Norway
Alta

Here you’ll find travel reports about Alta. Discover travel destinations in Norway of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

41 travelers at this place:

  • Day366

    1 Year Away Today!!

    June 27, 2017 in Norway

    What a year! At times it seems so long ago that we posted our house keys back through our letterbox and left our bricks and mortar home behind for a life on the road. At other times we can remember the whirlwind of activity, goodbyes, excitement and nerves like it was yesterday.

    Since leaving, we've travelled to the most southerly point on Sicily and have nearly reached the most northerly point on the European continent that we can drive to.

    Here are some of the stats from the year:

    📅 365 days away
    🛣 27,585 kms (17,240 miles) driven
    🌍 19 countries travelled to
    🚩✔ 9 countries explored and on to our 10th
    🙋 5 visits from family and friends

    😴 242 stopovers in total
    ⛺ 40 campsites for 96 nights
    🚙 💶 34 paying stellplatz for 52 nights
    🚙 91 free stellplatz for 124 nights
    🌲 76 fly camp spots for 90 nights
    👪 1 stopover on family's drive for 2 nights

    ⌚ Longest Stay: 10 days in Vienna, Austria at Christmas🎄
    📆 158 stops were for 1 night only

    Finances:
    Because we've never lived long term in a van before we've been keeping notes on all that we've spent and totting it up each month. Having been away nearly a year we looked back and found that on average our monthly outgoings have been about £1,500. Some outgoings have increased such as money spent on diesel and food (without always having access to a budget supermarket, market stalls and not being able to buy in bulk). Money we would have spent on some things such as council tax and water rates etc has instead been spent on campsite fees. However we no longer pay out for a TV and broadband package, a second car, new clothes that we will rarely use etc. The small space within the van is easy to keep warm and by generally moving south in winter we've limited the need for extra heating. Overall, we've been spending about the same as we were when living in a house, but have had more fun with the things we've spent it on living in the van.

    Family and friends:
    Over the year, some relationships with family and friends have improved because we've had time and been relaxed enough to call and talk. Some people have visited and we've really enjoyed spent quality time with them. However, being away has put a strain on other relationships. Roaming charges meant we restricted ourselves to one or two days each week where we called or messaged people and not seeing people face to face and having shared experiences to talk about has been difficult. One of the things that has most made us question leaving home for so long has been watching our newly arrived grandaughter grow up and have her 1st birthday without being there to share it, although we are very grateful to Will jnr and Lynsday for keeping us up to date with news, photos and videos!

    Favourite country:
    One of the things we love about travelling is finding out about our preconceptions and getting to replace them with views based on our experiences. We've tried to spend at least a month in each of the countries we've explored (except for the micro states: Liechtenstein, San Marino and The Vatican). By doing this we hoped to immerse ourselves in the landcape, language and culture and although we feel we've gained a good impression of what each place is like, we've always left knowing there is more to explore, learn and see. Each country has held wonderful surprises to discover. Countries like Slovenia, that we knew almost nothing about, have been some of the most rewarding. Each country has been very different and has challenged the others for 'top spot' with its own charms. For a long time Germany was Will's favourite because of the brilliant facilities it provided for vans, its beer and rivers. Vicky found it exciting to be able to use her language skills in Italy and we both loved the food and coastline here. Seasons have changed what we've experienced and what we've been able to access but no matter where we have been, we've experienced friendliness and kindness from local people that has often blown us away. As well as the smaller countries, we've explored Germany, Austria, Croatia, Italy, Slovenia, Sweden and are now in Norway. We are afraid it is impossible to say which our favourite country is, because each is so diverse and has its advantages and disadvantages for our way of living, what we like to do and even the mood we are in at the time! We have liked each country so much that we've left it with the hope of returning someday!

    All in all:
    There have been some hard times when one, the other or both of us have been pretty low. The realities of two large adults living in a metal box with a very hairy and incontinent 14 year old dog with no place to call our own and limited facilities can be tough. Living in such close confines can grate on your nerves and the effect our bad moods have on each other is intensified. We aren't on a holiday the way we used to be when we came away for the summer and we can't expect every day to be like a holiday. This is our life and there are still many of the responsibilities we had back home. Food shopping and washing up still needs to be done, repairs need to be made and paid for and we have to nearly always be thinking about the next place we can get water, empty the toilet and park. However, in many ways life is simpler and more flexible, with more options than in a house. There may be fewer luxuries but there are fewer bills and we can choose to leave places we don't like and stay longer in places we do. We find that when we can maintain a positive frame of mind and put unpleasant things down to 'part of the experience', we get along better with what we are doing. Along with the lows there have been many, many highs; so much of it has been new and we've met wonderful people, got close to nature, visited amazing cities, experienced such diverse environments and seen some truly fantastic sights. This life isn't for many people and we realise the fact we've been able to choose it, is a privilage and makes a big difference to our outlook. Overall, we are in love with the freedom and are very much looking forward to the next 4 years as well as coming back to the UK to see the people we miss.

    Thank you for reading this far and for keeping up to date with where we are and what we are doing. We've said before that this incredible journey wouldn't be quite so incredible without the support of our friends and family!

    Vicky, Will & Poppy
    27.06.2017
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  • Day366

    Alta and Alta Fjord restplace

    June 27, 2017 in Norway

    Whilst life on the road gives us a lot of freedom, we are tied closely to the need for basic facilities. We'd had the heating on a lot and used up one of our two gas bottles. The distances between LPG stations in northern Norway are vast, so instead of rushing round our planned 1000km tour of the NE coast, keeping the van temperature on the chilly side with the constant worry that we'd run out of our means of cooking, refrigerating and heating, we decided to drive just more than 100km out of our way to the nearest LPG filling point in the large town of Alta at the head of a deep bay, on Norway's northern coast.

    On the way, we were wowed by the increasingly beautiful scenery. We passed fjords and stunning watercourses that changed from wide lakes, to raging rivers, to white waterfalls that squeezed between narrow rock fissures and back again to the open space of lakes. Up and down we climbed, although never on very steep inclines. Twice we saw reindeer at the side of the road and one of these times we actually needed to stop as they crossed in front of us!

    Arriving at the LPG station in Alta, we found a hand written sign saying in English that their tank was empty. They had no gas! Possible alternative plans of action began to whizz through our brains in a panic, but we decided the best thing to do was to talk to the garage. An employee with excellent English told us to our great relief that the tanker was due the following morning- phew! She explained that the delivery drove the length of Norway over the course of a month so as soon as the delivery arrived, they would have to call and order another.

    Driving out of town we found a brilliant restplace overlooking Alta Fjord. A steep rocky hill rose to our right and dropped down to the sea on our left. Behind us, the head of the fjord was formed by a shallow shore line where small painted wooden huts stood and boats big enough for two either bobbed at their moorings or had been dragged up the beach and overturned. Snowy mountains rose steeply behind the opposite shore and ahead of us a mound of rock afforded views of the fjord's expanse as it opened up to wider sections of sea.

    Today was the first anniversary of when we left our bricks and mortar house behind and set off on this amazing adventure. We celebrated with a meal of reindeer bourguignon and a bottle of bubbly that we took up onto the high rocks in front of the van and shared looking out over the fjord as the sun lit the trees and snow on the hills opposite, thinking how happy we were to be living this way.

    The following morning we filled up from the newly stocked LPG station and topped the tank up with diesel. We were aware the tread on the front tryes was getting low and when Will measured them they were just legal. Knowing the huge distances there were to cover in Norway (and the huge fines for driving offences) we asked whether there was anywhere we could get a new pair. At the tyre garage less than 500m away we were given a quote for 3,911 Norwegian Krone (£350) and told they could do fit us in if we came back in an hour! It was a very efficient process and although the bank balance was down, we came away happy with two new tyres that were ready for the next 40,000km!
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  • Day48

    Alta

    August 19, 2017 in Norway

    Wieder so ein Tag, an dem es zu viele Bilder gibt, um sie alle zu zeigen. Es war strahlend sonnig den ganzen Tag über und die Landschaft, durch die wir fuhren, war wieder überwältigend. Zwei Fährstrecken waren dabei, wobei uns bei der ersten eine Punktlandung gelang. Ankommen, direkt rauf fahren und zack, Abfahrt. Jetzt stehen wir in Alta auf einem kleinen, leider mückenverseuchten Platz, und können nun endlich einmal die Tauglichkeit des neulich erworbenen Mygga (20% DEET) testen.
    Für Morgen sehen die Wetteraussichten nicht so dolle aus. Mal sehen, was das gibt...

    Tageskilometer: 312 km
    Gesamtkilometer: 4730 km
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  • Day53

    Zurück in Alta

    August 24, 2017 in Norway

    Unsere Zeit am Nordkapp ist leider schon um. Wir müssen zurück nach Alta, von wo BuM morgen nach hause fliegen werden. Auf dem Weg dorthin haben wir einen kleinen Zwischenstopp in Honningsvåg eingelegt, um die Artico Ice Bar (die nördlichste der Welt?) zu besuchen. Das Eis wurde im Winter aus einem zugefrorenen See geschnitten und in einem gekühlten Raum zu Barmöbeln verarbeitet. Bei -5 Grad, Discomusik und in eine Thermokutte gehüllt gab es zwei kleine alkoholfreie Getränke. Ganz nett, aber 139 NOK wert?
    Der weitere Verlauf der Fahrt war ereignislos. In Alta fuhren wir auf den gleichen Campingplatz wie schon auf der Hinfahrt und kochten uns ein leckeres Abschiedsessen.

    Tageskilometer: 222 km
    Gesamtkilometer: 5283 km
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  • Day478

    Day 479: North to Alta

    June 8 in Norway

    Long day of driving today, almost seven hours worth! We left Gallivare where we'd stayed in a cabin (essential for the heat and shelter), and drove north. Funnily enough, we had to cross over briefly into Finland for about an hour before crossing then into Norway. No checks at either border, naturally, just a bump in the road and a few signs informing of local rules (eg lights on in daytime).

    Alta is a medium sized town of about 10,000 people, one of the furthest north in the entire world. This is as far north as we'll get too - we considered heading the extra 120km to Nordkapp (North Cape) and the northern-most point in Europe, but decided it wasn't worth the extra 3 hours of driving.

    Found ourselves a decent campground and took a cabin - small but reasonably priced. The cabins without bathrooms tend to be quite cheap - I think we're paying about 25 euros per night. Didn't do much in the evening other than quickly visit the supermarket for supplies, and a brief drive around the town. Some nice views from the port area!

    The scenery picked up almost immediately after we left Sweden and Finland - both are quite flat and heavily forested, whereas Norway is extremely rugged and mountainous.
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  • Day479

    Today we got cracking on the reason we'd come to Alta in the first place - World Heritage sites. Alta is actually home to one and a bit sites! First up we went for the "bit", which is part of the Struve Geodetic Arc. It's literally just a survey point on top of a hill, but it was part of an important scientific project in the 19th century to determine the exact size and shape of the earth.

    There's a line of 34 points stretching from the tip of Norway all the way south to Ukraine and the Black Sea (almost 3000km distant!), and a Russian astronomer took 40 years to triangulate his way between them. At the end he figured out the exact angle of compression at the poles, and that the circumference of the equator was about 3.4 million metres. Incredibly, the task was redone in the 90s with satellites and computers and he was only off by about 200 metres.

    The trig point was at the top of a hill which seemed to be a popular hiking spot, so we set off with all the Norwegians in their hiking gear. It was about an hour and ten to the top, though we would've gone quicker without Schnitzel! Poor little guy was uncomfortable for part of it, and later had an explosion of diarrhea, thankfully not on the path (or in the car!!). But we made it up and back without much fuss.

    Next stop for the afternoon was the Alta museum, home to rock art from 5000BC - 0AD. I say rock art, it's almost entirely carvings, many painted red as usual, but they were quite detailed and interesting. The accompanying guide pamphlet was very in depth and we had a good walk around for a couple of hours.

    Tired, we headed back to our cabin where we had a nap then dinner then back to sleep!
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  • Day21

    Angekommen in Alta

    July 31 in Norway

    Heute morgen ging es 3. 45 los. Der Hund hat mich noch einmal freundlich angewedelt und los ging die Fahrt mit Gisela nach ffm. Leichter Stress- fahrrad Kiste musste desoeftern gedreht werden, sperrgutschalter nach nicht besetzt, mein Handgepäck wurde gefilzt-dann kam der Abschied.
    Über Oslo ging es nach alta. Und in Oslo war derselbe Stress mit der Kiste. Aber es war alles in alta angekommen. Nachdem ich mich noch versorgt habe, bin ich außerhalb von alta auf einem Campingplatz. Noch einmal Hand angelegt. Und ich goenne mir noch einen verdünnten wermuth. Das war es für heute und ich wünsche euch eine schöne NachtRead more

  • Day23

    Nordkap, Alta!

    June 5, 2017 in Norway

    Rudolph und seine Kumpels, die gestern nebenan eigezogen sind, haben sich anständig benommen und unsere Nahrungsvorräte vor der Tür unangetastet gelassen.

    Es ist fast sommerliches Klima - 4 Grad und windstill. Ich gehe im T-Shirt zum Rauchen vor die Tür. Der Wetterbericht korrigiert seine guten Prognosen derweil halbstündlich nach hinten. Der Zeitplan duldet aber keinen Aufschub - also los zum Kap.
    Kurz vorher am Eintrittshäuschen noch den 12-Stunden-Spartarif zu 17 statt 30 Euro ausgehandelt. "Sie können dann aber nicht in die Kapelle und den Film nicht schauen und..." Wollen wir alles nicht. Wir wollen nur ankommen. Außerdem trete ich gleich dem Nordkapclub bei und hab dann lebenslang freien Eintritt.

    Da hocken wir nun beim Kaffee und starren auf die berühmte Weltkugel im Nebel, in der Hoffnung, dass es aufklart. Tat es natürlich nicht. Einen kurzen Moment, in dem der Nebel weniger dicht war, nutzen wir, um das obligatorische Foto zu machen.
    Perfektes Timing - denn kurz darauf spucken 5 Reisebusse die beliebten Kreuzfahrttouristen aus.

    Das Nordkap wird als Europas nördlichster (Festland)Punkt beworben. Alles Lüge. Erstens liegt es nicht auf dem Festland, sondern auf der Insel Magerøya. Zweitens ist -zumindest politisch gesehen- auf Grönland der nördlichste Punkt Europas. Selbst auf der Insel ist das Nordkap nicht der nördlichste Punkt, sondern der "Knivskjellodden" - eine Landzunge, die mit einem 7 Kilometer-Marsch über Stock und Stein erreicht werden kann. Das muss aber leider wegen des meterhohen Schnees auf ein anderes Mal verschoben werden. Auf jeden Fall gibt es dort keine Kreuzfahrer.

    Wir verlassen nun die Insel durch den knapp 7 Kilometer langen Tunnel, der an seiner tiefsten Stelle rund 200 Meter und dem Meeresspiegel liegt. Entlang der Küste des Porsangerfjordes über das Breidals- und Laudunfjell eleben wir auf nur 400 Metern Höhe ein Winterwonderland. Kurz danach erreichen wir das Tagesziel Alta.

    Nach den Strapazen und Entbehrungen der letzten Tage lassen wir es uns heute mal richtig gut gehen. Lecker Essen (Mario Fisch, ich unsere ehemaligen Nachbarn) und Trinken (Mario Rotwein, ich Bier) muss auch mal wieder sein. Bis zur Rechnung schaffen wir es auch ganz gut auszublenden, dass wir in Norwegen sind. Zum Abschluss des Tages lasse ich mich noch von einem Massagesessel durchwalken - ich muss das Teil irgendwie nach Hause transportieren!
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  • Day9

    Heute heißt es einmal einfach nur entspannen! 👍 gut dass es in der hütte warm ist.
    Aber einmal sind wir doch kurz zum Tanken nach Alta gefahren. Leider haben wir die Öffnungszeiten der Nordlichtkathedrale um 7 minuten versäumt. Aber sie ist auch von außen beeindruckend. Vom Inneren haben wir von Hannes ein Foto bekommen!

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Alta

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