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15 July 2008


When we arrived at Alta it was a big anti climax. The town was totally lacking in character or anything of interest. It location on the wrong side of a small hill meant you couldn't even get to see the midnight sun properly, as we were later to discover, without a long walk. Luckily we didn't have to travel far to find something that more than made up for this. A short taxi ride out of town took us to the Alta Open Air Museum. It was late in the day but with 24 hours of sunlight most businesses try and make the most of the summer with long opening hours. It also meant that all the coach parties that would normally be filling the place during the day had left and the place was almost empty. The museum was set up around an extremely extensive series of prehistoric rock carvings that had been dated as being created between 4,500BC and 500BC. These rock carvings had been chipped out of the flat stones that littered the place after the ice retreated during the end of the last ice age. They show every day life, herding reindeer and elk, fishing and hunting bears.
The location of the museum itself was also as interesting as the artefacts. It was at the edge of the fiord and had spectacular views in all directions. As we walked around we are serenaded by the sounds of wading birds calling and everywhere we looked there were beautiful wild flowers of a sort I had never seen before. The place was totally idyllic.

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