Day three of my FLY AWAY TRAVEL trip to Norway.
Imagine a place far above the Arctic Circle, where you can stand 307 metres above sea level, gazing out over the Atlantic Ocean and watch it meet the Arctic Ocean. Sounds amazing right? Well…..we cant go there today. There was an avalanche during the night and the main road is blocked. We were told it could take up to 2 days to clear the road.
Whilst I’m really disappointed that we cant get to The North Cape today, I’m also somewhat relieved that we didn’t get stuck the far side of the avalanche, or worse again, stuck in the middle of it. Everyday Mother Nature provides challenges for the locals and for visiting tourists that I really don’t think we could even dream of dealing with in Ireland. A small covering of snow in Ireland and we are glued to the local radio station to hear if the schools are closed. In Norway, your dad would probably own a Snowmobile and you’d be going to school no matter what.
The place we hoped to visit is Nordkapp – the North Cape – in Northern Norway. Here, the only dry land between you and the North Pole is the Svalbard archipelago, and the summer sun doesn’t set between the middle of May and the end of July. Many visitors enjoy watching the midnight sun or the sunset over the Barents Sea from the North Cape Plateau.
The first tourist on the North Cape Plateau was the Italian priest Francesco Negri, who visited in 1664. Today, getting to the North Cape has become fairly easy and some 200,000 tourists visit the plateau annually during the two to three months of summer. With its cliff face jutting into the sea, the plateau rises 307 metres above sea level. The visitor centre North Cape Hall holds various exhibitions throughout the year, and the chapel St Johannes Kapell is the world’s northernmost ecumenical chapel and a popular venue for weddings.
If you’re into your hiking, the hike to the natural arch of Kirkeporten offers a quite impressive view of the North Cape Plateau. More challenging and even more rewarding is the hike to cape Knivskjellodden, the northernmost point on Magerøya, where you can see the seaside cliff face of the North Cape Plateau, but unfortunately today was not our day.
Hopefully we’ll have more luck at the next stop as we plan to take an adrenaline pumping snowmobile ride across 71˚North.
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