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  • Writer's pictureSElliott

Day 06 - Reindeer Crossing and The North Cape

Updated: May 25, 2023

We did manage to sleep after the excitement of the Northern Lights and woke up this morning in Havøysund. Once again there were lovely views of the sun rise.

Picture 1 - Sun rise

We were sailing all morning so Mum and I went up to the café on the 7th deck where there were large windows where we could see the views and a ready supply of coffee! At 9:30 Postman Marco was back, this time with Postbear Polar, to stamp our postcards with the North Cape stamp.

We had a Point-of-Interest talk mid-morning as we were passing through the Magerøysundet. This is where the reindeer swim across after spending the summer on Magerøy Island. After winter the reindeer used to get taken over the sound by boat but now they take the tunnel! This is the location where archaeologists found the remains of dwellings that are 10,300 years old.

Picture 2 - Views on the Magerøysundet

Once we had traversed the Magerøysundet we arrived in Honningsvåg. Honningsvåg is the capital of North Cape. There used to be a ferry that provided a link with the mainland but, in 1999, this was replaced with an undersea tunnel (which the reindeer use). This is also the location of the northernmost roundabout in Norway!

When we arrived in Honningsvåg Mum and I made our way to where the buses were parked that would take us on our excursion to the North Cape. On the way to the buses we passed the statue of the dog Bamse. He was the dog of a captain in Honningsvåg. When war broke out, the captain was drafted into the Royal Norwegian Navy and took Bamse with him (he was enrolled as an official crew member as well)! When the Nazis occupied Norway they escaped to the UK, along with their ship the Thorodd. They were stationed in Montrose and Dundee in Scotland.

Bamse helped lift the morale of the ship’s crew and was known to break up fights between the crew members. He was responsible for rounding up his crew and escorting them back to the ship in time for curfew or their duties. To do this he rode the local buses unaccompanied and became well known to the local civilian population. He became the heroic mascot of the Free Norwegian Forces and a symbol of Norwegian freedom.

Picture 3 – Bamse

There was also a troll….

Picture 4 - Honningsvåg Troll

From Honningsvåg the bus took us over the island to the North Cape. The surroundings were very barren – similar to the highlands in Scotland. Although there was no snow it did look cold outside and several ponds/lakes were frozen. The tour guide, who was originally from Italy, was very informative.

Picture 5, 6 and 7 - Views on Magerøy Island

The North Cape was given its name by the British seafarer Richard Chancellor in 1553. He was searching north of Siberia for the Northeast Passage to India and was looking for a good landmark for ships to navigate by. The first “tourist” to the North Cape was an Italian priest, Francesco Negri, who wrote “I am standing at the edge of the world here at the North Cape at Finnmark’s outermost point. This is where the world ends, and this is also where my curiosity ends, and I can return home satisfied”.

Mum and I were lucky enough to get some pictures of the monument with no people blocking the view! There were some other monuments – one commemorating the visit of the Norwegian King and a different one called “Children of the World” which had 7 different sculptures each designed by a child from a different continent.

Picture 8 - North Cape Monument

Picture 9 - Children of the World Monument

In the North Cape Hall there was a restaurant, souvenir shop, a short museum and a 15 minute panorama film showing life on the island. The film was really good and quite moving.

Picture 10 - North Cape

We returned to the ship just as the sun was setting…at 14:15!!

When we had gotten back on board, after we had dropped off some stuff in our cabin, we headed back up to the café on the 7th floor (we’ve found that this has better lighting than the panorama lounge and generally more available seats) all ready to partake in some applecake and hot chocolate – yum yum!

From Honningsvåg the ship continued on its cruise North via Kjøllefjord to the actual Northernmost port – Mehamn. However, since we didn’t dock there until after 6pm we were sailing all afternoon. During this time Mum and I attended a lecture on the Hurtigruten Expedition Antarctica and a film about the Northern Lights. Although the film covered some things we had already been told about the Northern Lights it was still interesting.

The Northern Lights appeared again tonight but there were clouds in the way, and an annoying lighthouse that kept flashing at us in inopportune moments! I wish they would have turned their flash off!!

Pictures 11 and 12 - Northern Lights

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