Two of ‘the ‘’lucky few’ are freezing cold, in the northern most car park in Europe/Norway. At 71°10’21” its as far north as a Chucklebus can drive, or any wheeled vehicle for that matter. There’s a little headland just to the left (west) of us that is the true northerly limit of mainland Norway, then there’s the little island just out at sea which also claims a title, then there’s the Island of Svalbard miles out in the Norwegian sea which holds the inhabited northerly record, so as to the ultimate ‘Northerly’ claim to fame, it depends how you word it, they are all a little bit different. All I know is, I can’t drive any farther north, end of the road…baby!, no more tarmac and it’s all south from here.
It’s hardly stopped raining all day, just spitting to be honest, but its enough to get you wet and it’s gusting a hoolie. Charlie’s is rocking on his springs. The reindeer around us don’t seem to mind, I guess it’s positively balmy to them, it’s the middle of summer after all. There’s a constant supply of tourists, delivered by motorhomes, coaches, motorbikes, bicycles and even a walker or two! Bearing in mind the next nearest town (on-route) is 18 miles away, they do well to cycle into this head wind. For miles around it’s open, barren and tree-less, nothing to break the cold wind that constantly rolls over this bleak landscape.
The North Cape centre, at the very end of the last bit of tarmac, is open 24 hours a day and people arrive at the strangest of times. We’ve seen coach-loads still arriving after 11pm, they missed the midnight sun by about a week. The centre has a panoramic cinema showing a film of the area during the seasons, a Cave of light, a Thai museum (strangely), cafe, bar & gift shop. At 260 Nok (£24) each it’s not cheap to enter, a bit of a tourist trap let’s say, but it’s ‘the thing to do’ whilst you’re here, after all, it’s 300 miles round trip from Alta. We paid the full price for two people, but if Angie had happened to be in the loo at the time….Ahem.
Sink the Bismark!!: A couple of days ago we were in Alta, we didn’t really fancy the ancient cave drawings, as described by many bloggers before us, so we went for the Tirpitz museum, much more interesting. Back in 1943 the Tirpitz, the second Bismark-Class German battle ship was hidden in the Alterfjord and a crack squad of British soldiers were sent to sink it. They failed in their attempt on this occasion, but we got her eventually, with specially designed 5,400kg bombs by Barnes Wallace dropped from Lancaster bombers near Tromsø in 1944. Lots of items from the Tirpitz were retrieved and now reside in the museum, very interesting if you like that sort of topic.
We backed up to the lower car park (it was less windy) and had hoped to walk to Kinvskjellodden, the ‘other’ north cape, it’s true, Kinvskjellodden is a little farther north than the North Cape centre and you can quiet clearly see that from the cape, but the wind howled, the rain spat and it was just not meant to be.
So the ‘North Cape Centre’ is as far north as were going to get. It’s all south from here on, hopefully its going to get a bit warmer.
Cheers, Wayne x
Free, Alta, Car park in front of a large white church. Very quiet. No WiFi, water tap just inside the churchyard gates. n69.963660 e23.249750.
(Bumbles sleepy spot) Down on the quay, Free, quiet, no WiFi. n69.986800 e23.305110 get water at Esso garage on main road. n69.975570 e23.335090.
LPG at Alta (last before Estonia) n69.96627 e23.35717 Dish fitting required.
Free car park at Nordkapp (Kinvskjellodden) n71.12170 e25.70740