Being on the other side of some seemingly random line doesn't feel that different so far, the most obvious differences are probably the road signs. I decide to take the dead-end road heading north along the russian border to Grense Jakobselv.
The border runs right through the river.
The Russians are very serious about staying away from borders, but in Norway, there's a road along the border. Still, it's heavily guarded and I wouldn't risk going anywhere too close to it.
Very beautiful scenery at the Barents Sea.
Heading back to Kirkenes, I go to the gas station to get some fuel and food. Unfortunately, no Euros are accepted, so I look for an ATM. The bank doesn't want to exchange my Rubels, since you're not allowed to take them outside of Russia. Nobody told me. Ok, at least I have a reason to go back to Russia now.
Advertisement for proper insect spray at the gas station. Would be great if it worked that good, the mosquitoes are insane!
Only the sign is allowed to smoke. Old times vs. modern times.
I awake to rain and coldness. Temperatures dropped from 26°C to 8°C (79°F to 46°F) over night. Not very cold, but if you're used to summer temperatures, that's a big drop.
My russian black tea pays off.
My destination today is Hamningberg, another dead-end road on the northern tip of Norway. A lonesome and narrow road brings me there.
In winter, this is a ghost town. Only few people have summer houses here. Very rough climate, but beautiful cliffs and colourful water.
I take a small gravel road up the hill in the picture above and explore.
Old WW2 bunkers, a handful of underground entrances and dismounted war machinery. Interesting place.
Tired, cold and with a painful back from the cramped ride, I seek shelter in this Coffee house in the middle of nowhere.
An old women keeps my company while warming up. Or was I the one giving company?
My bags are not entirely waterproof, contrary to my former belief. Drying the stuff in the most expensive motel I've ever been. They wanted 2000 NOK (350USD!!!!) at first, but I managed to negotiate it down to half of the price, giving up breakfast in the process.
Riding west towards Lakselv on road 98 over some cool mountain passes and along the coast. Very enjoyable road.
Now on the road towards Nordkapp, I am stopped by this sign.
Some local harley riders put up a tipi with a water cooker, some instant coffee and motorcycle magazines. Great stuff. I park my bike close to the street, hoping somebody would join me. I take a break for about half an hour and countless motorcycles ride past. I am a bit frustrated, that nobody would stop, not because of me, but I thought riders would hold together. Or something like that.
Honningsvåg, the last town before you reach the Nordkapp, of course lives around Nordkapp tourism. I have to laugh how much useless junk they sell, postcards ranging among the more useful, Nordkapp socks probably not.
The sun shows itself sometimes, delivering great views over the ocean.
I have to try a few times until I get this shot right. Can you imagine how exhausting it is, setting the self-timer, climbing up the globe and getting the right pose?
It is a bit strange being here. For almost two weeks now, I met fewer and fewer people everyday, riding through less and less populated regions. But suddenly, here are huge crowds, lots of tour-buses, cars, motorcycles, everything concentrated at such a small point. I feel a bit out of place and hum this song:
Well. Been there, done that.
Even my sleeping bag got wet this day, so I test one of the famous norwegian "Hytter" - small cabins on camping places. Comfortable athmosphere, cheap for norwegian standards and equipped with everything I need (a bed, electricity to charge my cameras and a cooking plate).