Friday, 16 May 2014

Alta, Norway - The midnight sun

All our lives we learn that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. But here at the top of Norway in summer, it doesn't do that. Standstill and it does a 360 degree circle around you. l cycled to the northernmost point of Norway, the North Cape, to see the midnight sun and arrived on the very first date of the year when that's possible. But a late winter delivered blizzards that blocked out the sun and chased Bart and I away from the place. That's how things work out sometimes. But we were grateful to see the Cape on our own terms, looking so dramatic under snow and free of the crowds of summer.

We did experience another midnight sun up near the North Cape - the appropriately named Hurtigruten ferry, the MidnatSol which took us from Honningsvag to Hammerfest on a spectacular journey through snow-covered peaks that plunged into the sea and wintry squalls that engulfed the ship. The ferry enabled us to avoid repeating 100 miles of road and 4 miles of fume-filled undersea tunnel.

As we now cycle south down the fjords of Norway's west coast, we have finally entered midnight sun. It won't set again until August and as Bart is always telling me that he works on solar energy, presumably neither will he!

Fact File
Daylight - 24 hours
Distance - 2719 miles
Days - 48
Route - Hurtigruten ferries service the west coast of Norway. We made a short hop of 5 hours to Hammerfest and started cycling again from there down highway E6 - lots of snow on the high points, not too much traffic. We have 24 hours of daylight for somd dsys now but today is the first official day at our location when the sun doesn't set.

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