Norway (Day 11)

June 28

Honningsvag (Nordkapp)

TOP O’ THE WORLD . . . 

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[We’re at the top blue dot on the continent . . . ]

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[I woke up early (i.e., normal time) and took a selfie in The Explorers Bar . . . ]

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[Then out the front of the boat, looking about as far north as north can be . . . ]

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[Yup, nobody else is up yet . . . ]

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[Unknown guy in the corner of the library . . . ]

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[Can’t imagine being here absent all the comforts of a modern cruise ship . . . ]

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[Honningsvag is the nothernmost [until now, I did not realize “northernmost” was one word] city in Norway.  It is located in Nordkapp Municipality in Finnmark county.  Legislation effective in 1997 states that a Norwegian city/town (same word in Norwegian) must have at least 5,000 inhabitants, but Honningsvåg was declared a city in 1996, thus exempt from this legislation, so it is also one of the smallest cities in Norway.  The 1.05-square-kilometre (260-acre) town has a population (2017) of 2,484.  Honningsvåg is situated at a bay on the southeastern side of the large island of Mageroya, while the famous North Cape and its visitor center is on the northern side of the island. Honningsvåg is a port of call for cruise ships, especially in the summer months.  The ice-free ocean (southwestern part of the Barents Sea) provides rich fisheries and tourism is also important to the town.  Even at 71°N, many private gardens in Honningsvåg have trees, although rarely more than 3 to 4 metres (9.8 to 13.1 ft) tall.  The famous dog Bamse came from Honningsvåg.  Bamse (Norwegian for “teddy bear”) (1937 – 22 July 1944) was a St. Bernard dog that became the heroic mascot of the Free Norwegian Forces during the Second World War.  He became a symbol of Norwegian freedom during the war (Wikipedia).]

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[This would mark a personal record for the farthest north I’ve ever been with a foot on the ground (I did fly over the North Pole on a trip to Japan about 35 years ago) . . . ]

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[As with most things here, the northernmost gas station in the world . . . ]

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[The northernmost house until we run into the next one . . . ]

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[The next house . . . ]

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[Another not really lovely day . . . ]

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[If truth be told (and why wouldn’t I), this was not a trip to Honningsvag . . . ]

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[It’s just the port for this visit to Nordkapp (North Cape) . . . ]

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[And on the way, a visit to a Sami household and gift shop . . . ]

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[The Sámi people (also spelled Sami or Saami) are an indigenous Finno-Ugric people inhabiting Sapmi, which today encompasses large northern parts of Norway and Sweden, northern parts of Finland, and the Kola Peninsula within the Murmansk Oblast of Russia. The Sámi have historically been known in English as Lapps or Laplanders. Sámi ancestral lands are not well-defined.  Their traditional languages are the Sami languages and are classified as a branch of the Uralic language family.  Traditionally, the Sámi have pursued a variety of livelihoods, including coastal fishing, fur trapping, and sheep herding.  Their best-known means of livelihood is semi-nomadic reindeer herding. Currently about 10% of the Sámi are connected to reindeer herding, providing them with meat, fur, and transportation.  2,800 Sámi people are actively involved in reindeer herding on a full-time basis.  For traditional, environmental, cultural, and political reasons, reindeer herding is legally reserved for only Sámi people in some regions of the Nordic countries (Wikipedia).]

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[Reindeer . . . ]

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[Indeterminate if one of Santa’s . . . ]

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[And now on to the serious business of shopping . . . ]

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[I think I’ll get these . . . ]

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[And Anne joined in on the spree . . . ]

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[On to North Cape . . . ]

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[Good morning sunshine . . . ]

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[Nordkapp (English: North Cape) is a municipality in Finnark county. The administrative centre of the municipality is the town of Honningsvag, where most residents live.  The 926-square-kilometre (358 sq mi) municipality is the 120th largest by area out of the 422 municipalities in Norway.  Nordkapp is the 253rd most populous municipality in Norway with a population of 3,239.  Some 200,000 tourists visit Nordkapp annually during the two to three months of summer.  The main tourist attractions are the North Cape and the nearby Knivskjellodden.  The North Cape first became famous when the English explorer Richard Chancellor rounded it in 1553 while attempting to find a sea route through the Northeast Passage.  The municipality is named after Nordkapp (North Cape), a 307-metre-high (1,007 ft) cliff that is commonly referred to as the northernmost point of Europe. However, the true northernmost point of the European mainland is Cape Nordkinn  (Kinnarodden), at 71° 08′ 02″ N, located about 20 kilometres (12 mi) from the village of Mehamn on the Nordkinn Peninsula.  If Europe’s northernmost point is allowed to be on an island, then it still is not the North Cape.  It would be Cape Fligely on Rudolf Island, Rudolf Island, Franz Josef Land in Russia, which is located much further north at 81° 48′ 24″ N.  If Franz Josef Land is not considered to be in Europe, then Europe’s northernmost point is the northern point of the island of Rossoya, an islet in Svalbard, north of Spitsbergen at 80° 49′ 44.41″ N (Wikipedia).]

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[Of course you all know this now as we enter North Cape Hall . . . ]

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[Looking from inside the Hall to the Globe monument, the identifying feature of North Cape . . . ]

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[The temperature was in the high 30’s; we guessed the wind to the in the 40’s mph (it was difficult to just remain standing) . . . ]

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[Anne and Bill with the Hall in the background . . . ]

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[The Super at the Globe, holding on to not be blown away . . . ]

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[Hang on Sloopy, Sloopy hang on . . . ]

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[Spectacular place – oh, if only it would have been sunny and calm . . . ]

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[The view of the neighboring and soon to be recognized Knivskjelodden peninsula . . . ]

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[That’s Bill in the middle . . . ]

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[That’s me and Ruthie in the middle . . . ]

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[And this is the Texas two-step . . . ]

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[Photos by Bill . . . ]

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[Ruthie clutching Ole so he doesn’t blow away . . . ]

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[This is high school classmate, Judy Blanchard.  I stole this from her Facebook page.  She was on a similar cruise a few days ahead of us.  We did not know such until the Facebook posts.  She at least had the sun at Nordkapp . . . ]

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[The view from Nordkapp.  Knivskjellodden or Knivskjelodden is a peninsula located in Nordkapp Municipality in Finnmark county.  It is the northernmost point on the island of Mageroya.  It is sometimes considered the northernmost point of the entire continent of Europe.  The nearby Kinnarodden on the Nordkinn Peninsula is the northernmost point on the mainland.  The northernmost point of the country Norway is in fact Rossoya, in Svalbard, far north.  Knivskjellodden can only be reached on foot, after a 9-kilometre (5.6 mi) long hike from a parking area near the European route E69 highway, 6 km (3.7 mi) south of North Cape.  Travel agencies that organize trips for unaware tourists often advertise the North Cape as the northern extremity of Europe, but this is not true as the Knivskjellodden is 1,450 metres (4,760 ft) further north (Wikipedia).]

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[The Super and Ole showing where we were, with trolls . . . ]

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[From inside the Hall . . . ]

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[Photos of photos inside the Hall . . . ]

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[And in the Hall’s museum . . . ]

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[Among the more amazing little factoids from the trip, in the years before there was a road to North Cape ships would anchor offshore and passengers and crew would climb to the top (see cliff pictures following) in the regular attire of the age.  Yes, women climbed to the top in long dresses, bonnets, and likely not Nike climbing boots.  Uff da!!]

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[Why yes, there is a Thai Museum here . . . ]

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[King Chulalongkorn (Rama V),  the King of Thailand, then Siam, paid a visit to Nordkapp in July 1907 . . . ]

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[Passing some dioramas which illustrate the history and geography of the Cape, most tourists only get as far as the ecumenical chapel, as indeed had I in that summer of 2003. But just beyond on the other side of the tunnel there is a Thai museum, opened in 1989 in commemoration of the King’s visit. I have seen it variously described as “museum” or “pavilion” – a small, rather strange, memorabilia-filled little room, with something of the feeling of a shrine about it. Alone there and now unhurried, I experienced an extraordinarily profound and special sense of place, and of the connections between places and people (www.captainsvoyage-forum.com/forum/club-international-things-from-around-the-world/kingdom-of-thailand/1419-in-north-cape-hall-a-connection-between-norway-and-thailand).]

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[The Cave of Lights . . . ]

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[As it says right here . . . ]

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[Kinda like a dorm room in the 60’s . . . ]

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[I see Richard Chancellor at the Y every day.  He’s a very good free throw shooter . . . ]

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[King Oscar II monument . . . ]

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[Lining up both monuments indicates that you have lined up both monuments . . . ]

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[And, surprise, a place to buy stuff.  That’s Mary from Toronto with the Super . . . ]

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[These are the little cartoons Mary from Toronto made and would hand out to people as an extra tip . . . ]

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[This is Bill talking a picture of Mary from Toronto and her significant other whose name now escapes me.  They were just two rooms from us on the ship . . . ]

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[So, Nordkapp is advertised as the farthest north, with a subscript as farthest north accessible by road . . . ]

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[Barn av Jorden Monument . . . ]

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[Each year in June, The Children of the Earth Prize is awarded during a public ceremony at North Cape, Norway. The prize currently amounts to 150.000 Norwegian kroner (NOK), equal to about 15.500 euros or 17.500 US dollars. The prize is presented to an individual or a project which, over time, has demonstrated compassion and ability to help children that suffer somewhere in the world. Anyone may nominate candidates for this prize (http://www.barnavjorden.org/en/welcome).]

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[In 1989, the reliefs, cast in bronze and mounted in a granite frame, were erected on the Nordkapp Plateau outside the Nordkapphallen.  A bronze sculpture by artist Eva Rybakken with the theme of mother and child was placed right next to the reliefs (www.travel-finnmark.no/barn-av-jorden-nordkapp/).]

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[Ha det (goodbye), Knivskjelodden . . . ]

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[Our Norwegian allies keeping a radar eye on the “Rooskies” . . . ]

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[Walkers on the road, ergo likely Norwegians . . . ]

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[On the road back to Honningsvag . . . ]

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[Northern grazing critters . . . ]

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[When you really want to get away from it all . . . ]

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[Back at the Sami gift shop . . . ]

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[Honningsvag, suitable for framing?]

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[I can’t remember but has to be dried fish . . . ]

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[Back to the ship . . . . ]

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[You are now 6,208 km (3,857.5 miles) from Alexandria, Minnesota . . . ]

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[Who knew?]

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[The last minute gift from the visitors center on the way to the ship . . . ]

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[And we’re off – Scotland here we come . . . ]

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[You can see the globe at the top of the cliff from whence we just came . . . ]

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[Yes, they climbed this from the bottom back in the day . . . ]

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[And women’s climbing attire to get to the top of that cliff . . . ]

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[A final reminder as to where we were – but it’s wrong!  It has Nordkapp misidentified as Tromso.  Don’t mess with tourists who have now acquired a wee bit of knowledge!]

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[The final proof of farthest northest . . . ]

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[As we say goodbye to Knivskjelodden and Norway, we will spend the next two days at sea enroute to the Shetland Islands . . . ]

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Conclusion:  Norway, homeland of my mother, is not really a country.  It’s more like an international national park. ~  Me

I don’t want to achieve immortality through my work.  I want to achieve it through not dying.  ~  Woody Allen

Up Next:  The Biddies are reunited in Alex?

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