Difference between revisions of "Nordkapp"
Revision as of 18:07, 4 January 2010
Nordkapp  is a 307 m (1007 ft) high cliff rising above the Artic Ocean. Nordkapp is promoted as the northenmost point of Europe, this is however not true. The neighbouring point Knivskjellodden is actually 1,457 m (4780 ft) further north. Some 200,000 tourists visit annually, during the two to three months of summer. The town Honningsvåg is 34 km south of Nordkapp. An half hour drive by car. The midnight sun may be enjoyed 14 May-29 Jul. Unless it is a cloudy day.
Nordkapp - The North Cape, the North Cape Horn has always been a well-known an important point of orientation for all boats and ships. The rock has had a great variety of names and it was only in the mid 16th century that it was given the present name.
In 1553 a english commander, Richard Chancellor passed Nordkapp and named the cliff as Nordkapp, the North Cape. From that time, it has been called Nordkapp. At that time it wasn't exactly the center of interest. But only 100 years later, the first "tourist" was reported to have climbed up to the plateau. He was an Italian priest called Fransesco Negri. It took him more than two years on foot, by boat, on horseback, on sleighs and on skis. In 1664, finally having reached his destination, he noted in his travel log: "Here i am now on the North cape, at the extream tip of Finnmark, really at the end of the world"
In the 18th and 19th centuries, a journey to Nordkapp was still an adventure - an expensive one. This is why there were quite a few high-ranking people aming the first tourists - Prince Luoise Phillippe of Orleans, Oscar the second, King of Norway and Sweden, King Chualalonkorn of Thailand He got his name and date carved into a rock on the top of the plateau. This rock can be seen in the Panoramahall in front of the souvenirshop. And Emperor Wilhelm the second, of Germany.
In 1875, London Travel agents Thomas Cook, organized the first group travel to Nordkapp for 24 participants. At that time travelling to Nordkapp was very different compared to how it is now. There was no road leading across the island to the plateau. Travellers were taken by rowing boat from Skarsvåg or Gjesvær to Hornvika, just below the north cape. From there they had to climb up the steep and rocky ravine, to reach heigh of plateau. The first modest wooden buildings started to appear to the plateau. One of those was an hut "Stoppenbrink's Champange Pavilion.
Nordkapp is where E69 ends. E69 branches off E6 at Olderfjord, 129 km (80 mi) away. The road passes a deep undersea road tunnel with toll booth on the northern side collecting toll both ways, both for vehicles (kr 70) and passengers (Adults: 47 children: kr 24).
When arriving by bicycle, be aware of the tunnel from the mainland. This is a 7km tube going 212m under the sea level. Good fun the first 3km, and remember the speed limit. You'll need good gears to get out again. At the road from Honningsvåg to the North Cape plateau, you will need them to. Take care of the wind: 7 or 8 Bft with gusts far stronger than that is not unusual. At the North Cape center itself, don't forget to sign the cyclists' guest book.