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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


Norway - 11 June, 2004



Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Skoganvarre, Finnmark (Skoganvarre Camping) N69º50.284' E025º04.571' 76 meters .
Lakselv . . . .
Trollholmsund . . . .
Nordkapp Tunnel . . . .
Honningsvåg . . . .
Skarsvåg, Nordkapp (Kirkeporten Camping) N71º06.472' E025º48.647' 10 meters .
The North Cape N71º10.268' E025º46.980' 315 meters .
Honningsvåg . . . .
Skarsvåg, Nordkapp (Kirkeporten Camping) N71º06.472' E025º48.647' 10 meters .
The North Cape N71º10.268' E025º46.980' 315 meters .
Skarsvåg, Nordkapp (Kirkeporten Camping) N71º06.472' E025º48.647' 10 meters .
Kirkeporten . . . .
Finish Skarsvåg, Nordkapp (Kirkeporten Camping) N71º06.472' E025º48.647' 10 meters 331 km

Total (BMW 330CiC)

6,370 km

Total (other):

4,120 km


10,490 km


Weather: In the morning clear, sunny and cool/warm (around 10°C).  In the afternoon, partly cloudy, sunny and cool/cold (around 6°C).  In the evening, cloudy with a short drizzle then clearing in the early morning hours.



Today we are on our way up to the North Cape, the northernmost point in Europe.  But first we have our breakfast and take a quick look around the camp site.  We leave at 9:30 AM and head north.  Our first stop is at Lakselv, where we top up our petrol tank.  From there it takes us another 40 minutes to arrive at our first sight of the day - Trollhomsund.


We turn off of E6 and drive a short way to reach the Porsangerfjord.  We park the car at a small dirt parking lot set up near the trail head.  Then, after a quick look at the map and directions posted there, we begin our walk to the Trollholmsund.  It is a short direction through the local farmers fields until we reach the beautiful white dolomite rock formations that give this place it's names.  These are strange rock formations that stand at the end of a spit of land that juts out into the fjord.  Legends, or rather an old Sámi saga, tell us that a group of trolls wandered across these plains with a chest of gold.  They tried to dig a hole in the mountain, but it was not big enough.


So, they carried on and came across this fjord, but before they could hide, the sun came up and they were turned to stone (that is what happens to trolls when they are exposed to sunlight - that is why it is hard to find them).  We are told nothing of what happened to the gold - we looked but could not find anything!  After walking around and over the strange stone columns, we begin the short walk back to the car.


We carry on north on E6, driving along the shore of the Porsangerfjord.  While one guide book told us this was a boring route, we found it to be quite enjoyable.  Maybe it was because the sun was shining and we were cruising along with the car top down.  We make one more stop along the way at a Sámi silver shop set up along the side of the road - called Tana Gull og Sølvsmie, with this branch called Nordkapp Sølvsmie.  This branch is open in the summer, catering to the tourist traffic that passes along this road.  We check it out and find a few pieces that interest us.  When we are helped by the lady attendant, we are surprised to discover that she speaks Malay.  It turns out that she works here in the summer and heads to Southeast Asia during the winter months.


After we leave the silver shop, we pass through a number of tunnels that avoid the sheer cliff faces that drop down into the fjord.  It is then another 30 minutes or so until we reach Kåfjord, where a tunnel was recently completed to replace the ferry that used to take people and cars across the channel to the island on which the North Cape is located.  We drove into this 6,870 meter long tunnel with our top down - what an experience.  Two things happen - we drop down steeply until we reach 212 meters below sea level and the temperature drops dramatically to about 4°C.  We crank up the seat and air heaters, but we are still very chilled by the cold air.


As we reach the bottom of the tunnel, we come upon the interesting sight of a couple of bicyclists making their way through the tunnel.  As it is a bit dark in the tunnel, it is a good thing that the rear rider has a bright flashing red light to warn drivers of their presence.  What a hostile environment to be riding your bicycle - dark, cold, steep and limited space for cars and trucks to pass.  We slow as cars are coming from the other direction, and then pass them and begin the long ascent up the other side


Upon emerging on the other side, we pay our toll (equal to what the old ferry service charged) and head to Honningsvåg, passing through a number of additional long tunnels along the way.  In Honningsvåg, which we had visited briefly while on the Hurtigruten, we made a quick stop at the information office.  But they were really not much help.  They could not answer any of our questions very well - not even how much the entrance to the North Cape Hall was and for how long the ticket is valid for.  So, we decide to just head on after having a quick lunch in the town.


We carried on north, heading all the way up to Skarsvåg, where there are three camp sites.  In the end we chose Kirkeporten Camping which makes the claim of being the World's most northern camp site.  Sounds good to us.  We check into our very nice, but expensive, cabin.  We have splurged and decided to go for the one with full kitchen and bathroom included.  We settle in, unloading our stuff.  We will be staying here for 2 nights.


Then it is time to head off to the North Cape.  It is only a 20 minute drive away.  They have set up a ticket booth at the entrance and it is a very steep price of almost $30 per person to get in.  It is a bit over-priced.  But what to do.  At least the ticket is valid for 48 hours.  But there is little to do there, so we are sure many people do not return often within that period.


We park our car - not very full except for quite a few campers.  It seems many people will spend the night here (well, when you come here, you do want to try and see the midnight sun).  We spend almost an hour and a half here.  We first decide to see the film that they have prepared on the North Cape and the surrounding area.


Then we wander through the underground passageway, looking at the various exhibits on the way, including the Thai museum, to the King's balcony where you can look north in relative comfort.  But it feels a bit enclosed, so we head back to go and have a look from the top of the rock cliff.


We wander out to the sculpture of the globe and stand on the 300 meter high cliff looking north.  Next stop is the North Pole.  But it is not as easy to get there, as it was to arrive at this place.  We take the mandatory photos posing in front of the globe.


Then back inside to the souvenir shop - ready for the hordes of tourists that will come in July and August.  We cannot resist - we also have to spend some money in the shop.  And then it is time to go.  As we have no food for dinner, we need to drive back to Honningsvåg to go to the grocery store to pick up some supplies for the next few days.  In the end, this takes us about an hour and a half and we are back at our cabin preparing dinner.


But the day is not yet over.  In fact, in one sense, the days never end up here as the sun never sets during the summer.  And we want to go and see the midnight sun - se the sun as it dips to its lowest point above the horizon and then starts it climb once again.  We leave the cabin in time to arrive back at the North Cape at midnight.


While it is a great experience, the weather is not the best.  Due to the cloud cover, we cannot see the sun directly, just the red/orange glow of it behind the thin cloud cover.  We wander around and take a number of pictures.  The place is much more crowded than it was during the day - not too surprising, really.  We have brought along our hip flask and enjoy a toast to having arrived at this point.  Now we will turn south and head back to Oslo.  We also spend the time to write and send some postcards and to do a bit more shopping.  So, having seen the sun set and rise at the same time (it reached it's lowest point at fifteen minutes past midnight), we decide that it is time to head back.


But back at the cabin at 1:30 AM, it is not time for bed.  The sky is starting to lighten (and we can actually notice the difference), so rather then go to sleep, we decide to go for a walk.  Near our camp is the famous Kirkeporten (or Church window), through which the midnight sun shines between midnight and two AM.  Time to head out there.


The walk is a very straight forward and takes us about ten minutes.  Only the last portion is a bit of a challenge, scrambling down a steep track to the water's edge.  From here one can look through the "window" and see the midnight sun shining through.  In addition, we have a great view through the window of the Hornet, the amazing piece of rock that juts out from the cliff face like a horn.  It is located across the bay on the northeast side of the Nordkapp cliffs. The Sámi people considered the horn sacred, and thought it was a house of the gods.


We return to our cabin at around 2:30 AM and have a shower and cup of tea before retiring for the day.  We love the midnight sun, it is wonderful how all 24 hours in the day can be used for outdoor activities.  But there is just one problem with this - sleeping.  The odd thing about all these cabins is that none have decent blackout curtain.  Instead they are just flimsy material which does nothing to block out the sunlight at night.  So, tonight, as we do every night in what has become a ritual, we hang whatever we can find on the windows.  We have used our towels, our fleece jackets and, the best so far, the eiderdowns that are supplied with many of the cabins.  We have our own sleeping bags, so we can use these as remarkably good blackout curtains.


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