Cycling Arctic Norway – Nordkapp (North Cape)

Finishing a cycling trip to the top of Norway is tough.

This is Europe’s most northerly paved road.

I didn’t do it. BUT Matthew did. 😀

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

About 200k tourists travel to Nordkapp (North Cape) each year.

The municipality is named after Nordkapp (North Cape), a 307-metre-high (1,007 ft) cliff that is commonly referred to as the northernmost point of Europe.

However, the true northernmost point of the European mainland is Cape Nordkinn (Kinnarodden), at 71° 08′ 02″ N, located about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the village of Mehamn on the Nordkinn Peninsula.

If Europe’s northernmost point is allowed to be on an island, then it still is not the North Cape. It would be Cape Fligely on Rudolf IslandFranz Josef Land in Russia, which is located much further north at 81° 48′ 24″ N.

If Franz Josef Land is not considered to be in Europe, then Europe’s northernmost point is the northern point of the island of Rossøya, an islet in Svalbard, north of Spitsbergen at 80° 49′ 44.41″ N.

Adventure Travel – WHY?

Part of “adventure” is an uncertain outcome.

And my first 3 weeks in Norway were certainly unexpected. I arrived far north of the Arctic Circle with no bicycle. No luggage. Both were stuck at Heathrow airport where I checked in with SAS (Scandinavian Airlines).

I could give up. Or make do with my carry-on.

WHY not simply go to an all-inclusive beach resort and start drinking at noon?

Here’s a good answer from Jedidiah Jenkins who cycled Oregon to the southern tip of South America.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Arctic Norway – Cycling Senja

I went to Senja inspired by this MattewNorway video.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

My original plan was to cycle the Senja National Tourist Road — the scenic and BEST parts shown in brown below. Sadly, summer 2022, the section marked RED below was closed due to construction of a new landslide superstructure.

I’d hoped that only motor vehicles were going to be blocked — BUT a Swiss cyclists told me he didn’t get through. The only folks who made it cycled at night and carried bikes around checkpoints.

THEREFORE I was forced to take the long way around. Less scenic. And a LOT more traffic.

Day 1 Tromsø to Sommarøy

Day 2 Sommarøy to Fjordgård (Segla)

Day 3 to Fjordgård to Finnestes

Day 4 Finnestes to Hamn

Day 5 Hamn towards Skaland ➙ QUIT 🤨

I caught the fast ferry back to Tromsø from Finnsenes. Fed up with rain and wind.

Disappointing — but I did climb Sengla, one of my highest priorities for this trip.

My best campsite (free) was in Sommarøy. A wooden platform with a wind break is ideal in Norway.

Disappointed in having to do a much longer trip hitting Finnestes twice, I decided to take an $80 room in this old house. And was glad I did. A nice break from cycling in the rain.

A friendly truck driver on a ferry tipped me off to this — a rare free hot shower in Norway. Actually, I had 2 free hot showers because I cycled through Botnhamm twice.

My final night I camped in a troll themed free campsite near Hamn. Weird. But a good spot.

Expecting the bad weather to improve, it got worse and worse. And worse.

I finally QUIT en route to Skaland which is the trailhead for one of the great hikes. After days of hard rain, that route would have been too muddy to enjoy. Also — no vista from the top.

Summing up ➙ I need to return to Senja once the scenic road is open again.

My rental bike was pretty good, actually. Perhaps I’ll BUY a used bike like this in Tromsø and ride it south as far as it will go. Next time.

STUCK in Tromsø, Norway

UPDATE Jan 11, 2023

 … over 5 months after SAS did not deliver all my luggage to Norway ➙ I finally was sent an airline voucher for CAD $940.  And I’m happily surprised I got anything.  

Scandinavian Airlines did EVERYTHING to pretend they hadn’t let my luggage sit untouched in Heathrow airport last summer — while I waited day-after-day in Tromsø, Norway.  Wanting to start my long cycling tour.  No reply to dozens of my attempts to contact them. 

After weeks I finally got the camping & cycling gear — but not the bike.  It was (finally) sent back to Canada. 

Scandinavian Airlines did EVERYTHING to ignore my compensation claim, as well.  Pretended I had not sent receipts, for example.  I had.  

Someone there finally got fed up of my pestering and reluctantly sent a voucher.

I’ll use it to get back to Tromsø, Norway this summer as it’s only valid until 2024-01-13.  And try to start my cycling trip again. 

_____ original post – August 12, 2022

Tromsø has the 3rd largest population (80k) north of the Arctic Circle anywhere (following Murmansk and Norilsk). 

At 69° it’s north of Reykjavík, for example.

350 kilometres (217 mi) north of the Arctic Circle.  The summer sun doesn’t set until July 27th.

On my only other trip to Norway I made it as far north as the Lofoten Islands, but not to Tromsø.

Strikingly scenic, it’s increasingly popular with tourists.

The Arctic Cathedral, built in 1965, is one memorable landmark.

I saw this Telephone booth converted into a FREE community library near the Cathedral. Brilliant.

I enjoyed wandering the streets, some bleak but interesting landscapes. And some ultramodern looking buildings.

With long, dark winters, libraries are popular here.

ME at my Bibliotek hangout. 😀

Historically, this was the furthest outpost of “Norweigans” in an area mainly populated by the Sámi.

Explorers like Roald Amundsen recruited their teams from here. Here’s a statue of Helmer Hanssen from nearby Andøya. (He’s unrelated to the Helly Hansen company, originally based out of Norway, purchased by retail chain Canadian Tire in 2009.)

I saw two memorials to Roald Amundsen, first to reach the South Pole and the North Pole. First to navigate the Northwest Passage.

Amundsen disappeared in June 1928 while flying on a rescue mission for the airship Italia in the Arctic. The search for his remains, which have not been found, was called off in September of that year.

It’s tempting to fly to Tromsø in winter. Very unique. The northern lights are visible most clear nights.

I stayed at the only hostel in town. About US $35 / night. They treated me well.

Click PLAY or see Tromso Activities Hostel on YouTube.

I flew to Tromsø to start south on a long cycling adventure. Sadly my bike and gear got stranded at Heathrow airport. I watched them unmoved for … weeks.

Waiting for my luggage. 😀

Surprisingly, there’s a botanical garden at the University here. Astonishing what they can grow in this climate with sunlight 24 hours / day.

After 2 weeks my gear bag finally arrived. But the bike remains in Heathrow as I post. 🤨

I’m finally heading south without it. By ferry and bus.

Cycling Arctic Norway – the Lyngen Alps

I went to cycle and hike the Lyngen Alps inspired by Matthew’s recommendation.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Starting in the tourist town Tromsø, I cycled out to stay 2 nights at Magic Mountain Lodge is in Lyngseidet.

It’s an excellent adventure hotel that also offers dorm beds for about $35 / night.

I’ll never forget their reindeer stew with lingonberries served me on night #2.

I cycled to enjoy the best views I could get of the Lyngen Alps. Finishing in Nord-Lenangen where I caught the fast ferry back to Tromsø late on a Sunday night.

Click PLAY or watch highlights of my 3 day adventure on YouTube.

Here are a few of the photos I captured.

Reindeer close to the Ferry terminal
Fast ferry back to Tromsø

Arrived Norway … 🤨

I wanted to start my planned Bikepacking trip through Norway and (possibly / hopefully) Faroe Islands and Iceland on July 22, 2022.

Surprisingly, I made it to Tromsø, way far north of the Arctic Circle? 😀

Barely. Heathrow was a disaster.

BUT my bike is still in London. Who knows how long it will take to get to remote Tromsø.

Meanwhile …

Lofoten islands.

Cycling the Camino de Santiago

There are many pilgrimage routes to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, the goal being the famous Cathedral.

About 10% arrive by bicycle.

Two of the most popular cycling routes are:

  • Porto, Portugal to Santiago
  • León, Spain to Santiago

I’d first tried to start in Porto — but couldn’t find a bike to rent on short notice.

In Santiago itself I found Cycling the Camino, a shop that pretty much NEVER runs out of rentals.

I took the train to León, picking up the rental there. They will deliver almost anywhere you want to start — charging additional shipping to mainland Spain (30€/bike), Portugal (37€/bike) and France (65€/bike).

The cost of the bike itself is around 30€/day.

Inexpensive, in my opinion. And WAY easier than flying your own bike.

I booked 7 days to make the 300+km return which I assumed would be EASY. I did make it in 6 days, finding the adventure more challenging than expected. I was on the bike about 6-7 hours each day.

My short video includes a LOT of drone footage as that’s the easiest way to show the landscape.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Compared with most long distance cycling routes, this one is very civilized. Regular folks have been walking it for over 1000 years. The infrastructure very well developed.

It’s very social with both walkers and cyclists meeting up each evening.

Folks of all ages and fitness levels are pilgrims on The Way.

Though no book, map or app is needed, I did carry a paper copy of the newest Cicerone guidebook.

Visiting León, Spain

I took the train to León where I’d be starting a week long cycling trip to Santiago de Compostela on the French Camino. A pilgrimage people have been doing for over 1000 years.

It’s very walkable, a small city with most of the attractions close together.

León’s Cathedral is one of the finest in Europe.

Panorama of Plaza de Regla and Leon Cathedral, Castile and Leon, Spain
Me and the cops.

My official start is this Cathedral. I’ll finish at the Cathedral in Santiago.

León is a great tourist town. I did a lot of cycling there testing the rental bike.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

My Dental Vacation in Portugal


I can smile again.

After 9 months with a missing upper tooth, I finally got the implant installed June 2022.

Can you tell which upper tooth was replaced?

I never want to get another implant. WAY too expensive. WAY too time consuming.

But I believe they did an excellent job. This tooth should see me out. 😀

I got implant dental surgery November 11th at 11am. #NotChicken

I’ll update this post with details on how it went.

Canadian dentists are WAY too expen$ive.

Nations around the world that cater to “dental tourists” include:

Not Portugal. BUT I wanted to travel to Portugal for hiking and cycling in November. Also, it’s one of the most vaccinated large nations in the world during a pandemic.

Of dentists in Lisbon I looked at online, most impressive was the Institute of Implantology.

Here’s their Dental Tourism page.

I booked a FREE assessment appointment on my birthday:

  • November 2 ~ free assessment
  • November 4 ~ cleaning and measurement for ‘flipper‘ (temporary replacement tooth)
  • November 11 ~ implant surgery and placement of the flipper
  • November 15 ~ final checkout

The last 4 days in Lisbon were in case of complications. And that allows time to adjust the flipper, if needed.

Happily I had no infection nor swelling. And the flipper looks pretty good. Can you tell which top front tooth is now removable?

In fact, I’m as good looking as ever. … Ladies? 😀

I’ll return to Lisbon in 4-6 months to have the permanent fake screwed in.

The Institute of Implantology is not cheap. Price everything included for me will be about CAD $5000 (US$4000, EUR3490). Here are some of the major costs:

  • €160 CT Scan
  • € 160 Extraction
  • € 890 Implant placement
  • € 650 Bone Graft
  • € 280 Flipper
  • € 695 Instillation of implant

The bone graft encourages regeneration of bone and increases the odds that the tooth will stay in my skull for life.

The Institute of Implantology is the second private hospital I’ve used. The other was Shouldice Hernia Hospital in Toronto. Both are excellent. I wish I was rich enough to use more private clinics.

My surgeon was Dr. Gonçalo Caramês. Trained in Los Angeles, he married another dentist. They planned to set up practice in Seattle but he opted instead to return to Portugal because of the pandemic.

The facility itself is impressive. Chic. Very modern technology.

Visiting Valencia, Spain

I’d never been to Spain’s 3rd largest city, so jumped on the chance to catch a cheap flight down to the sunny Mediterranean coast.

The historic centre is great.

But the highlight for me was walking and cycle the huge green space that runs through the city.

It was once the river Turia, drained and rerouted after a catastrophic flood in 1957. The old riverbed turned into a picturesque sunken park.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I did make it out to the beach.

But best was exploring the City of Arts and Sciences.

Click PLAY or watch highlights on YouTube.