yes "we made it to Nordkapp":D and i guess we were some of the northernmost tent campers on the continent...a few kms away from Nordkapp... not that we planned to put up a tent there, but so it happened:) but about how we got there and what we did next, it's all below:

we left from Iasi, Romania on a Tuesday, the 12th of August.."we" are Malina, Teo and Magda... almost left Iasi in an Atlassib bus when we discovered we have one passport less...we managed to temporarily restore the number of required passports..i say "temporarily" because it didn't last the whole 3 week trip... but about this later;)

we got to Goteborg, Sweden on the 14th of August, after bus-ing for 2 days, 2 nights and 2 hrs... long break at the Hungarian border... they made a big fuss there about 2 half-Pakis and a Turkish guy, but after an hour and a half everyone went on... in Austria they stopped the bus on a highway and checked everyone's papers again looking on their laptops in their data base too... when they got to the Turkish guy they said "interdiction" so we went on one less in that bus... draw your own conclusions...

slideshow Goteborg
in Goteborg we decided to find Liseberg Camping... a decision which cost us a lot... including the "mandatory" Scandinavian camping card it was about 18 euros per person... for Our tent... least we had access to great shower rooms:D and met new interesting people which provided some beer and we provided a walk by foot downtown and back... Phil, an Englishman about 50, who has been traveling for the last 2 yrs, taught Western Culture in China at a previous stop and had some souvenirs from there: his 2$ flying tent:)) and a delightful student card very helpful for traveling cheap... reality is what one makes it;) so that's one thing we learnt... we became students hoping we are not asked to prove it with student cards... and it worked when it did:) Alex, Spanish, 26, was playing the "hang" from town to town covering his traveling expenses... beautiful strategy... social worker on a regular day... unfortunately we missed his little concert the next morning (but we had ran into a concert of a local band in a park that evening)


2nd day in Goteborg, we met Magda's sis Lili near the railway station... we took off to Trollhattan by train, we expected to see some waterfall, instead we left our backpacks in a park, not really well hidden, still no one bothered about them, and we climbed along the river side and admired some old ruins... on our way back we got thirsty and found out the water dripping from cliffs is totally recommendable, otherwise we wouldn't be telling the story of our 3 week trip... not recommended by local passers by though (one lady who saw us tried hard to hide her embarrassment regarding our non-embarrassment:)) )
slideshow Goteborg Trollhattan
back to train, destination Oslo this time... best journey by train on this trip... followed by the most "colourful" trip from Oslo to Stavanger (Norway also) ... we were new in this interrailing protocol, we knew we needed reservations for night trains... the lady at the info desk in Oslo station said there are no seats available, but winked and said we should talk to the conductor nevertheless... this is how we got the luggage room, all for ourselves and some bicycles:)) we had camping equipment anyways, so we sort of camped on the train and it was certainly lots of fun...
slideshow train2Oslo then Stavanger
next morning, Stavanger... beautiful harbour town, we changed the original plans which included some fjord sight-seeing with a ferry which had left too early... and we got by ferry and bus to Preikestolen - The Pulpit Stone, a few hours on mountain paths, lots of turists of all nations, great view over the fjord from above...
slideshow Preikestolen
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back to Stavanger we find out that evenings and mornings are not alike... maybe we should add it was on a Friday... the streets were filled with very "friendly" in a way people, most of them holding a bottle or two in their hands, cause one can only buy booze till 9 pm as we found out... so it was too late for us to "get in the mood" when we found out there were no trains going anywhere, no information desk open all weekend... we found a bus which was going "somewhere", not really where we wanted to go, but we felt like a step ahead is a step ahead, so we took it anyways... then i guess we were lucky to have met Lise, a 19 yrs old girl who was going home from work in the same bus... which recommended we should stop and camp in Haugesund... she made some phonecalls, asked the people at the camping to let us in even if we were to arrive at 1 am (arriving late is a big problem in Norway) and gave us precise info about how we were to get there... which we did... but Lise, sorry, if you're reading this, we appreciated the help but thought that we should try some free camping as we had 2 weeks ahead of staying in Norway and the prices there had already blown us away... so the 4 of us put up the tent not far from the camping, near some houses... we woke up at 6 am in the morning cause we heard some voices…we thought maybe we've upset some locals by putting our tent there, but no, 4 guys who had a trailer parked close got very friendly offering us beer and a wide range of energizers including morning gymnastics:))... but they were quite polite, so although we turned them down, we took our time to see the obelisk of Harold Fair Hair which was a few meters away from where we had camped...the obelisk was built in 1872 to commemorate a battle won 1000 yrs ago which set in train the unification of Norway...Krosshaug is a much older 3 meter high stone cross at the same site, possibly raised around yr 1000 to commemorate the death in England of Harald Fairhair's son, Erik Bloodaxe...the cross broke in the winter of 1846 and is now held together with iron braces…..this is a piece of old norwegian history just a few meters away from where we had camped..so much for our Viking flavour
slideshow Haugesund
we found out that our attempts of hitch-hiking were at most returning smiles from Norwegian drivers:-?? ah! saving bus! to Leirwik, then Bergen, student discount included, which was great for our expenses because we were low on NOK coz u can't expect to exchange money during weekends or in the evening... but i guess most people wouldn't travel without an international credit card, we probably wouldn't do it again either:)

in Bergen the funicular took us up on a mountain, Floynbannen, where we put the tent near a lake... we had an appetite for free camping now:)) ... and if some Russians there could put up a fire in the woods we could certainly put up a tent... once that problem was taken care of we went down the path to town... hmmm...screaming for some beer! which can make people turn their heads:)) ... so a guy did and asked "Romanians?" in Romanian of course, so quickly we know what he was doing there and we tell him what we're doing there... and as he was pleasantly surprised about it, he offered to show us the town where he works... and thats how we finally get to drink some beer in Bergen:D... first round on a terrace near a building that had burnt the day before, close to the fish market... the second in a bar... thanks Calin:) and then we walked along the streets, saw lakes and cats and admired the graceful Norwegian windows and whatever else we had eyes for...in front of ZachariasBryggen one guy was playing guitar and stirred some street dancing in an old country fashion way...a few very young French experts showed us how it's done;) by 1 am the tent welcomed us back...
slideshow Bergen
next morning there was a ferry to catch, down from Bergen (remember our tent up the mountain:|), leaving at the unmerciful time of 8 am :| we were late all the way down but we were on time by the finish of it... there's no other way to explain it anyways, how we caught it is still a mystery, and punctuality is often understood as an enthusiasm to leave earlier in Nordic countries... feeling really lucky we enjoy a lot sliding along the Sogne og fjordane.. gorgeous fjord sight-seeing till Flam... great sun swimming in incredible greenish water, rainbows out of vapors and light, mountains proud to show their waterfall jewelries...
slideshow Flam Myrdal
and if we had thought the wonderful display of Norwegian nature was done for the day we would have been wrong... from Flam to Myrdal we took a scenic train, which means audio guide, stops for pics, and all for a reason: great sceneries:)... the train stopped for people to see a waterfall , hear a phantomatic lady of the water singing from a ruined castle and enter the world of norse legends where people’s minds and souls are swept inside... and i don't think the ticket was very expensive:))

Myrdal proves to be just a station, so we ate and lazed around... and we took a train to Oslo, all roads go to Oslo, but we never get to see more than the station:)) so we can't really add it to our European capital collection, but now that we have an appetite for capitals we're retrospectively curious to see more:) but anyways this is not a blog about about what we haven't done, but about what we have done:))... and we wouldn't want anyone to think in that direction, so back to facts...

night train from Oslo to Dombas… Dombas, 4 am, Lili remains on the train going to Trondheim which she visits by herself and flies from Oslo to London cause duty calls… so Dombas, 4 am, we get off and wave good byes, in the back a bus leaves to Andalsnes…which was also our next destination, but we were in no hurry this time;)…and we’re glad things turned out that way cause the Dombas station proved to be a very good place to sleep, had a cozy waiting room and nice toilets which trust me, you get to really appreciate when you travel for 3 weeks like we did… so with the sleep we managed to get on the train plus in the waiting room we get a full beauty sleep:D… we get to Andalsnes by train in the afternoon… another corner of Norwegian heaven… we leave our backpacks on a bench one of the n-th times and walk around… then we get back to Dombas to take a train to Trondheim… we see Trondheim by night, go straight to the Kings Cathedral and Arhibishop’s Palace (Nidaros), gather some peace from the surrounding old cemetery.. then we leave to Fauske by train…
slideshow Andalsnes Trondheim
next day we get to Narvik, as we were reaching North the good weather was left behind… so no pick-nick there out in the open, but on a bench in a mall… then we go to find a place to camp, we decide near the gondola track, everything seemed fine except that there was rock covered by a few cms of ground, tough to thrust the nails of the tent but it proved to be enough… next day at noon we go down to the bus station… oh, there are no trains up north and most bus companies don’t give discounts for having an Interrail pass… but if you meet some nice bus driver and ask for a student ticket there’s a chance you might get one;) … we get to Alta by bus late at night, the town seems to be quite agitated although it was only Thursday… we walk a lot to find some privacy for our tent, eventually we put it near a parking lot… next morning it was still raining when we packed and moved to the bus station to go to Honingsvag… maybe we should add here that in the Alta bus stop we met an young and nice Italian guy who was traveling by himself and who was coming back from Nordkapp… and that he said there was not much to see at Nordkapp, and that the real northern point on the continent is not Nordkapp, but good news, it’s a few hrs walk from Nordkapp… now we had some homework done but not that much homework:)) for the weather it was already tough to support our trip mood, we didn’t make any new plans about going or not to the “real nordkapp” but it was in the air, the anticipation of the unbearable thought of almost having gotten to the northernmost point on the continent…almost…hmmm…
slideshow Narvik
in Alta Teo decides to stay in the bus station while Malina and Magda go to the Alta museum about 35 kms away… by bus to make sure we get there, and back on foot to mark another tension moment, another thin line between getting there on time or not:D… Alta museum has saami culture pieces and ancient rock carvings made about 10.000 yrs ago…
slideshow Alta
Honningsvag was supposed to be a 2 hrs stop between buses from Alta and to Nordkapp… but as it was practically written in Norwegian that we’re waiting in the wrong station for the Nordkapp bus, we came to understand that as the hours passed and no bus came… plus at 1 am there was a bus to Rovaniemi, Finland that we wanted to take from Nordkapp…arrrgh…we knew plans have changed, we just didn’t know what they were … 3 kms to get out of Honingsvag… oh, a sign that says 33 kms more to Nordkapp:D… I guess we didn’t really expect the Norwegian drivers to stop and give us a ride to Nordkapp:)) we kept on moving, fascinated by the twilightish night that looked like a sunrise or sunset… we did't mind the wind, we didn't mind the heavy backpacks with our 3 week life in them… and so we moved about other 15 kms… to our surprise, a car stopped and took us about 4 kms... the car driver was the bus driver we had missed and he told us his wife was Russian… this is important for our conclusion the next day;)... by 2.30 am we thought of putting up the tent as we’re out of the swamps near an arctic lake and some remote norse cabins…who was living there?....the thought tormented us till the sleep conquered our painful bones completely…
slideshow Honningsvag and to Nordkapp
in the morning we wake up to worse weather, we ask the tent to please stay with us a few more days and not fly away:|)… we get on the highway and walk about only 2 kms and luck smiles at us… in the form of a very handsome Estonian driver in a trailer packed with friends and luggage, but what can we say, it takes some Eastern blood to have a heart:P well, not that it was anybody’s fault that we were making it so tough on us:|) but still, though Norway seems aware of the amount of tourists that come there, it’s a continuous hide’n’seek game to get the information you need as a tourist to move on… oh, and by the way, it’s time to pay our respects to their internet sites for tourists which will provide a lot more adrenaline than you expect IF you expect them to be somehow related to practical realities:|
slideshow Estonian ride
so we were at the foggy gates of Nordkapp:D finally:D to our disappointment, the Estonians didn’t seem to like very much the sign that said that entering Nordkapp requires 200 NOK per person… so they let us step down, we took some pics and they unfolded a map to see where the real Nordkapp is and save their image;) the Nordkapp entrance looks like a regular customs point…4 cabins across the end of the highway… with our backpacks on our backs of course and with a firm step we entered Nordkapp:) noone bothered to ask us pay:)) we had like maybe more good luck and more bad luck squeezed into these 3 weeks than in any regular 3 week period…

Nordkapp is like a big Mall with a big parking lot, which sort of makes sense, it would be weird to pay 200 NOK per person and not find a place to park your car:)) following the same reasoning, it would be weird to get to that “Mall” and dream of a hot cup of tea but instead to have to stand outside in the rain and wind till 11 am when they open… and weird it was:))… at 11 am sharp with a white shirt and impeccable smile a guy opened with a “welcome” that would have been welcoming if the situation was any different… anyways, we get inside, decide for hot coffee, we call families and friends and try to seem enthusiastic about having got there… which we were, but we didn’t expect this protocol and a luxury mall with restaurants, coffee shops, cinema...lets say we would have preferred a warm wood chalet, like the ones we have on our mountains peaks, the ones we got to associate to some sort of a prize at the end of the road… as the day was still young and we wanted to take the bus from there to Rovaniemi at 1 am, we thought that now that we had a place to leave our luggage, we also have the time to find that real Nordkapp which would look so much better on our CVs:) which means we went by foot 9 kms back on the highway and then another 9 kms on rocks.. along the shore of the North Sea it got tougher as it was raining and rocks were slippery..and when there were no rocks there were swamps... and we expected the journey to end as soon as we got to the shore, but surprise, it went on for another hour... there we found a marking that said we've reached the northernmost point of Europe which appears on maps as Knivskjellodden :D and we were totally delighted to see there was a box with a notebook where we wrote our names for posterity:D of course we took some pictures and that was when we noticed we were wearing the colours of the Romanian flag:)) and it's also funny that during communism the 23rd of August was Romania's day and then there were long marches to mark it, and we had a long march alright:)) 36 kms if we dont include the about 2 in the morning before the Estonian ride...
slideshow Nordkapp

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we got back to North Cape by 10 pm... we washed, changed, relaxed over a beer or tea... we were tired but t
ruly happy this time, we loved Norway, but we felt like our mission there was accomplished and we were anxious to move on to Finland:D... we were dreaming about sleeping in the bus all the way to Rovaniemi:D... after all the chilly nights in tent one can start to dream about sleeping in a bus:)) so we checked again with the info desk there, just a mere precaution, to make sure that bus is coming, smiling to that lady and saying "Norway is full of surprises, that's why we ask:D" but we had no resources really for any new surprises:D..and she smiled back and said yes the bus leaves 1 am:D so we enjoyed beer and tea and the warmth of that familiar place (now that we were there for the 2nd time that day..and oh, we didn't pay to enter the 2nd time either;) ) then the lady looked for us in the coffee shop and told us there is no bus tonight:D that the season was over and the last bus was on 23rd but at 1 am and there is no bus on the 24th 1 am:D and we, more than tired and melt think "of course:D, it just couldn't be that easy:D we're not here for easy:D" ... like we were in a dream and it was not actually happening:D there was some incipient panic, but we were too worn out for that:D we just wanted to get out of there...and oh, we had little NOK left coz it made no sense to have more as we were leaving Norway:D... so all 3 of us go to the souvenir shop downstairs and pay a lot for souvenirs coz although that huge mall had no exchange desk, we could pay in euros and get the change in NOK... wonderful:|... we take the only bus left, 00.15 am to Honningsvag... we asked for one last desperate helpful hand to that lady and inquired about buses leaving from Honningsvag to Finland the next day... and she gave us one more messy helpful hand:D we checked the buses timetable with the driver who took us to Honningsvag and found out there was just one at 3 pm to Karasjiok which was still Norway, but close to the Finnish border in the heart of the saami land... that driver helped us a lot... we asked him if he knew a place where we could sleep, some motel or something in Honningsvag coz after all the effort we had the bed mirage in mind... he drove us back to the Guest House where a bed was 250 NOK.. now we had enough NOK and as we didn't pay to enter Nordkapp we thought to just use that money better... there another surprise "Please don't Knock after 10pm. No check in after 10pm"... still we knocked and we tried both phone numbers on the door with no luck... we expected people who lived there to have some respect for those who travel all the way to see "their Nordkapp"... to act like they were proud of it... if not proud, at least to be human and think it's not pleasant to be at the end of the continent on a moody night and find doors that won't open... and especially the doors that were meant to open for this poor no-luck travelers:|... again, we were too tired to express our anger although oh we were quite mad... so we went near the fjord and put up the tent few meters from the water, and we slept like babies although again there was no ground but stone to thrust the nails, we knew nature can only make it as hard on us as it has to, but that people can really make it a lot harder... oh, well...

so we slept and ate in the morning and then slept some more... we got that refreshing sleep we wanted and needed after all... before leaving we inspected the shore a little, there were some deserted walls... and found a big leather couch on the shore:)) the bed we have been dreaming about, just a few meters from where we have been dreaming:))
slideshow Honningsvag after Nordkapp
and we got on the bus to Karasjiok at 3pm... Karasjiok is a saami town, we bought some french fries, bread and milk and ate like our life depended on it:)) well this trip certainly depended on it... we put the tent near the highway among trees.. we can say saami is an interesting language, quite pleasant to hear even if the ones we were hearing were drunkards trying to find their way home:))but a tent is a home in saami tradition, so we didn't bother and managed to get some sleep... in the morning we had a coffee at Rica Hotel and quickly visited the Saami Park Museum and bought souvenirs... then we took the bus to Rovaniemi, unpleasant driver this time who almost left 2 of us at some stop although he knew we were rushing back... a schedule is a schedule, he would have said if he spoke English:P
slideshow Karasjiok
in Rovaniemi we try to leave our luggage in a locker at the station and finally succeed, we want to visit Santa Claus's town but as there was no trace of Santa Claus we listen to our bellies and enter a supermarket... which is where we discover Malina's wallet was gone... puffff! now that was panic and anger!!! we go to the police to report it, it had lots of money and all her papers:|... the policemen were real gents and drove us back to the station so that we could catch our train to Helsinki...we were heading towards Helsinki anyways so we didn't need to change plans to adapt to the new conditions... there at the Embassy of Romania we had to deal with the regular protocol... 35 Euros for Identification request which would have been done in 7 days... we got shivers just thinking it can happen to someone traveling alone who loses all papers and money and is being asked to pay for forms accommodation 7 days in Helsinki:|... once we had the great idea of getting copies of those lost papers by email and fax, we managed to get directly to the "next level" which presumed 50 euros for Traveling Title and 12 euros for photos... so we didnt see much of Helsinki that day but we certainly know the way to the Romanian Embassy:)) food proved to be a lot cheaper than in Norway, at least there was a great thing about being in Finland although Santa Claus really tricked us this year:)) well how did u think he gets the money for all the presents in December?
slideshow Helskinki
from Helsinki to Stockholm we went by ferry... we had 50% discount for the Interrail pass... a comfort discount:))... it was a huge ferry in a Titanic manner, even for a hotel it would have been huge and it had free tax shops and bars and discos... and great cozy rooms... we were directed to the "sleeping room" on the 8th floor and we liked the sound of it:) but laughed when we got there, it was one big empty room with a carpet on the floor and 5 plastic chairs:)) and as it wasn't enough, an American came in and bored us a lot... we could remember his name if we really tried but i guess it's already one of those memories you hide really well for certain reasons:)) he was acting as if he had monopoly over our company and we became a bit stressed out... he was rude to anyone else who was trying to settle in that room so we nicely managed to sneak on the deck... we were so happy about our new found, maybe temporary, freedom that we were climbing the edge of the deck, delighted by the sunset, taking pictures of all 3 of us using the auto shot function of the camera... which drove some attention and men were offering to take our pic with our cam although we didn't feel in any need:P but well... the American being too fresh in our memory we were keeping some distance, not looking forward to any unwanted company... with all precautions taken, Mark, a German living in New York shot some photographs of us and in half an hour we were complaining to him about the American:)) he was a very pleasant company, probably sent to set the balance, we talked late on the deck and made a visual tour of the discos on the 7th floor, which were 3 with different genders of music at some distance from one another, the 7th floor seemed so huge! Ia is another friend we've made on the deck, a lovely finnish girl, we took a pic with her before we left
slideshow Helsinki to Stockholm ferry
in the morning we got off in Stockholm... some very well intended people mislead us, neither them nor us knew what train station we were looking for... when we finally found the right one we left our luggage and had a sunny Stockholm tour:) marked with home made icecream yummy! we walked on streets filled with people to catch the atmosphere of the city, entered some shops, took pics of course.. nothing much in our heads about which was what from what we saw, one thing we know for sure is that we saw the building where they have the annual Nobel prize reception...
slideshow Stockholm
we had a windy breakfast in Malmo harbour (after spending the night in the train compartment for animals (and owners) with 3 old parrots who were stressed out about changing their Swedish names for Danish ones as the new owners felt it was mandatory as respectability:))... we took the train to Helsingborg, then got to Helsingor aka Elsinore,t he majestic castle of Hamlet in Shakespeare’s wellknown tragedy...the sound of seagulls and the smell of late summer hay...Tolkien oaks shadowed our backpacks while we were enjoying getting bitten by baby swans:))and later soaking our very tired feet in the Kategat waters:)...
slideshow Malmo Helsingor
leaving the fairy tale behind we got by train to Copenhagen , to bike world and Tivoli park , only to intermeddle Danish life on a ordinary day

slideshow Copenhaga
next stop Amsterdam...on the train, but going to Germany we met a cute 25 yrs old Japanese girl , Yuki, who was traveling across Europe all by herself for a week... so the prize for most courageous tourist goes to her by far:)) (not that we had any intention to keep the prize to ourselves..err...maybe a little... of course she wasn't tent camping) and we felt glad that we work in Romania and not in Japan and we can take 3 week vacations, coz in Japan you can take 5 days in the summer and 2 in the winter, otherwise you get fired:|..so Amsterdam.. we managed to get out of the train station in about one hour and a half:| it was because of the luggage locker protocol, you can't use cash only credit card or a Chipcard you buy after waiting in a long queue and you pay 12 euros for 10 euros so we bought 2 Chipcards...paying 24 Euros for 11 Euros luggage....tough to like Amsterdam at a first glance (we thought then):P in spite of the premises, Amsterdam is the capital we loved the most after all:)one place that felt like we just have to return:)... it was a relaxing tour (probably induced by the smell of weed everywhere:)) ).. it's precise geometry due to its canals didn't prove to be boring at all, we loved to watch the people on the streets or public squares, entered a fantasy world shop, found the red light district which seemed poor for making anyone's fantasies come true:)) but still although we can't explain it we feel like the guy who was shouting on the train when we were reaching the station AM-STER-DAM! AM-STER-DAM! :)):D
slideshow Amsterdam
Prague was a tough task after Amsterdam... this chronological capital tour can raise some problems:)) but it was not hard to like Prague after all and not at all:) we were unfettered at shopping, we all had money to spend due to Livia, our friend from Bruxelles who bailed us out from a distance after Santa Claus pulled his trick...we crossed the colourful Karlovy var bridge over the Vltava river...gorgeous Hradcany borough then and amazing Prague castle in night lights plus an amazing overview of Prague by day and night to keep in our minds forever... we had a bit of everything: things to see, things to buy, terraces to drink and places to visit...
slideshow Prague
last on our tour was Vienna... maybe we would have been more impressed if we were not so traveled:P the best part was running more or less into 3 festivals: a family festival where they were promoting food and drink brands by giving samples to passers by:)... a film festival where we caught some good chairs cause it was daytime and projections were made in the evening:) and some sort of a field or crop festival where we ate delicious cheese next to the last dark beer on our tour and listened to a band playing live:)
slideshow Vienna


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all that being said and done, we had some more adrenaline at the Romanian border just because they can make more fuss although we had papers and stamps:| in Arad, Romania, finally... we found out that your rights as interrailers were well known everywhere in Europe but in Romania where we bought the ticket you can't expect a discount, although it's written in Romanian then u should get one when coming back from the border to your home town:D well, again, easy was not for us but we were fighting all the battles we were to lose just to know we tried:-?? for those who asked why did we have to come back :)) we post some pictures of an incredible sunset shot from the train in Romania...with the fog and all at Nordkapp, some would say it's like pity prize but we'll call it a welcome back prize:))

and for your amusement we have the "videos by mistake" section, when we were trying to take pics but cam was on video... like some backstage "the making of" :)

slideshow_Dolhasca sky
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