Another 0500 wake up call and early bus departure. We drove from Alta (Norway not Utah) to Honningsvag, the most Northern city in the world. Latitude above 71 degrees. I wish the temperature was 71 degrees, it hovers around 2.
We dropped our gear at the hotel and continued north to North Cape, the most northerly point in Europe. Cold doesn't do it justice. Temperature right around zero and wind so strong you had to hold on the ground so you didn't get blown away. It was bitter and we loved the hour we spent there.
The drive north was interesting. We started with some evergreens and birch trees. Then the evergreens disappeared. Then the birch got smaller and sparser. Then the birch disappeared all together and there were no trees, just scrub grasses and snow.
We also drove thru several snow squalls on the way.
It is both barren and desolate and beautiful. Did I mention cold?
We are back at the hotel thawing, waiting for dinner then of all things to do, we are going as a group to the ice bar.
Some of the people are going back to North Cape to watch the sun at midnight approach the horizon and the reverse course and rise without setting. I will find a You Tube video and watch it that way. It's really cloudy, I don't like their chances.
We all went to the ice bar as a group. You get a warm silver cape to wear inside. It is something you do once and was quite fun. You throw your glass into the harbour and make a wish as you leave.
Tomorrow we start south and cross into Finland. We have a stop at a Husky farm (dog not service station)
In spite of the early start, today was a great day
GST is 25% on everything except food, cars, booze and cigarettes. No GST on food. 200% GST on booze cars and cigarettes
All electricity in Norway is hydro
The average salary in Norway is double the European average
Salaries are not secret, they are all available on line
60% of farm income comes from subsidies
Both sexes of reindeer have antlers. They shed them once a year. They are useful hunting for food in the winter.
We went thru the second longest underwater road tunnel in the world. Only the channel is longer
A lot of the tunnels have garage doors at the entry to keep the snow out of the tunnel. It can be scary to arrive at the exit and encounter a closed door ....trapped. They do open automatically.
The multi billion dollar savings account is used wisely by the Norwegian government. Alberta not so much.
Bed time for the last time in Norway
BTW we have reached the stage in the trip where you count Sox and undies and compare them to the number of days left.