Today we are docking at the northernmost stop in our journey, North Cape or Nordkapp in Norwegian. It is also the northernmost point in Europe and I am looking forward to it. We went to the southernmost point at the tip of the heel of Italy a few years ago.
The town is pretty weather-beaten. It looks like the people up here make a living throug extraction industries and fishing plus tourism.
The landscape is pretty stark. There are still patches of snow and there are no trees. The hills are covered with grasses and bryophytes which make for good reindeer munching.
We make a sad stop where a Sammi, from the aboriginals of northern Norway, stands forlornly holding on to a reindeer and garbed in traditional gear. Bus loads of tourists take a moment to snap a picture and drop a few coins. I imagine it is worth it to him for the money.
We reach the North Cape and luckily the sky is clear here at more than 70 degrees latitude. There is a large informational building with a short movie, gift shop, restaurant, and other displays relating to the North Cape.
After looking around the building we take a walk outside where the wind is howling and it is quite cold. We view the northernmost monument and walk over to the edge of Europe. Then we hurry back inside and out of the cold.
The trip back to the ship is much like the way out except that the view is from the other side. I take some pictures out of the window.
Later in the afternoon we listen to a talk about power struggles in the Arctic Zone. It is interesting to hear how maritime law has evolved. Russia is now making a play to gain economic interest over half of the Arctic. The U.S. has no standing in this because we have bull-headedly refused to join the other nations with a coastal presence in the Arctic and sign a treaty which governs its use.
Dinner is supposed to be at the Italian restaurant, Manfredi’s. I am in my comfy clothes and really have no desire to get dressed and go out and interact. So we have room service which is more than adequate.