img_2549What sounds so complicated, does not mean anything other than the geographically last corner of a continent. In other words, we have reached our destination. We arrived on the Norwegian island Magerøya which with it’s most famous attraction, the North Cape. There’s a separate blog about the actual North Cape visit (specifically, the three visits) with photos, the trip from Lake Inari by Magerøya was too interesting not to talk about it.

The landscape had subtly changed. From flat and deciduous to rolling hills and coniferous, then harsh and no trees at all. The temperature: An arctic-summerly 4 degrees. Luckily we had anticipated just that and had packed accordingly. Furthermore, we were seated in the van for most of the day. Unlike the groups of cyclists that we passed from time to time and who visibly struggled in these weather conditions.

Occasionally, we stopped for coffee and museum visits such as the Sami Cultural Centre in Karasjok where Sami artifacts were displayed and cultural traditions were explained in detail. There, I have found further evidence of the written Sami language (see photos), and was able to listen to a few sentences – not that I would have understood a word…

Speaking of coffee: Filter coffee (perculated coffee), that’s what you get everywhere here in the cafes and restaurants. Mostly with a free refil. Foamed milk (the way I like to drink coffee – as cappuccino or latte) is hard to come by. Scandinavians are very fond of filter coffee, allegedly to that one can stay awake during the dark winter months, and that’s according to guide books and reports from locals. Now during the summer, staying awake is less of a problem: The sun shines all night. While locals simply sleep in the lightness (or not at all, they are known to often party through the entire night), I miss a bit of darkness at least as much as I miss foamed milk. How Scandinavias produce their melatonin is a big mystery. None of our camping cottages had blinds or other effective means of darkening the room, and that’s very different from the hotels I’ve stayed at during my North Cape trip 19 years ago. I had attempted ​​several times to artifically darken the cottage, for example with blankets and towels but this wasn’t enough. In consequence, I crawled deep into the sleeping bag and skillfully draped some pillows around my face, barely able to breathe. In the morning, I felt quite whacked unfortunately and could hardly get out of bed. Oh how nice it would be to just switch off the sun for a few hours …

The accommodation on Magerøya island had been prebooked since we weren’t quite sure just about how busy the region would be tourist-wise. We had brought a tent with us as an alternative should we ever get stranded but we were in agreement that it was simply too cold and uncomfortable in Magerøya to engage in this kind of adventure. We had made reservations for a cottage in Skarsvåg, the self-proclaimed northernmost fishing village in the world. From our window we had a clear view of the “North Cape Horn”, a distinctive rock formation that is located just below the North Cape Plateau and sticks out into the air like a rhinoceros horn. The view was a spectacular onset of the next three days’ adventure – a little taste: North Cape, rain, snow, sun, hike to Kirkeporten, a local fish soup and king crab lunch, a visit of Honningsvåg, a boat trip to the North Cape region with attempts to catch fish, and a fish grilling get-together with locals (and a guitar and an accordion). Let’s leave it at this for now – we’ve arrived, and here are some some pictures.

388 km Inari – Skarsvåg: http://goo.gl/maps/cMAkw