Voyages > Europe > Norway > Nordkapp with rooftop tent 2022 – part 1
Nordkapp with rooftop tent 2022 – part 1

Nordkapp with rooftop tent 2022 – part 1

The Nordkapp – idea

Back to December 2021, we were already thinking about where to go on holiday. Anyway, like every year during this period. This requires budget planning. At the time, it wasn’t clear whether it would be possible to go anywhere. Agnes had missed the reindeer. A northern destination seemed reasonably likely, despite the threat of a pandemic. We also considered the Baltic countries (Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia), islands in Estonia, as well as Ukraine and Moldova. Kazakhstan came off the table. Unfortunately.

Our thoughts regarding the trip to Ukraine revolved around the Leopolis rally. Also the planned and postponed (you know why) SAAB event organized by the Ukrainian Saab Family. Apart from that, we simply wanted to see the main cities..

Normally we would be planning a holiday trip in December, and here nothing was known.

We wanted to be independent of hotels, guest houses and other places that might close down. This is where the idea for the roof tent on the Niva came from. We sat down to draw different routes with different levels of probability.

We thought about borrowing a large tent. However, it turned out that borrowing one is not that easy. So we decided to buy our own. And you can easily find the rest of our considerations here.

To go to Nordkapp, the trip needs to be divided into the following stages:

  • Lithuania -> Latvia -> Estonia;
  • Finland -> Norway;
  • Nordkapp itself

In a nutshell:

  • Lithuania + Latvia + Estonia: you will always find something interesting, even though they are not big countries, but they have a lot of sights and interesting museums. It’s easy to come back here, so it’s worth choosing two attractions to lock in two transport days.
  • Finland: lots of interesting places: culture and sights, nature. Harder to get to, worth using, but worth remembering that the main destination is at the top of the map.
  • From Rovaniemi upwards, it starts to get more and more lunar. Here it is already worth combining what to see, as it will be harder to return.
  • Norway; special sights and natural attractions, so if you are not going to Lofoten afterwards, you should plan your time well. Keep in mind that Alta is on the way, and further on, Honningsvag.
  • Nordkapp itself plus the surrounding area.

From such pieces you can assemble various options for your trip, depending on your time, budget and interests.

We were Saab 9-3X in the summer, but then Nordkapp was the highlight of a larger tour of Scandinavia.
We were 9-5 NG in winter, it was a fun challenge and was accompanied by other emotions.

This year, with the off-road rooftop tent, we want to round off the tourist experience and refresh what we haven’t seen yet. The rooftop tent is uncharted territory for us. The fact that we want to sleep outside campsites is adding to the excitement.

As this is another visit to these areas, it becomes mandatory to visit friends. It is nice to have the ease of making contacts. A conversation showing different points of view is something very interesting.

Before the trip

The cool thing was that we had taken the ‘accommodation’ cost item out of the budget, as we have our own rooftop tent. However, as we were planning to leave on Friday after work and Lithuania was the destination, we decided not to fool around and booked into a two-star hotel.

To plan the route sensibly, we consciously planned places to sleep in the wild, looked on Street View, read reviews etc.

We timed it well because some of the money we saved will be consumed by the increase in fuel prices. In the model in which we calculated the cash for fuel, a litre was going to cost 6PLN. And so it went from 4900 to 6300.

When going in the summer we do not take jackets, overalls etc. The summer version is simpler clothing-wise. A good fleece and a rain cape will take care of a mountain of clothing. We are able to pack into the boot of the Niva without stuffing things inside. We plan to have contact with civilization, so we take 8 sets of clothes each, for 8 days. To have more space, we have a box in place of the spare wheel, in which we have spare parts and a touring cooker.

We have consciously skipped some of the victuals because we plan to eat local things on site. This comes from experience. That is, in Lithuania are cepelinai, and then other good things.

The charging of the electronics will be done from the car, and the things that are not charged on the USB – they will be plugged into the inverter. We are taking advantage of the fact that we have a new alternator, more powerful than the serial ones.

Sleeping bags go in the tent, so they don’t take up any space in the car

We have stocked up on tourist showers, but also on dry cleaning products. The subject of sleeping in the wild is new to us. Hence, we want to be ready for all circumstances.

Day 0 – from Warsaw to Marijampole.

The biggest success was that we were packed 2 days in advance. When the tall car is kept in an outside garage, and all the stuff has to be taken there (no mode: it’s me popping out to the garage for 5 minutes and carrying it), it motivates, gives discipline so and helps. We started packing on Sunday and finished on Wednesday, including vacuuming the car. The most exciting part was the search for the missing registration certificate, which got stuck to other documents. 30 minutes on adrenaline.

On autopilot, we drove through Poland and a part of Lithuania, to Marijampole.

W drodze na Nordkapp

Day 1 – from Marijampole to Tallinn.

From Marijampole we shot off to Kaunas. We had 4 reasons to go there.

Firstly Cepelins, secondly Lithuanian cold beet soup, thirdly fried bread. The main attraction was the previous owner of the Porsche. As expected, we talked to him for twice as long as we had planned. Anyway, the previous time we also talked to him a lot. Geopolitics, pandemics, taxes, life in one country, in another, just the usual conversation 🙂 Greetings Arunas.

And then – the direction of Tallinn, not looking at anything on the way, only with a dinner break in Latvia.

While still at home, we prepared our filling for the scrambled eggs (fried onions and sausage), stopped at a picturesque spot on the shore of the Baltic Sea, made scrambled eggs, and at the end of eating, we noticed a woman dressed as Eve splashing in the water.

We originally planned to take the ferry in the morning, but the price difference was quite significant, so we decided to take the afternoon ferry.

We had originally planned to arrive outside Tallinn at 10pm, at the campsite, but decided to set up on the seafront, close to the harbour, as the arrival time had moved to after midnight.

We drove to the headland. We passed the harbour coast, the shipyard and finally arrived at the car park. It looked a bit scary, an almost empty car park, but there were clean toilets with paper. One of the cars had a rooftop tent set up, which reassured us that we could pitch up here too.

Only in the morning did it become apparent that this was a very attractive recreational area, with benches, exercise stations, a fire pit, a shower, a toilet with a porcelain throne, etc.

Day 2 – From Tallinn to Somewhere in Finland

Meanwhile, at 6 a.m., a Russian-speaking citizen decided to announce his presence by being very loud in the neighbourhood. A compatriot in rather firm words motivated him to calm down. We were able to sleep on.

Once we woke up for good, we found we were in a rather crowded car park, in the car next to us someone was already awake, in the car on the other side a son and his father were just rolling up camp.

The beach in the sunshine was very nice, with benches and changing rooms. The water was salty, wet and with algae.

There were Germans in the roof tent who came to compliment our tent.

The next step was to stock up on groceries. It turned out that there was no UHT milk, and we were unable to keep the car at 2 to 6 degrees Celsius.

We drove to the ferry queue. Interestingly, the 2.3 metres height qualified us for the bus category, so we had to wait until all the passenger cars had entered.

After 2.5 hours of rocking on the ferry, the Niva had to be topped up with coolant because it started to heat up more than usual. After adding 0.5l, everything returned to normal. Russian car, half a litre, such a joke, ha ha, ha.

10 July was warmer in Finland than in Estonia.

In Finland, we looked at potential places to stay overnight. As there were no, there are no toilets in the car parks, there are fewer tables and benches. We are talking about the main roads to the north.

No change, service stations are self-service but are upgraded with contactless payments (no need to run with plastic as in France as late as January 2022)

From the diary of travellers with a roof tent. It is noisier, so you need to think about a spoiler for the front to cover the space between the roof and the tent. It is a good idea to have water in bottles to brush your teeth, or at least a cup or plate in all conditions. We operate on 2 bottles of 1.5l for 4 people. Driving in July, towards the white nights, it is nevertheless worth having a torch, as it will come in handy at the beginning. We become skilled at folding and unfolding the tent.

We had a place planned to stay for the night, but we found out on site that there were only bushes. It was impossible to report this to, so we had to deal with it ourselves. Instead, we used park4night. 3 minutes later, we had a nice spot hunted, but about half an hour’s drive away. A very factual post by a Brit from 2 months ago reassured us of our choice

On site – an empty square, a shed with table and benches at the side, a toilet with shower and hot water at a reasonable distance. Conclusion: it’s worth adding reviews and photos (but not necessarily just of your camper van) on sites like park4night or the Camping Group to do a good deed for the community.

Something resembling a sunset, just before midnight.

1:30 a.m., dawn is breaking, then it was just getting brighter and brighter.

To be continued.

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