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Read and rate Travel Journal Entries for Finnmark, Norway

Jan 21, 2016 - Kirkenes - our terminus

Today we leave the Trollsfjord, our floating home for the past few days. We disembark in Kirkenes which is at longitude 30deg E so we are actually further east than Istanbul and St. Petersburg! The Russian border is only 3 miles away so all street signs are in both languages and there is no passport control for inhabitants and no visas required. The Hurtigruten turns back S from here. We are now in what is known locally as Borderland as three borders meet here - Norway, Russia and Finland. Although Norway is not in the EU it signed up to...

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The Hurtigruten

Jan 20, 2016 - Honningsvag and the North Cape

Through Hammerfest we arrive at Honningsvag, the gateway to the spectacular North Cape, a mere 2000 Km from the Geographical North Pole and the northernmost city in Norway. We set off by coach to the Cape and have been blessed with good weather. Our transport plus a local bus and some tourists in their own car arrive at a junction where 2 snow ploughs await us. We have to travel in convoy following one plough with the second bringing up the rear. The weather can change very rapidly and blizzards can blow in rapidly. Frequently this 'road'...

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The Hurtigruten

Jun 5, 2015 - Southbound

Friday, June 5 I felt better today, and the seas also calmed down a bit. It rained for much of the day, though. We got off at Hammerfest, and visited the Royal and Ancient Order of the Polar Bear. They had exhibits on the history of the area and on polar expeditions. We also walked around town just a little. We had less than an hour in port. Spent most of the afternoon taking a nap. Some more rough seas. I’ve found just rolling doesn’t bother me too much. Rocking is another story. And sometimes the motion just seems chaotic. Up and down...

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Scandinavia 2015

Jun 4, 2015 - Feeling Crabby

Thursday, June 4 Today we reached Kirkenes, the northern end of our trip. We took a king crab excursion. There were four of us on the tour, which was NOT well described so we weren’t certain what to expect. What happened was that we were outfitted with warm coveralls, boots, gloves, and lifevests. We then went out in a RIB (rigid inflatable boat) with a guide. (L note: We were loaded on board the RIB by crane. Not really, but we did feel like two-year olds in snowsuits.) The guide drove the boat out to a trap buoy, brought up a crab...

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Scandinavia 2015

Jun 3, 2015 - Bird Watching and Sami People

Wednesday, June 3 Slept until 8:30 today. Today’s meal schedule was messed up because of excursions. We took the bird watching trip from 11:15 am - 2:45 pm, so lunch was at 10:30 am. Which is fine, except we finished breakfast at 9:30. I made a sandwich to eat in the cabin when we got back. The bird watching trip was good. We drove by bus for about 45 minutes, then took a boat out to some islands that are a sanctuary. We circumnavigated some of the islands, and saw puffins, razorbills, guillemots, cormorants, shags, eagles, eiders, and...

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Scandinavia 2015

Jun 4, 2014 - Towards Finland

We headed South towards Finland & Sweden in the afternoon & gradually left the snowy mountains behind, the scenery changing back to green trees & lakes, not so dramatic as the last few days but still very pretty. We finally stopped at a small town called Karasjok where we found a lovely camp site overlooking the river & the town. The sun shone all day, and most of the night & the temperature was up to 75 degrees by the time we stopped at 6.30pm. I can't believe how lucky we have been with the weather Mileage to day - 259 Mileage to date - 3310

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Jun 3, 2014 - Olderfjord

Yet another day of bright, warm sunshine & beautiful scenery as we get close to our target, the Northernmost point of the European mainland at Nordkapp. We got away early today at 6.45am, it's just so light & bright it makes staying in bed difficult. The sunshine & the clear air made the magnificent scenery more vibrant & sharp. There seems to be a lot more snow about at lower levels now although the roads are completely clear. Their summer season has started now as of the first of June but it only lasts about four months at the most before...

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Jun 5, 2013 - Day 8 Hammerfest

Hammerfest is the northernmost designated Town in Norway. 70 degrees 39”48’ North It is the centre for the Norwegian North Sea oil and gas. Lots of new buildings. On land we had a quick look at the Polar Museum. There were some interesting looking films, which I didn’t have time to have a good look at. It has two main areas of focus. One is the polar exploration, unfortunately I did spend a bit of time on the internet so only saw a part of this section. lots of blizzard sound effects so that you get the feel for what it must...

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Jun 4, 2013 - Day 7 to the Russian border

So much to learn on this informative bus trip from Kirkenes to the Russian border. An entertaining guide brightened any dull moments. Kirkenes (Church+headland) is the last ice free port; gulf stream does not reach the Russian ports so they ice up during winter. An agreement between the two countries has Russian fishing fleet operating from Kirkeness. No Norwegian fleet does so. Once upon a time there were no borders, just a common area for Russia and Norway/Sweden (then one) the border was fixed in 1826, with some funny anomalies....

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Jul 2, 2009 - Another Sea Day

We really slept in this morning. The lack of darkness must have caught up with us, since we were in bed relatively early last night. After a late breakfast we did some walking then went to a lecture on the Fjords which was quite interesting. We had lunch where there were carved Viking heads and ships from watermelons - the heads in particular were very well done. Afterwards Christine returned to the cabin to read and I went to a lecture on Verdi's Operas. As I was returning there were people outside obviously intent on something in the...

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Jul 1, 2009 - At the Top of the World

We were again up and breakfast when the ship docked. This time in Honningsvag. Apart from crossing the pole on an aeroplane, this is the furthest north we have been, and are ever likely to be. Honningsvag itself is the furthest north village in Europe and the gateway to North Cape or Nord Kapp as it is known here. Technically I understand it is not quite the most northerly part of mainland Europe, as a nearby point is slightly further north. It is, however the most accessible and is where the Atlantic and the Arctic Oceans are generally...

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May 5, 2009 - Finnmark

Well if Finnish Lapland is the home of Santa Claus then Finnmark Norway should without a doubt be home to the abomnible snowman! This is a land of absolute extremity, shockingly beautiful, but wild and dangerous. Travelling here during the winter months has opened our eyes to the all consuming power of nature. Our journey into Finnmark, starts off, as all journeys into the unknown do, just two people blissfully unaware of the unwelding power of this new and unexperienced climate. We drive into the town of Alta, the first town on our tour...

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