Monday, July 27, 2009

Nordkapp: The Road Definitely Does Not Go Ever On From Here


Along the North Cape of Norway

End of the road, North Cape end in the distance

The parking lot/campground at the end

Me downing a Mack's Arctic Brew before heading out into the frosty gale

The globe--very famous--on the promontory

Globe again

Vicki at the globe

The Thai shrine in the Nordkapp museum; the king visited in 1907

The King's View, a special lounge auditorium, with windows opening to the sun...

No sun this midnight, just clouds

But there was a shining on the sea

Part of the gift shoppe, huge by any standard

We drove further on, through a beautiful valley, a huge long fishing creek/river (many summer homes, fishing/hunting cabins), Sami (Lappland) shopping centers (tents with hand-made goods), and then out onto the Cape itself, mostly along the east coast, the land becoming more and more desolate. An 8km tunnel is a main feature, other than pancake rocks, sea-scenes and fishing villages. The tunnel goes beneath the sea for a couple kms. And the charge for vehicles over 6m (we're just short of 7) was a whopping 507NOK. $75.

Then the road climbed into ever more desolate, tree-less land, with patches of snow in gullies. North Cape itself is a 1,000 foot cliff over looking the Arctic Ocean. We arrived about 9PM, paid the 320NOK admission charge for the two of us and our vehicle, and proceeded on to the huge cliff-top parking lot, to join several dozen other RVs. The weather atthis height was a cloudy, rainy, gale, daylight, but no sun visible. We walked out on the Cape, did the obligatory pix, visited the gift shoppe—one of the largest ever—viewed the tryptych panorama movie about Nordkapp, actually good, museum, chapel, Thai shrine (really thais things together for us (see blog circa November, 2008), the King's view. 12AM, curtains rise to strains of the morning piece from Peer Gynt...like Xmas vacation, the drum roll (please), and then....clouds. At least at this point you could see the horizon and a definite shimmering. Many pix. Waited another hour, till 1 PM. Broad daylight outside, enough to read by easily, but no visible sun. Retired at 1:30AM.

There were sixty or so tour buses, easy. Equivalent number of RVs. The place was crawling with German retirees. On the other hand, it was not crawling with Americans. We saw license plates from all the major western Euro and Scando countries, plus Estonia, Lithuania, Poland. Ours the only one from Montana. People continue to do double-takes when they see our license plates. I am sure we will be featured, well, mentioned, in hundreds of family slide and video shows. When we talk to people, whatever nationality, they're always curious about the camper, about what we're doing, always very friendly and welcoming. I guess it goes with any curiosity and we definitely are a curiosity.

Meteorologist Vicki notes that the polar winds and the Gulf Stream are a bad combination, producing rain, clouds, turbulent weather.

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