North cap 2021

Distance travelled



From Wrocław to Hamburg


15th and final stage from Wrocław (PL) to Hamburg (D), the starting point of our winter adventure through six countries in Northern and Eastern Europe on 26.12.2021. Start in Wrocław at 9:15 am at 0° C and sunshine. Arrived at the target location at 6 pm at +4° C. Today’s journey took about 2 hours longer than planned, once due to a traffic jam at the last petrol station before the German border. There were also several accidents on the Polish motorway. None of them serious, thank goodness. So we arrived in Hamburg again in the dark. This didn’t spoil any of the city’s charm, though. Quite the opposite, in fact, we had an absolutely fantastic time on the taxi sightseeing tour in the evening.
Finally, I would like to mention that we had an amazing adventure. The team spirit was outstanding, which made this trip possible in the first place. Every day, our Alfa Romeos were put to the test across the long distances and in the most hostile conditions, with temperatures in the double-digit minus range. We never had a single doubt about our machines, not even with diesel engines.
On behalf of, I would like to thank everybody who followed our stages at home. I hope the impressions you take away are as lasting as those of us who were experiencing it live. In any case, this was definitely a successful pilot project for our international group. We’re already planning our next joint adventure…

From Augustów to Wrocław


610 km almost entirely toll-free on ultra-modern motorways with a remarkable speed limit of 140 km/h (even if you add 30 to 40 km/h to your speedometer, the Poles don’t mind). So we really let our Alfa Romeos fly again and covered the distance in just 5 h 20 min. We started in Augustów at 9:00 am in sunny weather at -4° C, arriving at our target location at 2:20 pm at a mild +4° C, slightly cloudy. Of course, we couldn’t miss stopping for fuel at an Orlen petrol station. Once we arrived in Wrocław, we checked straight into a hotel slap bang in the city centre, then headed out on an extensive tour of the city, which has an unbelievable amount going for it. Until the 18th century, Silesia, where Wrocław – or Breslau, if you’re German – is located, was a much-sought-after area that belonged to the Habsburg family. That is until the Prussians (Frederick the Great) were able to wrest it from the hands of the Habsburg Empress Maria Theresa in 1745 and 1763 after a three-year war. Our adventure comes to an end tomorrow as we head back to Hamburg (D) after 15 eventful days.

From Riga to Augustów


After yesterday’s fantastic sightseeing tour in the Latvian capital of Riga, we have a relaxed agenda today. This leg of the journey is only more complicated because of the time, not the distance. The advantage is that we set the time back to Central European Time in Poland, which means we have an extra hour.
Today we started in Riga at 9:40 am local time at -3 °C. This morning, the Daugava, which flows through Riga, was covered in drift ice. The sky was blue and the sun was shining. Time for a bit of vitamin D again. We arrived in Augustów at 2:00 pm local time in cloudy weather, plus light snowfall, -1° C. The journey went as smoothly as ever: from Latvia through Lithuania to just behind the Polish border (approx. 50 km), mainly on B-roads and briefly, especially in Poland, on lovely motorways. Arrived in Augustów, took a few quick photos and moved on to the accommodation not far from Augustów, situated on a beautiful large lake. Room with a lake view.
Tomorrow is the penultimate stage to the Silesian capital, Wrocław (Breslau), before our adventure comes to an end the day after tomorrow in Hamburg (D).

From Tallinn to Riga


Approx. 310 km on various European roads, which are very well developed. These are B-roads for long-distance traffic, shorter sections of which are also two-lane. There was still a lot of snow in Estonia, but sadly not much in Latvia, probably due to a warm front that had recently passed through. Temperatures in Tallinn -3° C on departure at 9:45 am in Riga -2° C, arrival 2 pm (always local time, i.e. +1). Daylight has gradually been increasing a little more every day since Kuopio (FIN). It’s now from about 9 am to about 4 pm. The drive went really smoothly again, the Alfa Romeo runs and runs like clockwork over the daily stretches. Once we checked into the hotel, we headed out to do some sightseeing. Sadly, we have to say that you can’t compare Latvia with Estonia (Tallinn is an ultra-modern city, but even outside the city, Estonia appears to be a much more sophisticated place). Latvia seems relatively backward as if time has stood still here. Tomorrow we will continue to Augustów, a small town in Poland near the border with Lithuania.

From Helsinki to Tallinn


Stage 11 from Helsinki to Tallinn, capital of Estonia and UNESCO World Heritage Site (Old Town). At 7:45 am local time and light snowfall (temperature 0° C), we headed for the harbour and at 9 am, we checked in for the ferry crossing to Tallinn. We were then able to catch the 10 am ferry. We set off across the Baltic Sea at 10:30 am. The crossing was nice and calm and took about 2 hours. We arrived in the port of Tallinn at about 12.35 h at +1° C. After leaving the ship, we went straight to the Estonian open-air museum about 8 km away. The museum houses life-sized old farms and fishermen’s cottages from different periods and regions of Estonia, complete with furniture and equipment. After that, we went to the old town of Tallinn, where our accommodation was coincidentally in the old walls and we continued sightseeing. So today was instead a quiet day, the distance by ferry was about 90 km, we drove our cars just 20 km at most. Tomorrow, we have about 310 km to go by car again, to the Latvian capital, Riga.

From Kuopio to Helsinki


From Kuopio to Helsinki, the capital of Finland. Temperature this morning at 9:05 am local time -10° C. A quick trip to downtown Kuopio and the frozen Lake Kallavesi before continuing on partly snowy country roads and highways to Helsinki. On the way, a snowstorm took us by surprise, about halfway near Mikkeli and then deep snow driving was the order of the day. We reached Helsinki at 3:05 pm local time. We were surprised by the mild local temperatures of +2° C, though. Once we checked into the hotel and asked the receptionist endless questions, we took a taxi to the city centre for some sightseeing. Tomorrow we’re taking the ferry to Tallinn, the Estonian capital. Sadly, our travelling companions with the Alfa Romeo 166 have to go home earlier than us and have booked their ferry to Travemünde (D) on 07/01/2022.

From Tornio to Kuopio


Directly on Lake Kallavesi, one of the big lakes in the Finnish Lake District. We started today at 9.40 h local time at -10° C and snowfall, first to Kemi, which is only 20 km away and directly on the frozen Gulf of Bothnia. Every year there is an ice castle there and you can view the inside and outside of it. It has a different exterior every year. The ice castle also doubles as a hotel every year. It has its own chapel, bar and restaurant for 200 guests. But we were too early, they won’t be finished building the castle until mid-January. Kemi also has lots of other winter activities, including riding on an icebreaker, swimming in the ice channel made by the icebreaker if you dare, snowmobiling and dog sledding, and much more. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get an early appointment for our preferred icebreaker trip, and we still had about 400 km left to drive. So we only visited the Lumilinna hall where parts of an ice castle could be seen and then headed straight off to our target location, partly because the snowfall was starting to get pretty heavy. Again, the journey was mostly over beautiful, snow-covered roads. The weather changed for the better towards Kuopio and the winter sun even came out for a little while, but it only made it over the horizon for about 2 hours. We had about 4 hours of daylight today, but you can tell that the days are getting longer and longer as we travel further south. We crossed beautiful forest landscapes, passed many frozen lakes - simply stunning.
At 3:30 pm local time, we reached our hotel just outside Kuopio. Temperature -11° C, light snowfall. As darkness had already descended, we decided to explore Kuopio in the morning before heading off to the Finnish capital Helsinki.

From Saariselkä to Tornio


Some 420 km over B-roads largely covered in snow with magnificent, deep-winter scenery. Start in Saariselkä was 10:25 am (CET 9:25 am) local time at -13° C over the E75 with a stopover in the Santa Claus Village in Rovaniemi, the capital of Lapland in the Arctic Circle. During the drive, the thermometer even dropped to -21° C for a long time and in Rovaniemi, it was still -18° C.
After about 3 hours of sightseeing (definitely worth a visit), we continued in darkness (daylight today about 3 hours) towards our target location, Tornio on the Finnish-Swedish border (a bridge in the city takes you directly to Sweden) and which is very close to the Gulf of Bothnia. We already passed the Arctic Circle at this point, but you can still see the aurora borealis on occasion here. The sky was cloudy, though, making it difficult to spot any. We were fortunate to see numerous breathtaking auroras, especially yesterday, over the last three days. Temperatures in Tornio -11° C. Tomorrow, we head to the east of Finland, to Kuopio.

From Honningsvåg to Saariselkä


If everything were to go according to plan, the distance wouldn’t actually be that long, but at Nordkapp or on the island of Magerøya, where Honningsvåg and the Kapp are located, the weather can sometimes turn out to be different from what you hope for in winter, and sadly, unexpected things often happen. And that’s what happened this time. Actually, we should have left at 9:25 am at -3° C and arrived in Saariselkä at 4 pm local time, but in fact, we needed three attempts to get from the island through the underwater tunnel (which was closed to traffic for a long time due to strong gusts at the southern entrance) back to the mainland. We would have been better to have left the third attempt well alone and perhaps should have spent one more night in the last hotel. But we thought we knew better and, of course, vastly underestimated the situation. We set off at -3° C at around 4 pm and got caught in a heavy snowstorm. Several cm of snow fell within minutes. There were snowdrifts on the E69 at the same time, caused by an increasingly severe storm coming in from the sea, which reduced visibility down to zero for long stretches of the journey until we reached the country’s interior. The unexpected happened even though we drove slowly: the vehicle in front of the group accidentally did a very quick little outback. After an hour in the middle of the snowstorm, the rear-guard recovered the vehicle with a rope. The helpers now looked like snowmen and had to continue their journey soaking wet in sub-zero temperatures. The heating was on full blast, so at least they were warm. Fortunately, no one was injured and the car was not damaged, so we could still continue our journey with the additional delay we were already experiencing. What made everything more difficult was that darkness had already set in again around 1 pm, which worsened our overall situation. Driving ever so slowly, the vanguard we had just recovered also got stuck in the snow while making an evasive manoeuvre. Again, help was needed, but a push was all that it took this time. So it wasn’t that bad, really. Along the way, we saw lots of vehicles in similar situations. Nature showed no mercy.
At some point, we reached the longed-for interior and from then on, everything went smoothly again, good weather, beautiful snow-covered roads, until two reindeer made themselves comfortable in the middle of the road just before our target location. We had to use all our skills to get from 100 km/h to 0 so that we didn’t have reindeer for dinner that evening. Sadly, due to the Covid regulations, the restaurants in Finland close at 8 pm, so we had to go to bed with rumbling stomachs. We finally reached Saariselkä at 1 am local time (again, a time difference of +1 hour).
We’re expecting another hearty buffet breakfast tomorrow, so we can fast for one night. Temperatures at our target location already in the double-digit minus range. Despite all the hitches on our journey today, our efforts were rewarded when we saw the Northern Lights multiple times, which quickly made us forget today’s ride. Tomorrow, we head for Tornio.

From Honningsvåg to North Cape


6th stage, albeit a short one, is still not without its challenges because of the constantly changing weather conditions on the journey from Honningsvåg (N) to North Cape (N). At 10:15 am and at -7° C, and fortunately with perfect weather, we set off on the 34 km route to the most northerly point in Europe that can be reached by car. We followed a beautiful but partly icy snow road (E69) along the coast first, then up to 307 m above sea level to our target location. Once we arrived at the Cape, fantastic scenery awaited us. We made the most of the excellent weather conditions and took loads of photos. We also took photos with the other Alfa Romeo group that had joined us in Honningsvåg last night. However, on the way back from North Cape, we were hit by heavy snowfall and very poor visibility. This is exactly what the typical North Cape weather is like in winter. We only had daylight for around 2 hours today, and darkness set in again at about 12:30 pm. Tonight we will enjoy a traditional Norwegian New Year’s Eve dinner at the hotel, followed by a fireworks display to usher in 2022. In 2022, 15 Alfa Romeo models will celebrate anniversaries ranging from 110 to 5 years. A new model under the sign of the “biscione” will be added.
Tomorrow, on New Year’s Day, it’s off to Saariselkä (FIN) again.

From Levi to Honningsvåg


A bit of a challenge in winter, mainly in darkness, plus regular snowfalls. All on beautiful snowy roads, but we had to stay fully alert; otherwise, the adventure might not have been smooth at all. But we are all experienced drivers on snow, so dealing with the trickier conditions on today’s route was no problem. At last, we were able to get reindeer in front of the lens and a cow moose also decided it wanted its picture taking. Of course, we complied with this request.
We started in Levi at 8:30 am local time (+1 hour due to the time difference) at -5 °C, arriving in Honningsvåg at 3:20 pm local time again (this time -1 hour back to our Central European time) at -2 °C. The temperatures here by the sea are milder than inland because of the Gulf Stream’s influence. This stage gave us many new impressions, crossing magnificent snow-covered landscapes in Lapland and finally driving along the Norwegian fjords, the sea on one side and the mountains on the other. Today, we might also see the Northern Lights again because the weather in Honningsvåg is playing nice at the moment. Let’s hope for the best, our cameras are ready. Tomorrow we will head for North Cape, the northernmost point accessible by road in Europe (E69). The weather is supposed to stay good, we were told. It would be a treat to end the year on a high note.

From Umeå to the Arctic Circle and Levi


It had already started snowing quite heavily in Umeå yesterday evening, so this morning the driving conditions were really wintry, with snow-covered roads all the way to our target location Levi in Finland, all mainly on B-roads. The restaurants close at 8 pm in Finland because of the new Covid regulations. So just to make sure we arrived in Levi relatively early, we went to bed at 9 pm last night and left at 6:20 am today at 0° C. We reached our target location at 3:30 pm local time (one-hour time shift forward) in just under 8 hours without any incidents. Still, we had a lot of fun on the snowy roads. Temperatures in Levi -7° C. Sadly, there will be no Northern Lights today either, as snowfall is forecast again. So the date is postponed for another day, until tomorrow, when we will be heading for Honningsvåg (N).

From Stockholm to Umeå


We follow the E4, which becomes more and more of a B-road towards Umeå. From Sundsvall onwards, there are numerous speed cameras, which are also posted. We were never caught, thankfully. The journey again went according to plan and there were no incidents. It was already dark by 3:00 pm. We left our base in the old town of Stockholm, where we had spent the night on a yacht, at 8:45 am. The temperature was 0° C. We reached Umeå at 4:30 pm after about 8 hours. Local temperature: -3° C.
The road conditions were good, there were a few stretches occasionally covered with snow.
The landscape in the north of Sweden is beautiful, with huge forests and lots of small lakes, the area is sometimes very sparsely populated. A short stretch took us along the coast, the sea was frozen in places. In Umeå, we might see our first Northern Lights. We have to wait until late in the evening to do this and the weather needs to be good, which unfortunately is not the case at the moment. Snowfall is forecast. So let’s wait and see. The next chance to see the Northern Lights is tomorrow in Levi (FIN), where our 4th stage ends.

From Malmö to Stockholm


Temperatures in Malmö at 8:30 am -8° C, Stockholm at 3:20 pm -2° C. The journey today was inland via the E4, i.e. the motorway. We reached Stockholm safely in just under 7 hours. The relatively early arrival meant we could still visit the Vasa Museum. Today, our accommodation is on a yacht in the harbour near the old town. Tomorrow we will continue to Umeå, where we will see the first Northern Lights.

From Hamburg to Malmö


At 9:30 am, we set off with our friends in the Alfa Romeo 166. They joined us in Hamburg-Wilhelmsburg at 9 am (they live about 2 hours by car from Hamburg). It was already a chilly -10 °C and we headed off on our unknown adventure. First via Flensburg (D) to Kolding (DK), from there to Copenhagen, the Danish capital, then across the Øresund, first through the tunnel under the Baltic Sea and then across the impressive bridge over the Baltic Sea to our first target location, Malmö (S). The local temperature was a relatively mild -2° C. The journey went smoothly, but we were very intrigued about what it would be like as this was our first time touring Scandinavia. A few traffic jams on the motorway in Denmark between Odense and Copenhagen meant that we arrived about 1 h behind schedule. We finally reached the first stage of our journey at around 4 pm and then went straight on to explore Malmö’s awe-inspiring city centre. Tomorrow, we will continue to Stockholm, the Swedish capital.
We also got news from the two visiting Alfa Romeo 159 teams that started this morning from Markdorf, Bodenseekreis (D). They arrived in Travemünde (D) in the evening and will take the night ferry to Sweden from there.



North Cape we are arriving!

More teams from Sweden


We have just learned that 2 more guest teams will also join our teams in Sweden. We are already looking forward to it!

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