The End of the World at 71°10′21″N
The North Cape, or Nordkapp in Norwegian and Davvinjárga in Northern Sami, was given its name by English commander, Richard Chancellor in 1553. As he passed by, he referred to it as the end of the world. It's being advertised as the Northernmost point of Europe.... but it's actually not. It's a similar phenomenon to the Cape of Good Hope just south of Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Agulhas is actually the Southernmost tip of Africa. Speaking of Cape Agulhas; I visitied there not not even one year ago. And now standing at the (almost, we were about 1km short) Northernmost tip of Europe resulted in many many goosebumps for me. It was an exaptional feeling. From being closer to the South Pole than home to only 2000km off the North Pole within one year. It really was a special.
Climbing around the Nordkapp
But even if we keep all this aside, Nordkapp is an exceptionel place. It is located on the island of Magerøya, in Finnmarken and features loads of beautiful cliffs and reindeers and of course the famous globe. And it is utterly beautful up there. And windy. Which makes it difficult for trees to grow. And even if they would wheater all the storms and snow they would then be eaten by all the reindeers which arrive in summer. That is also why you barely see any flowers in the little villages. There is simply no point as the reindeer would just walk in and eat it all right away. Plants really live a tough life on Magerøya.
Incredibly friendly man wearing traditional Sami clothing and a hungry reindeer
The famous globe at Nordkapp
For me this was surely the highlight of our trip. My travelbuddy - my greatgrandfather Hellmuth - would debate that though. He wanted to see the Northern lights before turning 100 years old. And one night before we reached the Nordkapp he saw them for the very first time in his life - at 99 years, 10 months and 14 days. He stood on deck and just kept staring at the green sky. We got really lucky as it was crystal clear and lady aurora gave her best to impress my greatgranddad. Oh and she did. She really did. I didn't take pictures that night. The moment was too precious... this was what we came for. After a while I asked him what he thought about the Norhtern lights and if he liked them.... but he didn't even answer. His eyes kept wandering around the sky. I took some pictures the next night but we were moving pretty fast on our ship so it was impossible for me to capture sharp images. I posted the least embarrasing one on my Instagram if you want to take a look. I won't post any pictures of lady aurora here though.
Approaching Tromsø like a pro
Sunrise over the Arctic Circle - another highlight
As you can see, the last few days of our trip were a total success.
You know what got me thinking...? My greatgrandfather was born during WWI, had to fight in WWII even though he had no intentions to do so, and then had to spend four years in Russian captivity. And now, almost exactly 100 years later, we had dinner together at the Northernmost point any of us had ever been, only a few minutes off Norway's border with Russia. I mean... what am I suposed to say? It really means the world to me to be able to spend this much time with my greatgranddad, None of the words here or the pictures I took can transport how grateful I am for this trip and that we will celebrate his 100. birthday only one month from now.
We're back now and I'm really enjoying goign through the pictures we took. Oh, and by the way, he has his next trip planned out already. He's going to travel to Portugal next year. 'Cause what else would you do at age 100?!
Thank you Opa for this truly special trip.
P.S.; Norway, I'll see you in Februrary. Stay tuned for more Norway action folks. And of course some more stuff in the meantime!