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Published: August 1st 2014
Nordkapp (North Cape) Norway 29 July 2014 - on top of the world
This was the day/night that we had been waiting for. Will we see the midnight sun? After leaving Karasjok, the sky was cloudy and there were a few showers of rain around. We told ourselves that the sky would clear before 12MN - I am forever an optimist, but I just knew mother nature wouldn't let me down. I had waited all my adult life to see this natural phenomena. Mum and I used to talk about the midnight sun.
The road north was beautiful, a little bumpy in parts and occasionally narrow, but on the whole, very good. The scenery was spectacular - stark, treeless, layered granite stacks, cliffs to the water in places, multiple coves, a sprinkling of red houses, rolling hills, a few bits of snow, a very calm sea and on occasions, a glimmer of sun. The fingers were still crossed.
We drove along the banks of a fjord, through Lakselv (forgot to see the most northerly winery!), then Olderfjord, and onto the island of Mageroya via a sub-sea 7km tunnel and about 4 land tunnels. The first town at the
end of the tunnel was Honningsvag. The town was a harbour town with all the basic facilities. The towns growth has always been based on the fishing industry. Tourist has added to their economy in recent years.
We first visited the Tourist Centre and got lots of information on the town. We learned there is a building in the main street that was going to be demolished. However, a local resident bought it and made it into a cafe. He then added a performing stage and throughout the year, presents theatre and other entertainment. We attended a theatre presentation which was performed by 4 young people titled "Where the world ends, there starts our life". They told the story of the town's history to the present day through song, dance, acts and slide show as a back drop. It was very clever. One female actor even got Tom up for a dance to demonstrate that they are a friendly town. It was great fun and we had a few laughs as well.
After the play, we had dinner at the King Crab House and of course had crab...thinking of my Mum as I ate mine. As you can
see by the photos, we didn't leave much. It was lovely. Tom had his crab in coconut and chilli sauce and I had mine in white wine sauce - yum!
It was about 7.30pm by this time so it was time to drive up to Nordkapp (or North Cape) where there is a Visitors Centre. Nordkapp is at 71o
10' 21" north.
After paying 245NOK ($40 each), we drove into the car park which had rows of motor homes and cars in it as people stay the night to see the midnight sun. The Centre was opened until 1.00am and didn't open until 11.00am the next morning. Under the restaurant which is on top of a mountain, they have tunnelled and dug under the mountain and there are many facilities: a cinema which shows a film through 125 degrees showing the 4 seasons. Along the walls of the tunnel tells the history of North Cape. The Cave of Lights takes you through the seasons by way of sound and lights. The St Johannes Chapel was established in 1990. The Thai Museum was opened in 1989 commemorating the visit of one of the Kings of Siam in 1907. There
is a gift shop, post office, history of what happened at North Cape during WW2, and there is a Panorama hall.
Outside, there is "The Globe" which you would have seen on most photos of Nordkapp, and Children of the World memorial which were designed by 7 children in 1989 from various part of the world, symbolising collaboration, friendship, hope and happiness. The whole area was very well done.
We positioned ourselves ready for the great spectacle of the midnight sun. It was fascinatingly incredible. The closer it got to midnight, the colder it got. We put the heater on in our motor home and every 15-30 minutes we went out with our cameras. It was fascinating to watch how the sun moved across the horizon from left to right instead of setting. The Tourist office in Honningsvag told us that the sky would clear at about 10.00pm as it had been cloudy all day. At 10.00pm the sky cleared. I am getting goosebumps just writing this as it was so exciting to see the clouds go. At midnight there was a band of clouds along the horizon so part of the sun was covered by clouds. There
was a real buzz around the big car park as the clouds cleared and the middle of the night approached. At midnight the cameras were clicking. However, everyone had taken plenty of shots before as it was all about watching the sun move across the horizon.
It was about 1.30am we finally climbed into bed in our motor home feeling incredibly lucky and incredibly satisfied with what we had experienced. Another bucket list item ticked and an experience we would highly recommend.
The next morning, we packed up slowly after a leisurely breakfast and headed south, saying goodbye to Nordkapp - the top of the world.
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