Sunday, July 11, 2010

The North Cape, Norway

The North Cape claims to be the northernmost point of land in Europe. But is it? Like most other records, it is claimed by others and in this case, Knivskjellodden and Cape Nordkinn. In reality, the North Cape and Knivskjellodden are in the island of Mageroya, while the later, in the European Continental landmass proper. You decide.

To get there, I landed at Honningsvag that claims to be the northern most city in Europe. Then I headed north to the North Cape and made a stop at an indigenous people trading post, the Lapponian Camp, where there was a “Teepee.”

It happens that the Sami, the indigenous people of the Nordic countries, use this type of shelter called a Lavvu. What jumped to my mind was the similarity of the Lavvu to the Teepee of the North American Plain Indians. I propose that design similarities were the result of both cultures being nomadic, in need of portable shelters that could be easily set-up, dismantled and transported. They depended in migratory animals for their survival; the reindeer being to the Sami what the buffalo was to the Plain Indians.

Once at the North Cape, the landscape was barren with steep cliffs down to the rocky shore. One could be at any other place in the world at similar latitudes and could not notice any thing naturally peculiar about this place. Points of interest here were recently created by man for the benefit of tourists, who bring income to the area in excess of the traditional fishing industry. As one arrives, the large North Cape Center building with shopping stores, restaurant and museum is the dominant structure. There is a Thai Room in memory of King Chulalongkorn who visited in 1907; I least I have something in common with royalty, the curiosity to travel.

There are seven round monuments that look to me as giant old greek coins. They are called the “Children of the World Monument” and each of was designed by a child from a different country who visited there as guests of the Norwegian government in 1988. They are to promote peace, happiness, friendship, etc.

There is also a statue of a woman with a boy pointing south (according to my bearings) and she may be saying “Go South Young Man.” where is sunny and warm.

While walking by the cliffs I noticed a carving on a rock that looked to me as an insect. It was just there, no marker or fence to protect it; I am sure that I am not the only one that has seen it. I just photographed it and did not think about until I got home. I was intrigued by this lithograph and emailed the image to the North Cape Center. Surprisingly, Khristian, the service manager at the Center, was kind enough to respond and said that it was called a “rune.” Runes are a type of writing derived from ancient italic alphabets. It is tough that it was introduced by returning Germanic mercenary soldiers that served in the Roman Imperial Army. So what I tough was a representation of an insect is a group of rune letters. Would like to know what it says, anyone out there can translate it for me?

It is time to depart for new latitudes and after a last photo of the Cape, I return to Honningsvag, where at the port, I ran into a group extreme explorers fitted in space suits to conquer the “Finis Terrae.”

14 comments:

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

That is a very colorful village with all the houses painted another color. :)

I guess when those towns were discovered, each was the furtherst north. They did not have the benifit of our maps did they? :)

I would have headed south out of the cold too. :)

Another wonderful post Jose. Thanks for showing us this remote part of the world where I for one would never get to.

雅莊王edgd春2蕙婷余惠其 said...

如果你批評他人。你就沒有時間付出愛............................................................

溫緯李娟王季 said...

rain before seven; fine before eleven.............................................................

婷珊 said...

要用心經營哦~~祝福你~~
............................................................

Jose's World said...

For all of those visiting the blog and leaving messages in foreign languages, my apologies for not responding but due to my ignorance do not know what you are saying.

Thank for visiting.

Jose

jeannette said...

Maybe you need an archeologist to translate the Rune letters for you...:)
Jose, putting a translation gadget (google, or other) on the right side bar (most of them are free) would solve the language problem of visitors of your blog...

婷珊 said...

A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour. ............................................................

馥虹 said...

感謝您願意分享您的生活經驗~~支持您的更新哦!............................................................

致念致念 said...

獲益不少,謝謝分享!............................................................

琬安琬安 said...

世間唯一永恆的,就是改變..................................................

吳淑芬吳淑芬 said...

天下沒有意把鑰匙,可以打開所有的門............................................................

逸蔡凡逸蔡凡逸蔡凡 said...

人自幼就應該通過完美的教育,去建立一種好的習慣。......................................................

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