When I was there the only sounds that I heard was the sounds of kids playing ion the streets and walking around, one could hear the cries of seagulls and watch them flying ever so freely. Simply lovely and I find it simply amazing that such a town still exists in this crazy world of ours…
As our gracious bus driver, Mr Tor, took a soft right hand turn, the magnificent waterfall that was dumping thousands and thousand of icy fresh water from a height of more than 100 metres came into sight. Instinctively everyone in the bus went “Ooooooooh…….!”, “Aaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh……!”, “Wow!”, “Looooovely!”…… and it had been like that for the past 3 hours since we left Oslo.
The weather was cold but then again nobody seems to mind. After all ever since our arrival to Scandinavia, everybody’s visual senses had been working overtime.
“Wah low eh! Beauuuuuuuuutiful”…..This time another lovely waterfall surrounded by snow capped mountain came up on our left and had everyone in the bus snapping away on their cameras with a exception of a few taking in the breath-taking view with smiles of satisfaction on their faces, As a traveller, we live for moments like these.
Just when I thought that I had seen the best that Norway could offer, I was so badly mistaken when I took the Flaam train ride the next day.
Flaam is a beautiful small town nestled deep in a tributary of the world’s longest and deepest fjord, the 204 kilometre long and 1308 meter deep Sognefjord. The train journey takes us up the steep mountain which overlooks deep valleys and passing through roaring waterfalls, the train journey was simply a spectacular journey through one of the loveliest place on Earth. It was truly a journey through paradise that everyone should experience at least once in a lifetime and I was left guilty for questioning the tour fare. It was truly worth every single hard earned ringgit of it!
On the 10th day of my 16th day journey, I arrived at Hammerfest, the self proclaimed Northern-most town in Europe. It is a delightful distraction on the way to my ultimate destination. Nordkapp.
Hammerfest is a lovely picturesque town that had her fair share of misfortunes, the latest which almost wiped her out when a fire which started in a bakery back in 1890 destroyed nearly half of the town houses. It was rebuilt then through donations and humanitarian assistance from all over the world with the biggest single donor being Kaiser Wilhelm from Germany who had personally visited the town several times and had great affection for the small northern settlement. It is not hard to imagine why people who travelled to this scenic town have such affection for the place. The air is simply fresh, the pace of life there slow moving and the people are simply friendly (The ones that I came across anyway). With the discovery of gas recently, it has added to the prosperity of the area but without sacrificing the natural beauty it.
When I was there the only sounds that I heard was the sounds of kids playing ion the streets and walking around, one could hear the cries of seagulls and watch them flying ever so freely. Simply lovely and I find it simply amazing that such a town still exists in this crazy world of ours. If this is the Northern-most town as claimed then to me, I think this is the end of the world!
To add to the lure of the place, there is a Meridian Monument. It is a granite column top with a bronze globe and it was erected to commemorate the completion of a survey that was conducted to determine the shape and size of our planet Earth. From this Monument, one gets a mesmerising view of the town and the hills beyond.
Later that day as I approached the entrance to the North Cape Tunnel which was going to link us to the island of Mageroya, I could sense the excitement that was building inside of me. After all it is not everyday that one gets to pass through the world’s longest and deepest subsea road tunnel that reaches a depth of more than 120 metres below the sea level! My feeling was one of practically ‘diving’ into the sea in the comfort of the tour coach!
Emerging from the tunnel after travelling all 6.8km of it, it felt good to see some natural light again. Although it was way past 7.00 pm (or was it 7am?), the sun was still up there shinning ever so brightly in the sky! After all, this is the Land of The Midnight Sun and I could feel the excitement building inside of me as I reached the final phase of my journey to Nordkapp and the Midnight Sun!
The scenery from Honningsvag to North Cape is devoid of trees but then again this is what was expected of tundra country. Trees or not, I didn’t realised that such a barren landscape could be such a unique sight, not that I am encouraging deforestation or anything like that!
As the sight of the famous and most photographed Globe came into sight, I almost wanted to shout out for joy. Getting down from the warmth of the bus and out into the driving chilly wind, I could barely contain my excitement and the urge to run all the way inside on straight to the edge of the cliff was very tempting.
As I walked slowly, passing through the crowd of people I made my way slowly to the Globe. Passing through the crowd of people who had came from far and near, I could feel the sense of excitement for in another hour and a half, and all of us would be the witness to a natural phenomenal, the Midnight Sun.
As I stood facing the Globe and looking out to the horizon, where the sun was partly hidden behind a huge cloud, I whispered a soft “Mission Accomplished”.
Finally I had reached the end of the world and what a wonderful sight! Simply emotional and pure joy!
My thoughts was broken by the wall of sound of people who had made this journey from all corners of the world, I couldn’t help but dub them, the Mini United Nations. There was shouting and cheering and of course, the endless photo taking in front and around the Globe. Occasionally there would be groups of enthusiastic singing and our “kia-su” group also gathered ourselves and sang the Negara-Ku!
Imagine the Negara-Ku being sang at the end of the world!
Do we or do we not love North Cape and our Country?!
At that time, it really didn’t matter if I do or do not get to witness the Midnight Sun. Standing there in front of the Globe, standing there at the edge of the cliff in the chilly wind, looking out to the bright horizon, I felt a wonderful sense of enlightenment and as tears flow freely down my face, I thank Apple Vacations for the journey of a lifetime!