Saturday, 8 July 2017
08.07.2017 - 08.07.2017
Our ship sailed into the port of Honningsvag located on the southern shore of the island Mageroya the Northernmost city in Norway. The weather looks promising and the temperature milder than expected. We've been warned that visibility could be limited and the wind could reduce the actual temperature of 11 °C. An announcement from the bridge drew our attention to some reindeer on the port side. These were the first form of wildlife we'd seen.
Our Shore Excursion today consists of a coach ride to Nordkapp or North Cape. Located on a headland that juts 350 meters out of the Barents Sea at Latitude 71° 10' 21" North claims to be the Northernmost point of Europe. The ride out to the cape was on a well maintained but narrow road through surprisingly hilly terrain including some sections of multiple switchbacks. The traffic was mainly other coaches, caravans and mobile homes. Large patches of remnant snow and numerous lakes made for an interesting landscape. At one point we stopped to allow a small family of reindeer to cross the road.
We arrived at the destination under a clear blue sky and just enough wind to remind us that the exposed areas were very cold. The facilities were much more extensive than expected. First priority being the toilets located level -1. Along the way to the theatre at level -3 we saw the Post Office on level -2.
The theatre features a 15 minute film repeated every half hour, with 10 minutes to go we decided to take a seat for for the 10:30 show. There was no trouble finding a seat, the auditorium was on a grand scale. The film provided a spectacular view of the area under the various seasonal and weather conditions.
There were displays of historical events, a small chapel and a sound and light cave at the end of a long tunnel. Back at ground level there was an extensive gift shop, a bar and restaurant. All immaculately maintained and spacious enough to accommodate the hordes of tourists who visit during the summer season. There were also tourists who crowded the extensive car-park with caravans and mobile homes. All told they claim over 300,000 visitors a year.
There is a steel hollow globe mounted on a plinth at the correct inclination of the earth. With all those visitors it was impossible to take a clear shot. I decided to include Jenny in a distant shot looking North out over the sea. Turned out pretty well too.
Back on the coach and returned to Honningsvag under clear sky and bright sun. On arrival at the port we found two other ships had joined us. The "Costa Pacifica" dominated the scene and added a significant number of people to crowd. There was also the "Nordkapp" a smaller ferry vessel of the local "Hurtigruten" line. It is one of a number that visit the various Norwegian ports from Bergen to Honningsvag on a regular basis.
After lunch we walked ashore and visited a number of the shops on the waterfront. We found a colourful small picture book of Norway with many of the places we've visited and those we are not likely to see.
Settled at a window in the buffet overlooking the carpark where the tourist coaches were returning and unloading hundreds of passenger for each of the cruise ships. We have an 'all aboard' time of 22:30 which caused me to plan a photo of the ship from the shore with all the light on. Then I realised it was not going to get dark !!
After dinner we went to see the folkloric show in the Cabaret Lounge. Named "Our Northernmost Life" the cast of four young women who combined action, dance and song to describe the various features of their island. The theme in general tried to ask and answer the question "Why would anyone Live here??" Unlike any of these local shows we've experienced.
Tomorrow is another Sea Day as we sail towards Gravdal.
The satellite link has improved so the backlog was cleared. Sorry about the flood.
Today's temperatures were a high of 11 °C and a low of 9 °C but I think it was hotter than that. Still in unbelievable 24 hour daylight.
Until next time. Wishing you good health and safe travel.
Have a great day and stay well.
Cheers .. Tony