|Private open Sami hut|
|Campsite close to the North Cape Tunnel|
Again I had spent a much more comfortable night in my tent than expected. But I had to get up very early for my next endeavour in the North Cape tunnel: Many people were afraid of it and took the bus through it or hitchhiked. To avoid the traffic I decided to go through it very early in the morning - and I must admit that I was a bit nervous.
After another long road walk I was finally approaching the famous North Cape and the end of my hike! But unfortunately the wind had even gotten worse. No one was out on the platform under the famous globe when I arrived at the huge North Cape Complex. At least as a pedestrian I did not have to pay the entrance fee. To my big surprise a couple of cyclists were hanging out there and I wondered how they had managed to get here in the wind when even I as a hiker had been struggling. It turned out they were on e-bikes and of course they were Germans, too! I quickly recruited them to take my finish picture.
People always ask me how I feel at the end of such a long hike. Honestly, I don't feel very sad or happy or elated or depressed. My goal in hiking is the route and not reaching the end of a trail. What I felt was relief. Relief to have reached the North Cape without any weather catastrophy or other major problem. The day before Dagmar who had hosted me a couple of weeks earlier had sent me a text message: "My Sami colleague has told me that the reindeer are becoming more and more nervous now. Therefore Sami people think that the weather will turn very soon and winter will set in quickly. Hurry up!" The next day I had reached the North Cape - probably just in time. From now on I could read the weather forecast without having to worry. What a relief!
At the North CapeI had not only reached the end of my Northern European traverse but I had also completed my big European hiking project. I have now traversed Europe both from East to West and from South to North, a total of 15,700 kilometres through 16 countries. To my best knowledge I am the first person ever to have hiked across Europe in both directions. That makes me proud - and thinking of the next big project!