If you stand on the edge of the Nordkapp (North Cape) Plateau and believe that you’re at the northernmost point of Europe, well, unfortunately your not. Technically speaking, you’re exactly 1,457 meters or 4,780 feet or .905 miles short of your goal. Turning your head slightly to the west, you’ll see where you really should be standing: Knivskjellodden.
While nearly 300,000 tourists visit the Nordkapp Plateau each year, Knivskjellodden has a slightly smaller number. As of 11:22 PM, last night, August 15, 2011, 961 people had travelled there this year. If you want to add your name to that list, all you need is good hiking boots, bottled water and appropriate clothing. Like the Norwegian saying goes, “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad/poor clothing.”
The Knivskjellodden hiking trail is 9 km, 18 km round trip (5.6 miles/11.2), and is well worth the time it takes to get there. Between May 14 and July 28, the midnight sun is shining in this part of the world, and in August one can see the sun set and rise on a night-time hike. Absolutely breathtaking!
The trail is very rocky. Picture bumpy cobblestone streets, but with larger rocks, deeper crevices, on a decline one way and incline the other. So, good boots are your feet’s best friend. Basically you just follow the rock tower trail markers.
Yesterday we had amazing warm weather and clear skies, making conditions ideal for seeing the sunset in front of us and the full moon behind us.
When we came down to the sea, we had an impressive view of the 1,007 foot Nordkapp Cliff.
And then, of course, we had to take our pictures at the northernmost point of Europe as well as write our names in the visitor’s book, found in the little while box marked with a “T”.
Some previous pilgrims had left bottles of wine and cognac, and although we were tempted to take a swig or two, we thought we’d do the hospitable thing and let visitors #962 & 963 do the honors.
Before we headed back home, we admired the colorful sky, the massive Nordkapp cliff, and the glowing full moon. And now we can say that we’ve been to the top of Europe.