They come in busses, they come in cars, and they come in campers, on bicycles and on foot.
Thousands of people want to experience the North Cape.
A man turned up here once. He was very determined to see the North Cape. So he drove 2,670 kilometres along Norway’s rugged coastline with his only reliable transportation: a forklift truck.
The North Cape is the northernmost point on the European mainland. At 71 degrees North, it’s on the same latitude as Siberia and the top of Alaska. The Gulf Stream delivers tropical currents from across the Atlantic Ocean, producing a relatively mild marine climate. But it also brings winter storms that can blast busses off the road in an open landscape. This where the Atlantic meets the Arctic.
But there’s something more with this place. More than just a coordinate on a map. Why do people feel so drawn to it?
“We’re just five minutes away”, says the tour guide on the bus.
We pass tiny fishing villages, beautiful wildflowers, grazing reindeer. Behind the North Cape sign, we see silhouettes of reindeer antlers against a brilliant blue sky. And beyond, the monumental globe, a landmark in its own right.
The North Cape is actually a place one should experience alone. It is a destination that inspires reflection. A place where one ponders time and eternity. And even on a busy summer day, it’s possible to find solitude if you wander a few hundred metres away across the vast plateau, to where people have built small stone cairns to show that they were here.
You can stand alone and stare down steep cliffs that soar 307 metres up from the sea. You can watch massive waves crash against the Cape’s rocky ramparts and feel their impact. You have the chance to gaze out and discern patterns on the sea’s surface, out where it is calm, blue and serene. You can look far and wide and wonder where the turquoise distance becomes sky.
Photo: Jan R. Olsen
Below, delicate swirls of mist rise from where the land and the sea meet. The ocean spray quickly splashes out, and, just as quickly, recedes.
Everything happens quickly at the North Cape, but nothing really changes. At the tourist centre that is built into the cliffs, the introductory film reminds us that this is a place where we can experience four seasons within 15 minutes. The aurora borealis flickers in the winter sky, and the midnight sun shines in the summer. Everything transforms into something new, something perhaps more beautiful, because it happens at the North Cape.
Experience the magic of the North Cape with Hurtigruten all year.
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