Bus Journey From Skaidi to UIT Alta

The journey from Skaidi to Alta was the last leg of our 3-day field trip. Our bus arrived at Skaidi at about 15:00 after our visit to Stabbursdalen national park and the visitor center. Skaidi is a town in the municipality of Kvalsund which has a population of approximately 1,100.  The travel from Skaidi to Alta is at a distance of 84km which takes about 1.5 hours by bus.

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Ellen giving us a briefing about our next visit

Skaidi -where the sea meets river and mountain

On arriving at Skaidi, we bid goodbye to Ellen who was primarily responsible for organising a memorable field trip and gave her a round of hurrah. We took the opportunity to stretch our legs and quickly commenced our bus ride back to Alta on highway E6.
The bus journey traverses through the beautiful Kvalsund municipality which boast of its pristine nature. Kvalsund municipality has been rightly quoted as “where the sea meets River Mountain”; most parts of our journey was along with the clam flowing Repparfjordelva River which flows up north.  The river is an important feature for the population living in the region as it is home to some of the best salmon in Norway. Repparfjordelva is also host to outdoor activities like kayaking, fishing etc and during winter it is a perfect spot for ice fishing.

Vast flat land with mountain range in the background.






Spectacular change in topography

The spectacular landscape that we witnessed on this is part of the journey was a treat to the eyes. It was interesting to see the change in topographical features from land covered with midget birch trees to a near barren rugged landscape with only a few shrubs and dried wild grass.  On either side of the road, though it was rugged land, we noticed small range of mountains at far distances which were again completely bare surface lacking any life. As the landscape was flat it was easy to spot small reindeer herds running away in the opposite direction of human transport. It was fascinating to see patches of small bodies’ lakes/ water catchments which I presume are a source of water to the native wildlife.
As we neared Rafsbotn and leaving Kvalsund municipality behind, we immediately noticed the change in the landscape. The autumn colours of birch trees were visible again. It was like; there is new life in the surrounding. The bare landscape was being replaced by thick vegetation on either side. It trees were greener, there were vast patches of farmlands and few sections of fenced sheep farm.  It was indeed very intriguing to witness the change in topography within a short distance.

Travelling along the Altafjorden

Driving along the calmly flowing Repparfjordelva River

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Closer to Alta, the road drove us along the Altafjorden which was again a splendid view.  With increase in human habitation and the road traffic, we knew our journey was coming to end, leaving behind amazing nature that we had the pleasure of witnessing. The Altajorden was lit by dusk sky colour as we saw the clam waves falling on the banks of the fjord.

Ending our journey at the UIT, we disembarked from the bus, gathered our belonging and as suggested by Britt, we all gave each other a warm hug. The Golden route of sampi excursion had left all of us with deep thoughts and great memories to cherish for life long.

The Trolls at Trollholmsund

The Trolls at Trollholmsund is a geological phenomenon, with an interesting saga behind it.

On our Golden route of Sápmi one of the stops we had was traveling to Indre Billefjord to visit a special landmark, the trolls at Trollholmsund. The Bus ride to Indre Billefjord was filled with gorgeous scenery and the beautiful colours of autumn. It wasn’t a long trip from our previous stop we had in Lakselv. The journey brought us on just a dirt road for the last couple of kilometres and we drove past old houses in a little fishing community. It really takes you away from the stressful life that can come from big cities.

Once we arrived at the destination, we gathered up our fishing rods and equipment and headed out for the landmark. we had to walk for 10 minutes through grass fields, sheep, cows, cow dung’s and hills. It was a nice easy hike with a beautiful scenery of the rocky area we were visiting.

After 10 minutes of walking we were greeted by a few numbers of rock sticking up from the rocky ground like pillars in the horizon. It was a very peculiar view as we didn’t know what we were expecting or that something this special could be located just behind someone’s farm.

On the way to the rocks there was also this information table with information about how to behave around the rocks and the lore surrounding the “trolls”. They don’t want people to run and climb on the pillars, overtime they will become worn down.
The old Sámi legends about the trolls tells a story about a group of trolls on their way across the Finnmark plateau, carrying large chests filled with silver. They stopped to drink and sucked water out of the earth, and from then on, the water has come from another spring, Ráigeája “The hole spring”. The trolls continued the journey, but the people did not like this, they followed the trolls with boats firing at them with cannons. The trolls tried to get away over the Porsanger fjord but was surprised by the high tide when they got to Trollholmsund. The trolls came up with a plan on how to get away but before the trolls could execute their plan the sun rose, and they all turned to stone.

Trollholmsund is an area that consist of limestone which was formed approximately 700 million years ago. The stones apparently got their shape during the ice age when the soft stone that was covering the limestone got worn down.

We stayed for an hour at trollholmsund, trying out our fishing luck and managing to catch 4 tiny fishes which we released back into the ocean. People really admired and were taking a lot of photos of the troll stones. We also found several pieces of crabs and other sea creatures that had washed up on the shore.

On our way back to the bus we could spot seals and whales swimming around just next to the shoreline. It was a nice trip and cool experience.

Information Table with the Troll saga (Petter Skorpen Tronstad
Map of the Troll Journey and surrounding area (Petter Skorpen Tronstad)
The Troll Stones (Petter Skorpen Tronstad)
Fishing at Trollholmsund (Petter Skorpen Tronstad)
First catch (TongTong)
Closer look on the rocks (Petter Skorpen Tronstad)

The road-trip to Skaidi

The bus ride from Stabbursnes to Skaidi passes through two municipalities namely Kvalsund and Porsanger. At this time of year, autumn colours add vibrance to the landscape around the road.

By Harsh Barala

Sunshine on a clear day adds to the beauty of nature in the area. Autumn leaves shine like radiant gold when the rays of the sun fall on them. Take a hand out of the window and you feel the cold air, indicating the onset of winter. Spending time in this place makes me in consonance with nature. It is a very effective medication against day to day stress and induces a deep meditative state of calmness.

I see a high potential in the area to develop nature-based tourism, but this area/attraction isn’t enough to attract tourists to choose this place solely based on this one factor (no wow factor/unlike the northern lights). It can surely be added to the list of attractions/experiences.

To add a bit about the demographics, economics and other statistics of the region I would give details about the two municipalities. The municipality of Porasanger has about 4000 inhabitants out of which about 2200 live in Lakselv, the capital town. The municipality is net negative in economic terms, and it is expected to see a decline in population over the next decade or two. The municipality of Kvalsund has about 1000 inhabitants. The municipality is surprisingly net positive in economic terms and is also expected to see a decline in population over the next decade or two.

By Harsh Barala


Porsanger is the 3rd largest municipality by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway.

With effect from 1st of January 2020, under the municipal reforms approved by the parliament of Norway in June 2017, the municipalities of Hammerfest and Kvalsund will be merged forming a new municipality of Hammerfest. This is done to improve resilience, disaster/impact response capability, reduce costs and streamline the administrative and other governmental processes. This decision was backdropped by an assessment done to identify the vulnerability of a community to disaster/mishap/calamity and then the ability to get back up (resilience assessment) known as the Risk and Vulnerability Analysis (ROS).

Municipalities around Norway were graded on a scale of 0 to 6 for the inherent risks/vulnerability to calamities in the region as well as their readiness to effectively respond/prevent the risk from causing any loss/damage. Kvalsund (1.6/6) and Porsanger/Porsángu/Porsanki (2.4/6) scored very low on the analysis.

Although the road doesn’t pass through it, yet an interesting fact is that the Kvalsund bridge was completed in 1977 and is the world’s northernmost suspension bridge.

The main sources of income/industries in the region are fisheries, military installations (the military airbase in Banak, salmon rivers. Tourism is on the rise and on the rise is industrial mining for copper.

Something that caught my attention was that a few months ago, the Norwegian authorities granted mining rights to a company called Nussir to extract copper from underneath a mountain plateau in the municipality of Kvalsund which was unwelcomed by the Sami people, local fishermen and environmental organisations. The chairperson of the mining company had assured that the mining will cause minimal impact and there have been strict regulations when it comes to the operations and procedures involved during the mining process (for example mining shall be strictly disallowed during the reindeer calving season in order not to disturb the reindeer and their natural habitat/life-cycle).

On 20th September, Norway’s first Sami language center in Lakselv, Porsanger turns 25 years old.

By Harsh Barala

The region is quite similar to Lapland, Finland when it comes to the type of tourism that is growing but lacks behind Lapland in terms of market penetration and popularity/visibility. The stories here are told by nature if someone is willing to listen. Therefore, it is not for everyone and hence we find our target audience. I see tremendous tourism development opportunities here. A systematic plan has to be drawn up and an institution exclusively dedicated to market penetration and visibility/promotions in the international market has to be established (similar to that done by Rovaniemi, Kemi and other tourist destinations in Lapland).

VLOG: The Golden Route Of Sápmi

Fieldtrip through Kautokeino, Karasjok and Lakselv. This is an example of how you can travel to explore, and learn more about Finnmark and the Samí people. Read more on our blog to learn about the different adventures you can do along the Golden Route Of Sápmi.



Unexpected cultural sight can be found far North Norway! If nowadays we might think about the remote area of Finnmark, imagine how it was 7000 hundred years ago! Probably not so different… According to with the figures that can be seen carved on the rocks, nature was and still is part of the human culture. Unesco´s World Heritage is present everywhere and this might be one of the reasons why Alta Museum is one of the main attractions in this place

General facts about rock carvings:

Rock carving is a term for prehistoric images, carved, cut or ground into rocks and mountains. They can be found in loose boulders and on solid mountains. It is often carved into open places, but tone can also find it in caves.

They often have motives from hunting or farming, and there are thousands of pictures about people, animals, boats or other objects. It is believed that they had a magical meaning and it’s said that the higher the stones are placed, the older the rock carvings are.

Visitor experience to Alta museum

The World Heritage Rock Art Alta museum is one of the “must thing to do”on your visit to Alta. Located at of one of the far end of Alta Fjord, the visitors are treated with a phenomenal view of the fjord.
On arriving at the museum we were greeted by their friendly and polite staff. Our guide for the day was Ali who had gathered us outside on the deck which was overlooking the fjord. Our group was briefed about the tour of the magnificent rock carving we would soon be guided to. The briefing was mostly focused on the does and don’t while walking to the rocks carving and the fragility of the historic rocks. It was a pleasure of having being guided by Ali who had presented herself professionally and patiently answered all our curious questions. Having a knowledgeable guide like Ali had enchased our experience to Alta museum.

Walking along the wooden track which is provided for protecting the rock arts, gave us the experience of connecting with the lush green natural surrounding.

We stopped at the “Little Rock” first – one of the oldest rock art in Alta.  Some of the carvings had at one point in modern times been painted for better visibility. This practice is debated because it “compromises the conditions of authenticity.” I appreciate that, though it’s also easy to see what it is and why it was done – it can be hard to see the carvings without the outlines.

My favorite carving might be the whale’s image because  people used natural ripples in the rock as water:

Thanks for good tour guided by Alta Museum so that we can know more about the rock arts and showed us many nice puzzles about lifestyle of the Stone Age’s citizens.


The Journey troughout the Sami Museum

The Sami culture is still unknown for most people, and who would have thought that it would be possible for a Sami capital to exist, where the main language is not Norwegian, but Northern Sami (one of the many languages spoken by Sami people). Karasjok is the home of many Sami and, as a capital, it hosts a parliament, a museum and a Sami camping park.

As soon as we entered the museum, in the main entrance, we came across a few books concerning the Sami culture. Not only the books enlightened us about this matter, but also the art exhibition about the mankind in general, including paintings regarding thoughts, routines, activities and places.

Lara Lima © 2019 Art Exhibition

Throughout the visit to the museum, we got more familiarized with the Sami way of living and dressing, as well as with their believes, traditions and superstitions. We also got to know that Sami people not only live in Norway, but also in 3 other countries, Finland, Sweden and Russia.

Lara Lima © 2019
Map that shows the destribuition of Sami population

The group learned that Sami are praised for their handicraft skills, such as boats, clothes and cooking/eating tools, which are often made with birch. This is a big part of their culture. Another element that represents this culture is the Sami knife, that we got to see all over the museum. This knife is used for every task in their daily basis, such as cutting wood. This tool, that was once made of slate, has gradually changed, and is now made of iron and steel.
The knife handle, on the other hand, is made of burls, horn, bark and birch.

Elise Maal © 2019

Now turning our attention to the Sami clothing… Even before entering the museum and knowing few about Sami clothes, we just need to walk around Karasjok to realize that there´s a typical way of clothing, quite different from what we are used to. The way of dressing is also a major part of their culture and something that may surprise the tourists. The traditional clothes change from country to county and from area to area, for instance, a Sami from Norway won´t dress in the same way as a Sami from Finland and it can go beyond that, since it can also change between regions, even if it´s located in the same country.
The rough climate conditions in the north, obliges the clothing to be made of fur and skin and for this material preparations, a variety of tools are needed.

Lara Lima © 2019

When talking about Sami culture, people who are not part of this group, associate it with hunting, fishing, the reindeer and the lavvu. Of course this is  also part of the culture, but with this trip to the museum, we got to see and discover that it´s so much more than that, it´s the connection with nature that makes the Sami culture what it is.

Lara Lima © 2019

The museum, besides showing what the Sami culture is really based on, its also surrounding by beautiful nature that makes us feel like we are part of it somehow.

Lara Lima © 2019


Cávzo Safari in Kautokeino

After an hour in the bus from Alta we arrived Máze, in Kautokeino which is Norway´s biggest municipality in areal. Actually a quarter of Denmark´s Area.

Johán Áilu and his son John welcomed us at Máze. Both in the gákti of Kautokeino, made by the wife of Johán and mother of John. They introduced the history about Máze. Talked about the history of the village, and how the government almost ruined it when they wanted to demolish the entire village as a part of the hydropower development at the 1970´s. That was the first time the Sami-people demonstrated against the Norwegian government, and won. This event marked the beginning of the process of formation of Sami parliament in Norway.

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Henriette Næss Ebbesen © 2019
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This church spire would have been 2 meters under water if the demolish were successful. Nguyễn Linh Chi © 2019

Johán brought us on a typically riverboat for the Sami people. As they say: “The world’s longest riverboats”. He drove us to the first church witch was build in Kautokeino.

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Nguyễn Linh Chi © 2019
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Henriette Næss Ebbesen © 2019
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The fence shows how big the first church in Kautokeino was. They are now rebuilding the church. Henriette Næss Ebbesen © 2019
Henriette Næss Ebbesen © 2019

Beyond Máze, and it´s history, we also got to learn about the Sami reindeer herder family. Their tradition, strong culture and also you get the chance to joik with the family.  They brought us in their lavvu(Sami tepee) where there was reindeer skin on the ground witch we could sit on, around an crackling fire with coffee on a kettle hanging over.

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Henriette Næss Ebbesen © 2019

We were served the traditional food “Bidos”, a stew the Sami normally serve at weddings and special occasions. It consists of cooked reindeer meat, carrots, potatoes, mustard, onions, and salt and pepper. Johán told us, “The more reindeers you have, more meat you use in the stew. It was, and still is, a way of showing your wealth.

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And for dessert we got spiced caked called “Máze cake” with cloudberry cream on the side.    Henriette Næss Ebbesen © 2019


This adventure really teaches you about the real life of Sami People, and how they were and still are fighting for the Sami culture. It´s something out of the ordinary.

At their homepage, www.sautso.no, you can read more about them, and all of the adventures you can participate on.