We were up at 6.30am this morning and were heading to Norway via Ivalo. We saw our first Moose and there were hundreds of reindeer grazing in the wilderness. We crossed the border and visited Sapmi Park which presents the Sami culture and history.
The cultural park lies in the centre of Karasjok, a Sami town of 3000 people and is the 'capital' of the Sami people in Norway. Karasjok is a bilingual municipality where 90 % of the population speaks Sami. There are about 60000 reindeer grazing in the area throughout the autumn and winter.
For traditional, environmental, cultural, and political reasons, nomadic reindeer herding is legally reserved only for Sami people in Norway and Sweden.
Reindeer husbandry is legally protected as an exclusive Sami livelihood, such that only persons of Sami descent with a linkage to a reindeer herding family can own, and hence make a living off, reindeer.
After lunch we headed farther into Norway and along the Porsangen Fjord to Honningsvag on the island of Mageroya home to 4000 people and 5000 reindeer.
We continued to the North Cape. Europe's last northern outpost, on a sheer cliff rising 305 metres from the Atlantic Ocean. Nordkapphallen is a visitor center with a variety of facilities at the Cape: The Nordkapp Panoramafilm presenting the Nordkapp region in fours seasons, historical exhibitions, St.Johannes Chapel, Cave of Light, gift and souvernir shop, the world northernmost post office, restaurants and cafes. Walking around the area there was the Barna av Verden (Children of the Earth) sculptures created in 1988 when children from 7 different countries came there and created it over one week!
When standing at the North Cape cliff with the iconic globe monument, only the Svalbard Islands separate you from the North Pole. The Globe symbolises what they call the point which is the edge of the earth. This is a wild place where the wind howls and the ocean crashes against the rocks.
The views at Nordkapp were outstanding. We then travelled back to Honningsvag to our hotel - the Scandic. The room was really small, the lights did not work, no water in the town, so no showers and the TV was from the 1950's. Pete and I had dinner and then walked around the area. We were close to the waterfront which was beautiful and there was an ice bar but it was closed. Back to our hotel and because we had torn curtains and no lights we left our windows open and were having trouble sleeping , we looked out the window from our bed and there they were, the Northern lights - sky was green..............