Things don’t always fall out according to plan.
Last summer, our grand plan was to tour northern Norway in Ralf, the yellow Caravelle, in search of hidden trail gems. We had to cancel that plan because of Martin’s mysterious illness. I wasn’t all too disappointed with staying put in Troms. We found more gems in our backyard than we had time to pick up.
This year, our grand plan was to drive through the land of the midnight sun (preferably in massive amounts of that midnight sun) and unravel unpolished diamonds in our (sort of) brand new silver gray VW Sharan, Roland.
We got as far as Abisko-Kiruna before that plan was very efficiently cancelled. The Abisko-Kiruna trip wasn’t originally part of our grand plan. It was just something that we had to do because of a very long story:
Norway does not only have stunningly beautiful fjords and weather wet beyond belief, Norway also has a set of import laws that was written by a (wo)man with an extremely stiff upper lip. Dear old Ralfie boy was bought for 20k SEK in Sweden (he has rolled around for nearly 400 k km). To drive Ralf in Norway legally for an extended time, we would have to pay over 80 k NOK. So Ralf had to go home.
Easy enough you may think. Well, perhaps if you’re a well-planned and orderly person. That’s not us. We lost some of the necessary documents in the move, and then Martin’s electronic ID stopped working and to get the necessary documents for Ralf we needed that ID, and so we had to start our vacation with a trip to Sweden to get a new ID. Yes, that is just like us… What’s not in your head will give you pain in your ass.
So we went to Kiruna in hunt for new identification in electronic ink in our new Norwegian car, Roland.
The trip was a great success! Not only did we get identification, we also got to do a grand tour of Kiruna, shop vegetables, beer and cheese for something less than a month salary, and we even managed to get a small tour up to Trollsjön (Goblin lake) in Kärkevagge (Rock valley).
But then Roland decided to drink up all his juice (a.k.a., coolant and oil) and tell everybody to fuck off. We just barely managed to get home by constantly stopping and feeding our cranky car with fluids. Well home in Tromsø, the mechanics declared Roland to be a dead duck.
So instead of covering miles and miles on the road in the sun, we have wandered around in the rain, and covered our backyard with our footprints.
I would be lying if I didn’t admit to being slightly frustrated at times. Although I’m not a lying-on-the-beach type of person, I do enjoy feeling the warmth from the sun on my skin from time to time. But although rainy days tend to make you wet right down and beyond your underwear..
..it also lets you enjoy an enormous amount of non-existing grip, and thereby very good practice of mud, root, and rock skids.
And even though I do dream of exploring Lofoten, Efjord and Nordkap, our backyard is not just like any other backyard.
This is Tromsø after all. And every now and then, the sun has actually honored us with a visit. We have celebrated accordingly: with epic misery travels and beer.
But both of those things deserve blog posts on there own. Until then, enjoy the rain!