This is the Northern most point of Europe, even further North than Iceland, and is marked by a hollow frame globe on a plateau looking out over the Barents Sea and the North.
How to get there:
From the port town of Honningsvåg, reached by ship served by Hurtigruten take the European route E69 highway which its northern terminus at North. In winter you will need to take snow plough escorted road transport as the road covers in snow pretty quickly.
What I experienced here
North Cape or in Norwegian Nordkapp is a cape on the northern coast of the island of Magerøya in Northern Norway. The cape includes a 307-metre (1,007 ft) high cliff with a large flat plateau on top where visitors can stand and watch the midnight sun or the views of the Barents Sea to the north. A visitor centre on the plateau has panoramic views from its café and restaurant and has a post office, souvenir shop.
No sooner had I got off the Coach, I walked to the Plateau to be on the northern most point of Europe. It was a short walk across strange snow that I had never seen before, not even in the Alps. It was dry and granular which sparkled like sequins. Unusually there was no sign of any snow that had melted and re-frozen in the way one sees in normal snow covered lands, where the afternoon sun melts the ice and then the night refreezes it. Here the Sun is so low in the horizon for such a short period of time; the snow has no chance to melt throughout the winter. Moisture does not exist here; it’s either ice or mist.
At the plateau I took photographs knowing that they would never capture the full majesty of this place. It was impossible to stay outside exposed here for too long so after about 30 minutes I went into the café and souvenir shop to have a hot chocolate. Whilst I allowed the hot chocolate to warm my body from the inside, I wrote a postcard to my fridge at home and stuck a North Cape stamp on it. I posted it in the mail box here where it would get a North Cape cancellation stamp. No sooner had I posted my card, the sun was already pushing down on the horizon giving warning with its red and amber colours. I boarded the coach for the trip back to port to catch my ship in Honningsvåg.
In general viewing points have a great view; that is what they are all about but with great views also comes great emotion as one’s eyes take in the splendour of our natural world. North Cape offers something even more special than this though. The temperature and winds at around minus twenty degrees centigrade bites into your exposed check bones and when you remove your gloves to capture the view on camera, the cold travels to the bone of your fingers in no time at all. You are conflicted by your eyes pulling you to stay but your bones are screaming for you to go into the warm restaurant. This is how one feels here, the time spent is all too short but nevertheless the views are spectacular and are not to be missed.
Looking North to the horizon you can see the gradual increase in the cold mist as a prelude to the ice that surely forms further North. One wonders where the most Southern point of Europe is and how warm that must be in contrast to this place.