With a love for the wide open roads, Red Dirt Studio’s owner, photographer Simon Bayliss, has sought the adventure that only comes from travelling the 'road less travelled'; and that not only applies to touring Australia but also Europe and Scandinavia.
Simon took up photography while touring Europe on his beloved Triumph during 2000 and 2001. More recently, he has toured much of Sweden and Lapland with a highlight being driving to Nordkapp, the most northern point in Europe one can drive.
Located just above the Arctic Circle in Lapland, it is a place steeped in Sami culture and while very popular in winter, especially early February when the winter markets are on, it is also a place that delights in Summer. Famous for its winter markets, Jokkmokk (Lule Sámi: Jåhkåmåhkke or Dálvvadis; Northern Sámi: Dálvvadis), is a place that should be high on any travellers list of places to see in Northern Sweden.
For as long as I can remember, my father always advised, ‘take life by the horns and experience every there is, no matter how difficult it may seem'. For the rewards in life come from stepping outside ones comfort zone. I suppose this adage explains how I ended up in Edinburgh, 16,917 km from home after riding around 10,000 km through Europe from as far south as Crete taking in Greece, Italy, Switzerland, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, England, and Wales. The journey completed in a magnificent Triumph Adventurer motorcycle.
So, how far north in mainland Europe can you drive? Nordkapp in the Norwegian Finmark region which, at 71°10′21″N, is promoted to be the most northern point you can reach on the European Mainland, but actually the most northern point is Knivskjellodden which stretches a further 1.4km north, but to reach that it is a long hike on foot.
I knew where I had to go but could not find the road to get me across. So while looking at a map I was approached by a friendly local who helped me out and had me follow him and he was to show me where the tunnel was… 15 miles down the road he indicated where I was to go and said to keep right.