Crossing into the Lappi (Lapland) region of Finland from Norway on the E8 still deep within the Arctic you notice an immediate change in landscape. Suddenly the roads straighten out and all around you is an endless snowy plateau interspersed with forests and frozen lakes. There is also substantially more snow here than in Norway. Passing Sami reindeer herders and the odd snowmobile there is little life out here, It is the frozen tundra of the last great European wilderness.
The aim of our Scandinavian section was to reach the Arctic Circle and drive on up to 71 degrees north to Nordkapp. The North Cape is the most northerly point in Europe (accessible by vehicle; there is another headland to the west you can walk to, but not ideal in winter). Here you are deep into Arctic territory and population densities of the towns drop off significantly. (more…)