Friday 25 July - Sunday 27 July
Goddag from Kautokeino, Norway - the secret capital of the Sami. Just had an interesting lunch…reindeer soup. It's a thin stew with reindeer meat and potatoes, onions, carrot and stock. It was surprisingly yummy, but then I love stews and am no vegetarian either. It's actually called bidos, which is usually served at celebrations. The family that owns the campsite are awfully friendly, especially the girl at the kiosk. What surprises me is that the Norwegians here seem to hardly speak English (with the exception of this girl). Yesterday a man came by to chat about my car, which had sort of put a spell on him because he kept walking around it and mumbling in (I think) Norwegian. Problem was that he didn't speak a word of English. Somehow I managed to explain to him the trip I had made thus far and he managed to say or rather, gesture that he was in love with the Mini. And so ended our conversation.
I have been a bit lazy today. Drove up to the tourist office where I found some leaflets but the desk unoccupied. So, I had to find my own way around this town which is not very hard, because there is nothing there, and whatever is there, seems to be closed because it is a Sunday. Not to worry though, I am now sitting out in the sun, have a bottle of white being chilled as I write and am now updating you, my loyal reader, on my not so very exciting time here in Kautokeino. Two things are worth mentioning though. Went for a walk yesterday up a hill not to far off from my caravan, and ended up at a church and churchyard. Later I read that this church is one of the churches with the most churchgoers in all of Norway. It was rebuilt in 1958 as it was one of the many building that got destroyed during the war. This place underlines my complete ignorance to history at times. I had absolutely no idea that Scandinavia was so badly affected during the second world war. Nor did I know that Chernobyl affected large parts of the Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian forests, and you can still see the after effects o the trees today.
The second thing worth mentioning is a place called Juhls' Silvergallery which this year is celebrating its 50th anniversary. It's a very interesting place. Frank and Regine Juhls started out 50 years ago at building a very unique place where they could work as silversmiths. Most of the jewellery is based on traditional Sami jewellery (actually Frank started out as a repair smith of old jewellery before he started designing his own work) and his wife designs most of the work based on the seasonal changes. I had to really hold back buying something but I figured one can only wear so much.
Next stop will probably be Karasjok or Alta, depending on whether I want to make a detour to the east of Norway or head straight for the North Cape. See what happens when I wake up tomorrow….