by Stan & Sally Hannath

Reindeer, mosquitoes and five countries

Cape2Cape4Kids - Blog Entry 2

Blog 2: Reindeer, mosquitoes and five countries

It's been one week and a bit since we left Germany in our travelling home! The pictures on the vehicle have attracted interest and positive comment.

As we were driving out of Germany a young Norwegian guy at the traffic lights recognised our Cape Town number plate and was fascinated by our proposed journey. He said he would email his Grandmother who lived in Hammerfest, which is very near to Nordkapp. It was lovely to have that sort of spontaneous interaction with a local.

We have really enjoyed traveling through Sweden. It's a very picturesque country with lush green countryside contrasted with the quaint white and red houses. Many of the homes in the country have moss, grass and weeds growing on their roofs.

We spent the summer solstice with a Swedish friend who we had met in South Africa just before we left. It was lovely to be in a Swedish home. While we were indulging in our "braai", a roe deer came to feed in their garden.

From there we drove to Stockholm, which is a very beautiful city – impressive buildings and lots of waterways.

We so happened to be near the Royal Palace when they had "the changing of the guard".

In Oslo we walked through Frogner Park and saw the Vigeland open-air exhibition of his sculptures, which were amazing!

As we made our way towards Nordkaap we crossed the border between the three countries on numerous occasions.  There were no border checks but the signage sometimes became more difficult to understand!

I thought Swedish was quite tricky to learn but Finnish is even more so. Sometimes Sami language is included as well.

We have had many interesting encounters with reindeer! I was so excited to see them for the first time. However their road sense is limited. One dodges pigs and cows in the Transkei, elephants in Botswana,  and reindeer in Norway!

The ubiquitous mosquito has really compromised our comfort. They are persistent, silent and determined. One is totally unaware of them biting you until about six hours later when the itch is interminable. The Norwegian mosquitoes also have the unusual ability of flying straight into your eyes!

The midsummer light is spectacular. To be able to read in bed without a head torch at 11.30pm at night is awesome.

The road to Nordkapp is long but a most worthwhile experience, with bring blue water and tiny fishing villages.

So to date we have travelled 4000km and been through five countries. We think we need to slow down a bit and relax more. We will linger a bit more if the weather improves because the rain keeps us moving!

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