Denmark/Norway/Finland/Sweden travel blog

Arctic Souvenirs


The Arctic

Map of where we are

The Globe on a good day

The North Cape on a good day

The Globe on the day we were there

Doug trying not to get blown away

Fences to keep the snow from falling onto the town

The town on our way back to the ship

The town

We are back to the overcast skies and wind. 46 degrees

From the town of Honningsvag, it takes 40 minutes by bus to make it up to the most northerly point of Europe. It is a majestic rock; of course we couldn't see it, so we took pictures of it inside the visitor center. It was named North Cape by the English explorer Richard Chanslor back in 1553. He passed alongside the Cape in search of the Northern Passage. The Cape is situated on 71 C North and on the Meager Island.

During the summer months around 5000 reindeers are grazing on the island. Many famous scientists and researchers have visited The Cape and over time it has transformed into a cult place to visit. More than 1/2 million guests every year come to stand on the top of Europe. The weather can be brutal and wonderful within the same day.

Since this is all we did today, I'll tell you about Norway's off-shore oil drilling.

Norway used to be a poor country; not much going on. The terrain is so mountainous that land can't be used for much agriculture. So fishing is it; but then they over-fish some of the ocean and have to cut back. Anyway, in 1969, oil was discovered and an industry was built up and is now the country's biggest money maker. It now has half of Western Europe's oil reserves. The formerly poor nation of Norway is the Arabia of the North, and a world-class player. It is ranked third among the world's top oil exporters, producing 1.6 million barrels a day.

Because of their new wealth, the nation used the money to improve the country's infrastructure; building new roads, tunnels, railroads, bike trails, extending electricity to all parts of the nation; providing free health care, education and family maternity/paternity leave. They are also saving a huge percentage of their wealth to cover the days when the oil wells run dry.

The cities and countryside are beautiful. A little graffiti here and there but mostly everything is clean and neat. The people are well built, tall and mostly blond; just like in Denmark and I feel fairly safe in saying Finland and Sweden will be the same.

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