North Cape, Western Finnmark, Norway.
The grey ocean water danced slowly beneath the white damp, rising from its depths, 300 meters below me. Further away, it was hard to see where the ocean ended and the clouds began. The horizon was one white watercolour painting, made of different shades of water damp. It messed around with my view of depth. I had no idea how far I could see. It was as even the colours said, “this is it, this is the end of the world”. It gave a sense of nothingness, as if you would reach out in to the white, only to find nothing behind.
If my eyes were not limited by the laws of physics, I would be able to see through the endless mist, all the way to the shores of Svalbard, where even more white would wait for me.
Although it was July, it was in no way crowded at the North Cape centre. We had the whole Thai exhibition to ourselves (don’t ask, more than a hundred years ago, a Thai king was one of the first tourists at the North Cape).
A few hours before we had hiked the path to the real north cape (again, it’s complicated), Knivskjelodden. In the first kilometres alone we lost the path several times (or maybe it was only me if you would let Koen tell the story.) It meandered between bare rocks. Cairn would pop up now and then. The mist lied thick on these rocks, wiping out the rest of the world. Here there was only the path, the rocks and now and then a small pond, with water so still that it didn’t disturb the feather light flowers made out of fluff.
After a few kilometres hiking fairly level, the path took a plunge. Steep and deep it went, all the way down a mountain, to the most northern shore on this part of the world. It is always a little hurtful to do an ascend like this with in the back of your mind, the certainty of climbing the thing back up. Further to the shore we had an amazing sight on the high cliff of the north cape. We didn’t see sea lions though, maybe they didn’t want to see us, we are not that of an attraction anyway. Doesn’t matter, we had everything already.
Although standing on that cliff gives you deep feels, embarking on the hike to Knivskjelodden is even better! You can find the information board that marks the start of the hike a few kilometres from the North Cape Centre. Be careful though, it is definitely not buggy prove and a little shy from 10 kilometres single way.
Hiking is not the only physical challenge this far north. We saw several bikers caring all their worldly possessions all the way to the north. The fire of determination in their eyes could beat the steep hairpin turns and the streaming rain, no problem.