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The Travel Journal of Jacqui and Lars


Norway - 13 June, 2004



Location Latitude Longitude Elevation

Travel Distance

Start Skarsvåg, Nordkapp (Kirkeporten Camping) N71º06.472' E025º48.647' 10 meters .
The North Cape N71º10.268' E025º46.980' 315 meters .
Hammerfest . . . .
Alta . . . .
Finish Alta, Finnmark (Alta Strand Camping) N69º55.646' E023º16.421' 13 meters 383 km

Total (BMW 330CiC)

6,771 km

Total (other):

4,140 km


10,911 km


Weather: In the morning partly cloudy, occasional sun, cold and windy.  About 4°C at the North Cape.  In the afternoon, cloudy, cool/cold and windy (up to 12°C). In the evening, clear, sunny and cool/cold.



We have a slow start to the morning, getting up a bit late, having a relaxing breakfast and then loading up the car.  We will be leaving the Nordkapp today, but first, as the weather is pretty good, we decide to take one more trip up to the North Cape.  We spend almost fifty minutes there, going out to the point for some more pictures of the globe sculpture and the Arctic Ocean stretching before us up towards the North Pole.


We also take a walk to the west of the point for a look over to the Knivskjelodden, where we had hiked out to yesterday.  It was a beautiful sight with the sun shining down on it this morning.  A shame we could not be out there today, but we cannot predict and time the weather.


On our way south from the Cape - driving there is now only one way to go - we made a brief stop at Hornvika to see if we could walk partway out on the plateau to get a view of the famous horn.  And we are rewarded with a view of the odd rock formation.


And now it is time to carry on south as we make our way down the length of Norway.  We make no further stops on the Nordkapp island, passing through the series of tunnels dug into the cliff face and then below the channel that separates the Nordkapp form the mainland.  The last tunnel, long and deep, is still as cold as it was on our way in.  At the far end of the tunnel we make a quick stop for a call of nature.  After we had completed our business we were sitting in our car getting ready to leave, when Lars noticed something walking by.  It turned out to be a red fox.


We scrambled for the cameras, but there was no need to rush. It was quite strange - the fox circled the car, looking curiously at it and the occupants.  We were able to take plenty of pictures of the fox checking us out.  Were we a potential meal, or just a strange sight.  When we moved the car a bit, he showed no signs of fear and just kept on checking us out.


Then after a while, the fox wandered off a short distance and we discovered what had interested him so much - a died reindeer.  He strolls up to the carcass and sticks his head deep into the belly of the animal and starts to tear away flesh, with fur flying in all directions.  Maybe we had disturbed him earlier when we had driven up.


But he was certainly digging in now, with the head and neck stuck deep into the carcass ripping away at the body.  At times we could seem him strain as he tried to rip chunks of flesh away and when it tore loose, he would fall back as if pushed.  We hung out for a while taking in the sight.  We even tried to wave to people and get them to stop and take a look, but they paid no attention.


We soon headed off and decided that it was about time we had our own lunch.  We found a nice spot off the road on one of the many fingers of water that jutted into the land.  It had gotten quite cold and blustery, so we did not spend too much time over lunch.  Once back on the road, we made another brief stop at the silver shop and picked up a few more pieces.


It was about a two hour drive to Hammerfest, our next destination.  Hammerfest was completely destroyed during the last war and has been re-built.  We drove into the center of town and our first stop was at the Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society, of which Lars is a member.  The club has a small exhibit on Hammerfest's Arctic history and we decided to buy a few souvenirs.


Our next stop is at the famous Hammerfest Church, consecrated in 1961.  While the exterior of the church is nothing special, the interior is very beautiful - the entire east wall, with no altarpiece,  is one large, glowing stained glass window.  The rest of the church is very plainly and simply decorated - but quite nice.


Then it is off tothe Meridian Column, erected in 1854 to commemorate the first international measurement of the Earth's circumference.  This scientific collaboration between Russia, Sweden, and Norway was completed in Hammerfest in 1852.  Unfortunately for such an important scientific discovery, the monument is now in a very unattractive place surrounded by industrial buildings.  We could barely find it (we could not even find the fortification at Fuglenes).


Then on our way to dinner, we have a quick look at the Gateway to the Arctic Sculpture, but that was not that impressive.  We have decided to carry on driving and see how far we can get to Alta tonight.  But rather than have dinner very late, we have dinner at Pepe's Pizza in Hammerfest.  These pizza joints have spread from the south of Norway all the way to the north.  It is a filling meal and then we are on our way.


Oh, yeah - we thing we noticed when driving on the island of Hammerfest is the abundance of reindeer.  They are everywhere, including the streets of the city.  Not only do we have to avoid them while driving, we also have to avoid their droppings while walking around the city.  We have not quite picked up the locals frustration with these animals while driving, so we would take our time and slowly inch by them.  The locals would sound their horn and muscle past them with their cars.  We were lucky that we did not hit one while traveling on this island.


We crossed back over onto the mainland from Kvaløy island via the 741 meter long Kvalsund bridge (the northernmost suspension bridge in the world) and after a short way, reach once again E6, turning south and making our way over the rather monotonous Sennaland towards Alta.


We can tell that Alta is a large city - the largest in Finnmark - as we soon come upon the first traffic lights in a while and there are speed cameras dotted along the road on regular intervals.  The weather has begun to change, with the clouds clearing and the sun shining. We make a quick stop on the way in to take a look at the bay on which Alta is situated.


We reach the town center of Alta at 8:30 PM and look to see if we can find the information office.  But do we ever struggle to find it in the town square.  In the end, we o and enquire at one of the hotels.  The very helpful lady there answers our questions on where the campsites are located and where the information office is.  It is just around the corner, but turns out to be part of a travel office, so is hard to notice. As expected, it is closed.  But we now have a map and directions on where to go, so we are all set.


We drive the short distance out of Alta to check out the campsites.  There are three, all in a row.  We check out each one and in the end decide to pick the hut that is offered at the last of the three.  It is the best value for money.  We spend the evening relaxing, having a shower (free at this camp site) and working on our journals.


Lars also heads out shortly after midnight to go take a look at the midnight sun.  By walking down to the Alta river that borders the campsite, it is possible to get a good view of the sun as it reaches it's lowest point over the horizon.  It is a wonderful evening with clear skies - just a bit cold.  Then it is time to head off to bed.


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