Visiting R 146 30

This post is part of a bigger trip I made through Scandinavia with focus on Norway.

I am pretty sure, everybody, who is going up to the North of Scandinavia, expects to see reindeer. At least this is what I expected and I was so much looking forward to it.

And then, suddenly, there, the first one.

Reindeer on a meadow, trees in the background

Not long after that the next ones, on the street.

Reindeer mother with kid on the street, running away from the car

And then at the side of the street. As there was a small turnout I had the chance to stop and take a proper picture.

Three young reindeer next to the street eating grass

I can tell you, I had the widest smile on my face. It felt like now I was really there, in the North. We have deer at my place and one still need to be careful not to collide with them at night when driving. Reindeer is even bigger. But they are not like them, chilled next to the street or even on the street.

For a long time I thought those would be wild animals. To some extend this is true as they are not inside any fence. However, they belong to reindeer herding Sami families and they will be rounded up once a year. I still can’t imagine how that works as the animals spread over a very large area. From what I learned later this procedure even includes helicopters. There goes part of the “romance” of the wild and free reindeer.

Because they are rather relaxed when it comes to traffic one need to be really careful to not get into an accident with them. If you see them, just go slow because they might just walk right onto the street in front of you. I even found an article that was telling about the experiment of spraying the antlers with reflective paint in Finland to make them more visible at night. This experiment didn’t turn out to be successful. I assume this would have been a really big effort to do this for all the animals.

Big yellow sign with a warning sign. The warning sign shows the silhouette of a reindeer in black with a red triangle around it.
One of the many warning signs along the roads

Of course, I would see many more during my trip and it would get more “normal”. Still remembering those first ones makes me happy.

Some travel tips (from 2021)

When somebody uses the headlight flasher it might be because reindeer is just around the corner. So be appropriately cautious when driving.

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