We arrived at North Cape (Nordkapp) last night. The weather was perfect and the sky was awesome, so we thought what the hell, lets go for it. We were badly in need of some rest and recuperation after our Knivskjellodden hike but the midnight sun at North Cape is rather special. Something not to be missed especially on day 100 of our 2016 trip.
The centre is open 24 hours a day during summer season and after paying our 520nok (£45) we parked up and hobbled (very sore blisters) around the perimeter of the Cape. The sun popped in and out the clouds but come midnight, it lit the sky with a beautiful orange and blue glow. The car park was full of motorhomes and tourbuses and everyone was outside taking photos. The atmosphere was buzzing.
We sat up celebrating our evening at North Cape and watching the midnight sun. Craig with his vintage port and me with a lager shandy. Eventually, we went to bed at around 4am, shattered.
We finally crawled out of bed at around 10am to be greeted by 2 unhappy dudes. Mac n Tosh looked at us as if to say “what time do you call this?”. After yesterdays big walk we thought they would sleep in but nah, full on morning walk required and expected.
Outside the sun was shining bright but the gale force winds were ferocious. It took both of us to hold back the door and let the dogs out. Once away from the shelter of the motorhomes the dogs took flight across the car park. They really didn’t know what to make of the winds and much preferred 4 paws on the ground. Every time Tosh took flight he kept looking around wondering what the hell was lifting him off the ground. Mac on the other hand didn’t even notice, he is so dopey. Their cardboard ears turned them in to dumbo dudes and time to take shelter in Vin.
After breakfast, we ventured back out into the gale to have another walk around the perimeter with the dogs. It was still windy but the blustery gusts had died down a little. We looked over to Knivskjelodden and smiled, the dogs whimpered. The car park was pretty deserted with only a dozen or so motorhomes and no coaches. Guess everyone shot off early? The wind was playing havoc with one motorhomer trying to place rubbish in the wheelie bin. Every time he opened the lid the rubbish would fly out. Once he realised he had let more rubbish out the bin than he had put in, he gave it up as a bad job and stormed back in to his motorhome. It was intensely cold and Craig got an ice cream headache, so we headed back for the bob hats.
We stood on the edge of the Cape with the sunshine on our face, holding on to the railings as the gusty breeze pushed us sidewards. A quick picture of us at the globe, the symbol of the Cape before we walked over to the grass area at the side of “The Children of the Earth” to build a stone stack in memory of our Russell, Graham and Patricia’s husband. The monument designed by 7 children represent – friendship, collaboration, hope and happiness. We build a little stone circle wall and inside we placed a few of Russell’s ashes. Quickly covering with them with stones before they blew away. A little prayer for loved ones we dearly miss.
The Nordkapp centre opened in 1988 and is a large building with 3 floors. On the ground floor a cafe and souvenir shop then downstairs 2 floors covering exhibitions, cinema, post office, cave of light, thai museum and most northerly chapel.
At £15 for a sandwich we skipped the cafe but we did buy a couple of souvenirs. The stuffed birds display and north cape historic tunnel were rather cheesy with plastic dummies and blow up whales. The cave of light was good with plenty information and displays on the history of the Cape and how the sun impacts the arctic circle. The light show through the seasons was good too and very relaxing with big bean bag chairs. The Nordkapp balcony provided good views over the wild ocean but it was good to get back inside and escape the battering winds. Craig particularly liked the St Johannes Chapel…notice the name!
We didn’t realise the name of North Cape came from the British explorer, Richard Chancellor, who drifted here in 1553. Before this it was known as Knyskanes. Richard was looking for the Northeast Passage to China when he bumped in to the Cape, which now symbolises the top of Europe.Some 300 years later, the first tour boats arrived, anchoring in Hornvika Bay so the tourists could climb 280m up to the plateau.
I could stop here all day. I love the feel of this place but our parking ticket runs out this evening, so we need to move on. Sadly and reluctantly, we said goodbye to the North Cape but the big question…was it worth the trek? Absolutely, the journey here has been amazing and the Cape is just the icing on the cake and yes, we would do it all again.
Hard to believe that in January 2015 we were at the most southerly tip of Europe and now we are at the most northerly tip…can you spot the difference?
We tootled off to find a sleep spot for tonight passing herds of reindeer grazing on the moors. Once back on the mainland we hit a reindeer jam. We like these sort of hold ups! Ma, pa and baba deer are well cute and very entertaining. Wonder if they are descendants of Rudolph?
After a few hundred kilometres, Craig did his thing and sniffed out a good wild camping spot. He found a perfect little patch on a headland right on the edge of the Arctic Circle. Not only was it a great spot but it reminded him of Greece. A secluded bay with small boat and the odd small bushy tree. Ummm wonder if that’s the next milestone?
With thoughts of Greece, Craig turned to the bottle of Ouzo for a nice nightcap. We sat chatting about our time in Norway, its been a wonderful journey and cannot recommend this place enough. It is one of the most natural beautiful countries we have visited and feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to see it. We gazed out to our last fjord view and over the hill popped the moon. A full moon albeit rather faint but non the less a moon, something we haven’t seen in a long time. Then from behind the rock, a small arctic fox but she was gone before we could grab the camera. What a great end to a fab day.
Our wild camping spot tonight a Greek looking headland on our last fjord and our last night in Arctic Circle.
GPS position N070.345899 and E025.077591
Route: North Cape to Ytre Billefjord
Weather: Low 11 and high 19, sunshine all day with just a few evening showers.