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IN THE WINTER WITH THE VAN TO THE NORTH CAPE

IN THE WINTER WITH THE VAN TO THE NORTH CAPE

IN THE WINTER WITH THE VAN TO THE NORTH CAPE

GOD THIS IS SWEET, IS IT ALSO AVAILABLE IN A CAN?

When we leave Kolari, our destination is Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park. But since the whole national park is about 1,020 km², we decide to head for Särkijärvi.

We actually drove that day in broad daylight over the snowy country roads of Finland. I was at the wheel, Kathy in the passenger seat. My instructions were clear: “Kathy, when we see reindeer, drop everything! Take your cell phone and shoot what the shutter releases!”

We drove for about 20 minutes after that statement when there was a yell next to me. Something flew through the van and Kathy was sitting in her seat with her cell phone drawn. I hadn’t even really seen it in the distance. Our first reindeer! White, small, somewhat inconspicuous…but a real reindeer.

IN THE WINTER WITH THE VAN TO THE NORTH CAPE

When I was finally able to spot it, I quickly switched on the hazard lights and signaled to oncoming traffic. Completely unimpressed, it stood there in the middle of the road. While it was looking at us, Kathy and I simultaneously let out an “oh, that’s sweet”.

A few meters before the little thing, our van came to a halt. I heard the cell phone click to my right, again and again. Just as relaxed as it was standing on the road, it trotted on through the snow after a few minutes. We were thrilled and watched it disappear into the forest.

“Ähm, can I use the shower?”

IN THE WINTER WITH THE VAN TO THE NORTH CAPE

We turned into the road towards the national park. In fact, we were a little later than expected. It was already dawn when we drove a few kilometers on the side road and passed a parking lot. In a somewhat larger hut light burned and a few cars parked in front of it. While we drove past it, we thought about taking a quick look at what was in the cabin. So we turned around and lead back to the only hut in the middle of the national park in front of the cars parked.

No, this is not the hut, but the hut in front of the hut. We found this motif so beautiful that a picture had to be taken.

IN THE WINTER WITH THE VAN TO THE NORTH CAPE

Actually, you know this kind of stores from American, Canadian or Australian movies. People drive for hours through the outback and arrive at the only gas station for the next 1000 miles. A bearded man with a sweaty fine-rib undershirt and hillbilly haircut greets all newcomers rather unfriendly. And you will be surprised. The lady behind the counter wasn’t wearing a fine-rib undershirt, but the rest was relatively identical, even the one with the beard.

But since we were already there, we stayed. We ordered a coffee. The lady cashed up and tried to make clear to us with a few gestures that we could take as much coffee as we want. Already I liked the store with the somewhat special owner.

IN THE WINTER WITH THE VAN TO THE NORTH CAPE

She probably hadn’t expected that. Laptop out and Kaffeeflat until shortly before ejection exhausted. Well, it wasn’t quite that bad, but we decided to stay there for a while and use the internet a bit. We actually felt quite comfortable, even if the interior design was somehow getting used to. There were things hanging and standing everywhere that were for sale. And behind the counter there was a glass fronted refrigerator with some pieces of meat for sale.

AND THEN THERE IS JUST A SHOWER

Kathy went to check out the “bathroom” after a few sips of coffee and when she reappeared with a big grin on her face I knew she had found what she had been looking for for two days. She had been hoping for a shower all day and in a small bathroom in this store, there was a shower hose just hanging on the wall.

She excitedly went to the owner, who looked a bit puzzled when Kathy asked her about the shower. However, she looked irritated not because of the question, but because neither Kathy nor the owner could speak English properly and the lady behind the counter had no clue what the crazy girl wanted from her.

Kathy put on her friendliest smile, took the owner to the bathroom, and showed her with her hands and feet what she would like to have. No problem in Finland! Of course, Kathy was able to take a shower in the only restroom in the small store, which was nevertheless quite busy. That’s just how it works in the outback.

While a mother went to the bathroom with her two children, Kathy quickly dashed to the van and returned shortly after with a towel, new clothes and her shower bag. I’m glad she spared everyone present the bath slippers. When she was finally able to get into the bathroom it took about fifteen minutes for a really happy and satisfied person to join me at the table. I went to the bathroom afterwards and came back laughing.

The shower Kathy found was really just a shower hose on a small toilet with a urinal. Still, it was one of the highlights of the day for Kathy.

JUST ON THE STREET, NOW ALREADY IN THE CAN

We took another coffee and looked at what the store had to offer in terms of food. What we had photographed just before on the street was now available in different variations. Reindeer goulash, reindeer spread, reindeer salami, reindeer in cheese paste and all the meat in the fridge, reindeer.

Even though all the animal lovers, all the “oh that’s cute” sayers, vegans and vegetarians will now hate me for it, we treated ourselves to the full range. We bought everything with reindeer that you could eat in the van without cooking. And let me tell you, the reindeer salami was really the bomb, almost like the prices for the individual items.

Now that we had also compensated the owner with our turnover for the shower and made her smile a bit, it was time to leave. When we stepped outside the door it was, how could it be otherwise, dark and of course cold. Our walk in the Finnish National Park turned into a leisurely afternoon of coffee and writing another article for this blog.

Now that we had also compensated the owner with our turnover for the shower and made her smile a bit, it was time to leave. When we stepped outside the door it was, how could it be otherwise, dark and of course cold. Our walk in the Finnish National Park turned into a leisurely afternoon of coffee and writing another article for this blog.

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