Yesterday was the day: I reached a designation that for a long time had been too far away – both spatial and time-wise – to imagine. In the morning I set foot on the northernmost point of mainland Europe: Knivskjellodden (N 71° 11’ 08”). Shortly after, around noon that day, I paid the North Cape a visit. Steeply arising from the sea, it is far more popular than its some 1.5 km more northern neighbour. Maybe this is also, because there is a street connection to the North Cape 😉 Anyway, I enjoyed being at both places. The weather was ok, no rain and I guess the strong winds are just normal there 🙂 It was a strange feeling to look down from the plateau and know that just a vast sea area and the archipelago Svalbard separates one from the North Pole.
You also want to know what happened in the last weeks? Well, Finnmarksvidda and Porsangerhalvøya held some rough days ready for me. “On Finnmarksvidda in that time of the year, I would be prepared for everything from sun to snow storm,” two different people, whom I met on my way, told me. At that time I did not know how right they should be. I got some days with really strong winds, often without the possibility to find lee. Combined with rain or snow on one day respectively, it got ugly and I just wanted to arrive in these moments. One morning, I realized that my boots were frozen over night. I had missed the time to take them into my sleeping bag. This meant a 1/2 hours retarded start of the tour that day, because my boots had to go into the sleeping bag, together with a hot-water bottle 😉 Yet, there were also the days with nice and sunny weather and all those magic moments – a sea eagle ascending majestically into the sky; a huge reindeer flock of more than a 100 animals, being herded together by two Sami, Northern lights flickering on the sky in some of the nights – which made up for everything. Overall I think that I was lucky with the weather on that stage, too, but I got a glimpse how things can be on the stormy side.
It was also on this stage that I reached the lowest point of the trip (only literally, not figuratively speaking 😉 ): the Nordkapptunnel, which on a length of 7 km brought me some 20000 cm under the sea. Jules Verne sends his regards 😉 It was definitely an experience to walk through that tunnel. Every car sounded like an approaching train. This was fair enough, since it was off-season and there was only a car passing by every couple of minutes. But I imagine it to be really loud for the hikers who start their trip from the north and come through the tunnel in the main season. Otherwise I just heard the rhythm of my own footsteps and the water dripping from the humid walls. On Magerøya I had yet to pass another tunnel: the 4 km long Honningsvågtunnel to Honningsvåg. One fourth of that days walk under the surface of the earth – not bad 😉
Maybe you are wondering – and I do the same – what I am feeling now that the trip is over. Joy? Sadness? Relief? Pride? To be honest, it is hard to tell. I guess it is a mixture of everything. Now I have some days rest in Honningsvåg before Hurtigruta will bring me back to Bergen. I am definitely looking forward to that – world`s most beautiful cruise. Maybe I will get the chance to write a little post about that, too. I am also looking forward to hopefully see all of you again soon. In this sense: Vi snakkes 🙂
P.S.: The photos of the last weeks are also in the google album now.