Thursday, July 05, 2007

Peace and Solitude at the North Cape

We have always wanted to visit the North Cape -- or Nordkappe, as the t-shirts say -- to see the northernmost point in mainland Europe. The brochures and guide books describe it as a remote and desolate place of great beauty. The beauty of the Cape and surrounding areas is undeniable:
And there is some great history here, too, as some of the most important naval battles of WWII took place in the waters off of the Cape. There is also a bar, a chapel, and the iconic sculpture that graces thousands of postcards and coffee mugs:

Of course, the brochures are a *bit* misleading. The Cape isn't really the northernmost point in mainland Europe. Hell, it's not even in mainland Europe, it's on an island. And even if it weren't on an island, the big cliff next door (pictured above) is really further north. And about that peace and solitude. We wanted to see the Midnight Sun at the North Cape to ring in the 4th of July BINAC-style. A few other people apparently had the same idea. We were worried when the lobby got a bit crowded:

And we were told there would be some campers, but we were thinking a couple of tents, not something like this:
And the tour buses nearly pushed us over the edge:
But the final straw? The final straw was when the QE2 arrived:

(OK, that's not the QE2, it's a different cruise ship, but the QE2 was actually there a bit earlier in the day. Really.)

Peace and solitude? Sure, with several thousand of your closest friends! We decided to split and enjoy the Midnight Sun our way--with a little birding.

We didn't see much, but at the stroke of midnight, we had our own view of the North Cape and the Midnight Sun from a distance, and we had it all to ourselves. (With the exception of one Finnish guy in a tent, but we'll just forget about him.)

1 comment:

Jochen said...

Did you go to Varanger??
Don't tell me you flew and drove all those 1000 miles and didn't go to Varanger?!