I have never thought that one day I will cross a polar circle. It’s not that I have always loved sun and beach and I have never spent my holiday in a cold place. It was just SO far away! If you think about the Earth and they way the continents are placed you will see that European Nordic countries are really far to the North. While spending one of my summer holiday in Scandinavia I thought it might be a good idea to visit Narvik. I have considered it a mythical place full of happy people, beautiful landscape and good looking houses. Now, the truth is that Narvik and paradise are quite distant in terms of my expectations but let’s start with the train trip. You can go to Narvik by car but I thought this would be trivial (unless I would meet a moose or a reindeer crossing the road). Instead, I decided to take the train.
If you are fascinated with trains you probably know that the railway route between Kiruna in Sweden and Narvik in Norway is one of the highest train route in Europe. It takes about three hours to arrive to the final station. The route is truly spectacular, especially with nice weather. Looking out of the window brings you a real delight: you see mountains, lakes, forest, Swedish and Norwegian typical wooden houses and sometimes even wild animals. What is really special about this trip is that you experience a unique mix: you may touch the wilderness without loosing sense of security. While you are sitting in the coach- clean and cozy- and listen to the regular noise made by the train last wild land in Europe is passing before your eyes. The further you go the more beautiful it becomes. When you cross the Norwegian border you will see a real fjord. The train tracks seams to be suspended over the water and this view allows you to get wonderfully lost in pure beauty.
But getting to the point, Narvik was disappointing. It’s just an ordinary town with ordinary wooden houses and quite average people walking by. During my short stay in this town there was a beautiful weather so I can’t imagine how ugly it is with the mist or rain. One of the few nice things in this place is view from the highest parts of the city. If you are determined enough you could climb to the small parking in front of the local power station. From there you can see how big the fjord and how small the town are. One of the most disappointing things was a failed promise found in a touristic folder. It said that if you visit the water power station at certain time (I don’t remember whether it was noon or 13:00) you could see an artificial geyser. It should be a side effect of high pressure of water which normally generates electricity. Unfortunately when we climbed the hill running like fools to be there on time no geyser was seen.
And my the final “cherry on a cake” was a lousy coffee in the local cafe. Now, I really love good cafe but let’s make it clear: the only real cafe is drank in Italy, is prepared of 60 coffee beans and is delicious. The rest of the world instead of drinking cafe try to sell you a coffee: brown watery liquid with this terrible flavor So let me say this straight: I drank the worst coffee ever in Narvik. And worse for me: it was also the most expensive coffee EVER!