Day 7 – On Top Of The Map

Leaving our place at the shores of the Lyngenfjord we set the bow of the Fat One to direction 0 degrees and were trying to reach the Nordkapp some hours later. We had to cross the first proper pass on our trip with serpentines and what have you. On our way down we met again our guests from last night, Peter and Torsten and found an opportunity to make a group picture. We also managed to fulfill one of the photo challenges, the Fritjof Nansen challenge: stand on a glacier (we thought a patch of snow should suffice) with a Norwegian flag.

Nature’s cropping tool: clouds!
Jörg, Torsten, Peter, Franz

A few clicks before Alta, where we wanted to do some shopping, we were driving along the Kåfjord and about to cross the bridge when we saw signs for the Tirpitz-Museum and of course made that little detour. One might actually learn something…

In WW2 the Germans used the Norwegian fjords to keep their battleships and submarines well guarded on their missions to intercept the Allied’s supply runs of weapons to Russia, one of them being Tirpitz. To this day Tirpitz is still the largest ever built battleship in Europe. Tirpitz acted as a fleet in being, forcing the British Royal Navy to retain significant naval forces in the area to contain the battleship or whenever Tirpitz left on a mission to quickly dissolve their convoys. Many different attempts to bomb and destroy Tirpitz failed until Tirpitz was finally sunk in November 1944 near Tromsø.

The bridge across Kåfjord
Whatever it is, it’s not used for camping

We found a nice shopping center in Alta where we did our shopping that should bring us through the next couple of days. Leaving Alta behind we climbed onto a high plateau, part of the Finnmarksvidda, where the sun was eventually coming out for the first time in a few days. The scenery was breathtaking and we made a stop to take in the views and a light snack.

Easily accessible alimentary department of the Fat One

The Nordkapp was coming closer but we still had some driving to do. Once we came down from the plateau we where at the shores of the Porsangen Fjord that leads directly into the Barents Sea. The weather seemed to be improving and we were hoping for some nice views once we would have reached the cape.

Sun and sea in the Arctic
Some interestingly layered rock formations on our way to the Nordkapp
Not many trees up here
Beautiful beach, not many bathing beauties

The cape itself is not on continental Europe but on the island of Magerøya. To get there you’ll have to go through a tunnel that’s nearly 7km long and goes down to 212m below sea level. Close to the cape it then got foggy. Bugger.
Fortunately the organisers had made sure that we were allowed to get by car to the famous globe on the tip of the cape, on the edge of the cliff, which is about 300 metres high above the sea. Waiting in line with the other teams we were having chats, taking pictures of other teams and then finally got to the northernmost point of our trip.

Lovely weather
This could be anywhere

The Fat One, Franz and Jörg had made it to the Nordkapp without any major mishaps and we were feeling a little bit proud at this moment. We wouldn’t say we’ve made it to the top of the world but at least to the top of the map. In a 21-year old car.

There was an exhibition at the cape center, which we visited and we learned that the actual road to the cape had only been built in the 50s. Before that you had to approach the cape by boat and then climb up some very steep paths.

We then made it back down through much more fog than there had been on our way up. We wanted to get close to Honningsvåg, the town that’s closest to the cape where also all the cruise ships get to moore, whose passengers then clog up the way to the cape with their bus convoys.
We had booked a room at the local camping and while unpacking the car we met some colleagues with who we then did our barbecue. They were doing the rally in a 72 Chevy Cheyenne, a great looking car with tons of space but with a surprisingly crammed and uncomfortable driving position.

We had some lovely fresh salmon from the grill together with creamy pasta.

Speaking of unpacking, camping consumes an unbelievably enormous amount of time with packing, unpacking, setting up, taking down, looking for stuff, putting things away, often in the wrong place and then searching for it.
It’s a constant battle.
It maybe down to the fact that we are highly un-experienced campers and the car has not been built as a camping vehicle. However, I think we’re doing quite well considering all of the above. The tetris in the boot of the car with all boxes and bags and chairs and all the other stuff and clutter is working perfectly. Only if we put an item from one box into another where it wasn’t in in the first place, or throw something into the back of the car while looking for something else we might end up in a situation where we have to call a search party: …where’s the salt, I thought we had more water, where’s my phone case, ah, found it, and lost it again 5 minutes later and there’s still no sign, I had 2 special lighters that work also well when it’s windy, gone, MIA…this kind of thing…

Camping – we haven’t finished our trip yet but at present it’s 70/30 overrated/underrated we’d say.

We did only 427km that day and spent about 9 hours for the trip.

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