To Northern Norway – August 2017

Sunday, August 6th, 2017 – Scandic hotel, Honningsvag to Hotel Gildetun

Distance travelled 361 km

Scandic hotels are not cheap, but they do offer a truly fine breakfast. Not surprisingly, we both took full advantage of the wonderful array of dishes on offer,

It was not raining, but it was dull and rather cloudy. Lucie packed up the Harley and we set off south again.

We were both looking forward to having the first day of our trip that was not a hardcore test of stamina and endurance. It was quite cold and the wind was blowing. We agreed it was the coldest part of the trip so far. The landscape around the road slowly changed back from tundra to forest and then, as we came to the mountains, back to tundra again. It was a bit bleak and foreboding, but it was eerily beautiful. For the second time, we met a reindeer on the road. It only confirmed again what the Loony says, that reindeer is basically pretty stupid. They stand in the road until you force them to dodge out of the way.

We stopped periodically for coffee and smoking breaks. At one stop we met a troll. I am not sure which of these it is !


The main point of the program that day was a trip back to Alta and a visit to the geoglyphic museum. Pictures have recently been discovered engraved into the rocks by the coast. A large number of rocks in quite a big area are covered with them. The carvings were all made between 7000 and 2000 years ago. There are depictions of animals, people, ships and fish. Reindeer breeding or a kind of celebration and, perhaps, a comet’s arrival are also there. What, exactly, they all mean is a subject of numerous conjectures. It is quite an experience to be there and to see them. Scratched onto bare rock, they had passed unnoticed for centuries. Since being rediscovered, many have been outlined in red (which it is believed was how they once were) which makes them plain to see.

Lucie has a theory of why they carved it there. She thinks it was like on a blackboard at school to explain to children how things were done and what happened. I do not know what UNESCO would say to this theory, but the geoglyphs are on its World Heritage list and are well worth seeing.

After visiting the museum and the necessary refreshments we found that our hotel, which we had booked the day before, was only 61 km away. So we would have only a short ride. We anticipated the pleasure that, this time, there would be leisurely dinner and plenty of time for planning, showering and other stuff afterwards.

Yet again, we met a reindeer. Cars had slowed in both directions and were trying to bypass the animal. We even stopped and took quite a good picture.

I often mention Lady Fate. We expected to arrive, at the latest, at six o’clock. She saw to it that we arrived at half past eight.

Either Google maps somehow miscalculated it or perhaps the human factor entered the equation. Anyway, it was twice as far as we thought it would be ! If you are ever looking for the Hotel Gildetun, it is situated on the top of a bluff. The bluff is at the very apex of a hill, on the main E6 about 130 km south of Alta.

The hotel was basic, but warm and comfortable in rural style with a grass roof.

The view from our window seemed very familiar. Later we realised, as I said earlier, that we had stopped below the bluff on our trip north to take a picture.

Naturally, as soon as we arrived, they told us that the kitchen was closing in half an hour so we had to hurry. We were lucky though, we both had salmon, which was delicious and about a triple portion of what we were used to. We ate everything they presented to us, including desserts.

We made our plans for the following day, booked a hotel in Tromso, (another Scandic because of the breakfast). Then we went outside and took our “midnight“ picture.

I have mentioned the view already. I honestly believe we had one of the most wonderful vistas from our window that I have ever seen.

Tipping in Norway

We always research this and, needless to say, in three articles we learned three different versions. Only one article claimed that tipping is a habit and is 10-20%. It was probably written by some Norwegian taxi driver.

The other two articles both said that people have such high guaranteed salaries that they are not dependent on tipping. One of them stated that it it not necessary at all. Both agreed that tips are given only when you are REALLY satisfied,

All sources agreed, however, on “how” it is done. The first time, we paid by card according to the instructions and, unlike the payment at home, they wrote the full, billed, amount into the terminal for confirmation. This is the moment when you can round up and write a higher amount. When paying in cash, it is as normal. You can just say a rounded up amount if you want to.