The most northerly town in the world

Trip Start Dec 23, 2012
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Trip End Jan 23, 2013


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Where I stayed
Hurtigruten ship

Flag of Norway  , North Norway,
Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Temp. 1C (doesn't get as cold on the coast as inland, but still cold wind chill factor on deck)

Started the morning well with my customary bowl of porridge. It really makes my tummy a happy camper. I understand now why the three bears got so grumpy with Goldilocks. I'm really surprised how well I'm coping with travelling on a ship. I imagined I'd be popping pills the whole time, but no need.

Today's main stop is Hammerfest which has the title of most northerly town in world. Unfortunately it was yet another place that the Nazis completely burnt down. All the buildings therefore are post WW2, predominantly the 60s. Only one building stands pre-war & that's a chapel built in the 30s. It used to mainly be a fishing town, but over the last 5yrs it's experienced a boom from natural gas reserves being discovered in the nearby sea. But it doesn't look like an industrial town, you can't actually see the gas works, but the workforce live here.

The biggest challenge today is that all the streets are covered in a thick layer of ice that it looks like an ice skating rink. I'm getting much better at handling it though that I only did 2 wobbles. No falls yet (knock on wood).

Highlight of this visit was seeing the Meridian column. Think back to your geography lessons.
I'll let the Norwegian tourist board explain; The Meridian Column was raised to commemorate the first international measurement of the earth. In 1840 the astronomer W. von Struve took measurements along a meridian in Russia. In 1844 he proposed to King Oscar I of Norway and Sweden that the two countries should join the Russian effort and complete the measurement from points as far north and south as possible. The measurements were concluded in Hammerfest in 1852. The distance measured was approx. 2000 kilometres.

Okay so I may be a science dork but I found this interesting.

Another interesting thing here is that the whole town is surrounded by a Reindeer fence. Apparently in the summer they try to come to the coast to escape the mosquito swarms inland. However, hungry reindeer tend to eat anything green especially people's gardens. As there's only a short growing season here the locals want to make the most of it, so now the reindeer are banned.

No Northern Lights again :(  too cloudy!
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