we left the museum Katie heard some clip-clop noises on the road:
A stag and doe being slightly worried about our dogs (they were leashed and we turned around). Both male and female reindeer grow antlers. Males shed theirs after the rut. Females, especially pregnant ones, keep theirs longer so that they can secure the best feeding spots for themselves. We learned quite a few interesting details about reindeer. A very adaptive animal to a harsh constantly changing environment.

We went north western towards Karasjok (Norway) to visit the museum there, too. Travel distances are long in Scandinavia, so we stopped for the night at a little campsite near Kaamaasmukka before crossing back into Norway. It was said that there might be a chance of seeing the Northern Lights that night. We set an alarm for midnight, but couldn't see anything despite there being almost no clouds in the sky. Another alarm at two in the morning showed that the clouds had moved in. A night of little sleeps and definitely no Aurora.

Arriving in Karasjok in Norway on a Sunday meant that the knife manufacturer Max wanted to visit was closed. The Saami museum there only opens at noon outside the season (this is September 1st) and we still had a long way to Tromso. The decision was made to better just head on and make some way. On the way almost out of town we drove by a gigantic teepee - the Norwegian Saami parliament. Not open today. Oh, well.


We were on the way to Alta where we would join the coast again. In the museum in Inari Max had spotted a potential path on a map that would get us to the biggest canyon in Europe. We wanted to press on, though. Three months on the road and so little time to do and see it all! Then, after a bend in the curve Max spotted the sign to said path and just had to try it out. It was a bumpy snow mobile track about 20km long. At the end of the road there were other cars parked on a big slab of rock. We started our hike from there leaving our eldest (Athena) in the car by the heater.


The hike was about 5 hours there and back. Rory did really well, crossing streams via planks she was clearly afraid of using. Running twice the distance exploring and sniffing things. When she got a bit tired she was allowed to have a few bites of Max's granola bar. Other times we had to have a stick chewing break. She was a really good girl on this hike.

We fed the dogs in the parking lot, then drove along the track that soon turned into a paved road. We were hungry after the hike and there was a convenient lodge that served tasty dinner (Gargia Lodge, Alta). While we were waiting for our food Katie found a not too serious book about Norwegians. We laughed and learned a few things. Later we found a quiet path into the woods not far from Alta where we stayed for the night.

Next destination: Tromso

Posted by maxari 04:50 Archived in Finland

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