As children we read about a faraway country where the sun never sets in summer – helping it earn the moniker "The Land of the Midnight Sun". That country is Norway.
We wondered how the nights there are, how people slept with the sun always out and how wonderful it was to lie under the sunlight, night after night!
After finishing school, I moved to Finland for higher studies and got used to the cold and dark winter nights and long and warm summer nights.
One fine summer day, a team of my friends and I journeyed all the way to the North Cape - the northernmost point of the world that can be reached by land.
Lapland is the northernmost unspoiled wilderness of Scandinavia beyond the Arctic Circle - a bit like Russia's Siberia.
This region is very sparsely populated by humans, and has a lot of reindeers and brown bears.
Needless to say, its geography and time zone are very different from the rest of the world.
We started for the Nordic journey from Helsinki, the capital city of Finland, and spent the first night at the central Lakeland.
The next day we entered the Arctic Circle after reaching Rovaniemi, the largest city of the Finnish Lapland - famous for being the home of Father Christmas, the beloved Santa Claus.
That night we set up camp at the camping area of Lake Inari, the largest lake in Lapland.
By then, the landscape had totally changed. No longer could we see the tall Nordic trees; instead, waves of green hills were all that our eyes met all the way up to the distant horizon.
The days there were already much longer than in Helsinki - 22 hours of sunlight a day, and it was the middle of July.
The border between Sweden and Norway is void of any security and immigration. So when we crossed the border and entered Norway the next day, we were in the dark about the crossing until we saw the Norwegian flag hoisted on some shops.
We met the first reindeer herd in the Norwegian Lapland. The reindeers are domesticated by the Sámi people - the true inhabitants of Lapland.
They are the masters of using every single bit of a reindeer, dead or alive!
After cruising for a couple of days, we managed to reach North Cape. We stayed at the northernmost camping site in the world.
The place did not fall short of being magical. From the camping ground, we could see the green meadows and distant snow-covered hills.
Early next morning we went to the famous North Cape landmark - a giant metal globe with only the latitude and longitude.
When you look at the north from upon the globe, all the eyes meet is the North Sea. No more land, the kingdom is ruled by the Arctic Ocean and miles and miles of ice.
I stared at the North and was reminded of my North Pole expedition - smiling at the cold, yet evergreen memories.
Our next destination was the legendary city of Hammerfest, a place known all over the world because of its whaling industry and for being the northernmost city.
We stayed at a camping area on a hilltop, from where the whole city looked like a surreal painting with brightly coloured wooden houses straight out of fairy tales, and countless boats.
We chose to camp mainly to save money, as Norway is one of the most expensive countries in the world.
Often, we tried to cook our own meals as fast food is expensive as well, and we could fish almost anywhere.
Norway is the country with the most wildernesses in Europe except Iceland.
The ambience made it extremely easy to connect with nature, and among all the natural wonders, fjords are the most beautiful water bodies on Earth.
The water of fjords is known for changing colours depending on the sky; blue, emerald green, ash and pitch dark, or all the colours combined.
During our trip, we crossed Sognefjord - the largest of all fjords - by ship.
It was a 5,000 kilometers long road trip and on our way back, we travelled through the Swedish Lapland and everyone agreed that this was the most scenic, peaceful and wilderness-filled trip of our lives.