Journey to the North Cape (2014)
I reorganized the story of my 2014 trip to Norway in a single post.
we covered 11 thousand kilometers in 38 days equipped with tent, food and fishing tackle, the
first of which was a transfer day, from Genoa to Hannoversch Münden, with long queues on the motorway and an annoying evening rain.
The next morning we left for Hirtshals, a Danish town from which, on the morning of the third day, we would take the ferry to Norway, namely Kristiansand, and then spend the night in nearby Mandal.
In the area of Mandal, I managed to make the first launches, and I immediately discovered how here, fishing in the sea from the beach do not match the usual sea bass, tracery or lizard fish to which I am used, but the brown trout!
Another must-see place around Mandal is the Lindesnes lighthouse, a highly symbolic spot, being located on Norway’s southernmost rock. Admission to the lighthouse area is subject to charges, but I highly recommend it to anyone passing by.
Leaving the Lindesnes lighthouse, we went to spend the night in Kleppe, in a campsite just a few steps from a beautiful sandy beach. Here we could test the temperature of the ocean water, which, despite the full summer season, is really low. Impossible to swim!
The next day, the fifth, we headed to the parking lot from which the beautiful walk to the Preikestolen, a 600-meter-high cliff that ends overhanging the Lysefjord, gave us a breathtaking view.
The walk lasts about two hours, but it is feasible for everyone with no particular roughness.
From here on we began to cross the part of Norway with the fjords, which obliges (or almost) to take also many ferries. The moorings of the same are excellent spots to make some launches awaiting the arrival of the boat.
It’s always nice to take fish that you’ve never seen before, and one of my dreams, a lover of light fishing at sea, was to capture an oceanic thrush, the famous Ballan Wrasse.
Fortunately, I debunk this taboo right away!
The same goes for my first cod, the famous Pollock (or pollack, if you want to use the official Italian name). While the Ballan wrasse is a fish very similar to the thrushes we have in the Mediterranean; Pollock is something completely unusual for an Italian fisherman, and the first catch of a new fish is always a unique emotion, despite the small size.
We then finally arrived in Bergen, where we spent two days.
The city of Bergen is the second most populous city in the country after Oslo, and the old Bryggen district within it has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In Bergen I also managed to catch the first cod of my life.
The cod (Trisopterus Minutus) is instead a kind of cod that even as an adult rarely exceeds the size of the one in the picture.
If you go to Bergen I suggest you take the Fløybanen funicular/train, which leads up a hill above the city, from which you can enjoy an amazing view, especially if you are lucky with the weather.
The ninth day we left Bergen, destination Borgund, a tiny country famous especially for its Stavkirke, the best preserved wooden church of the 28 in Norway.
Along the journey, not particularly long, we had the opportunity to stop at the bottom of the Flåm Valley and take the particular and beautiful train that runs through the valley starting from Flåm and reaching up to 865 meters in height of Myrdal. The path of the railway is constantly rising, and the particularity is given by the fact that the train climbs up to Myrdal without using the rack.
The ticket is quite expensive, but the view you can enjoy on the way is really beautiful.
Another particular memory is the crossing of the Lærdal Tunnel, which is the longest in the world, well 24.5kilometers!
At the end of the tenth day we went to sleep at the foot of the Briksdalbreen, a famous and beautiful glacier, which unfortunately over the years is retreating more and more, and then leave the next morning to Geiranger’ sturn!
To get to the small town (250 inhabitants) at the end of the homonymous fjord we had to take a ferry, which allowed us to see really fantastic waterfalls and mountains.
The two most important waterfalls of the Geirangerfjord are that of the Seven Sisters and that of the Pretender. The two waterfalls are located opposite each other and, according to legend, the Pretender always courts the seven sisters without ever being paid.
This below is the photo of the waterfall above Geiranger, overlooking the campsite where we stayed overnight and on the fjord. A truly dreamlike landscape.
On the evening of the thirteenth day we arrived at the beautiful Røros, the coldest city in Norway (in winter, the -55 degrees were reached); so beautiful that since 1980 it is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
It has always been a city of miners, which housed the families of the people who worked at the nearby Olavsgruva copper mine, which can now be visited in a guided manner.
In Røros there is also a very nice torrent, in which I did not take trout but rather a beautiful waistcoat.
I absolutely did not expect to catch pikes in the stream!
Leaving Røros, we headed to Trondheim, but, as good Genoese, we visited a bit ‘of the race because of the cost of parking to say the least exorbitant!
However, the cathedral, the center, and the old town are beautiful.
We spent the night at about ten minutes from the city, in the area of Flakk, where I had time to do some introductions and capture my first Scorpionfish!
The next day, the sixteenth, we headed to a small and little-populated island, the island of Leka, famous for fishing cod from the boat. It is a real paradise on earth, completely free from any noise and any trace of incivility.
Leaving Leka we headed to Bodø, the city from which on the 18th day we took the ferry to arrive in the part of Norway that most attracted us: the Lofoten.
In the surroundings of Bodø, we have witnessed one of the most beautiful shows of the whole holiday, the Saltstraumen, the most famous Maelstrom in Europe, a huge gorge caused by the tides, which can be seen during the low tide peak.
A crazy show, which left me really speechless…
Without words yes, but as soon as the waters were a bit ‘calmed, the desire to launch into the Live Impact of Keitech was a lot, and while others around me took micro Pollock with prawns, I have pulled out, with many difficulties, this wonderful cod, surely the most beautiful fish of my life, which is back, as it should be, at sea.
In addition to the fish, there were also some prehistoric shellfish, even these obviously returned to the sea.
After the long ferry crossing from Bodø to Moskenes, we begin our visit to the beautiful Lofoten from a small cluster of fishermen’s houses, where time seems to stand still: Å Lofoten
Council to go from the quaint and small bakery in the country, which uses an ancient wood-burning oven to make delicious sweet rolls with cinnamon!
The type of landscape that you meet at Lofoten can be clearly seen in this photo below, which depicts the nearby Reine, a town of only 300 inhabitants. High mountains and sea … all in a few hundred meters!
Lofoten is very famous for cod fishing from the boat, but you can also have great satisfaction from the shore.
While I was fishing small and medium-sized codfish among boats, for example, my Damiki Mausrin was bitten by something much bigger, which almost made me fall into the water given the instability of the micro jetty!
Leaving the Lofoten, the following days we climbed again, to the northernmost tip of Vesterålen, the archipelago north of the Lofoten, and then go back and return to “continental” Norway.
The next stop was a visit to the fantastic Polar Park, near Bones, a huge park, which has nothing to do with a zoo. Each animal has at its disposal huge fenced woods; so much so that the animals themselves are very difficult to see, if not when they are fed.
In the park, there are bears, wolves, arctic foxes, deer, lynxes, reindeer, musk oxen, gluttons and many other animals.
In addition to being able to see these beautiful animals, Polar Park allows you to get in direct contact with some of them. The cost of these activities is quite high, very high as far as the meeting with the wolves is concerned, but they are memories that one carries around for life. After leaving Polar Park, the two-day trip began that would eventually take us to the North Cape. The nearest village to Nordkapp is Honningsvåg, very quiet, nice and above all full of fish in the middle of its peers.
A few kilometers from Honningsvåg is Nordkapp, with its beautiful museum and its world-famous iron globe.
But the real most northerly point of Europe is the promontory that you see more to the left in the map: Knivskjellodden . It is located at a latitude of 71 ° 11’08 “, against the neighboring (and more famous) Nordkapp, considered by many to be the” roof “of the continent, but actually situated at a lower latitude (71 ° 10’21”, about 1500 meters further south).
To reach Knivskjellodden there are no paved roads: you need to leave your car on the E69 that leads to Nordkapp and continue on foot for a long walk of 9 kilometers, between rocks, expanses of land, meadows, and rocks.
Once you reach the top of the promontory, you will find an obelisk in front of you
… and then after having signed the register kept in a nearby box, we are getting ready to make the most northern launch of Europe!
At that point Capo Nord (the real one!) Was reached … and after returning to the car with a thousand efforts and 6/7 hours of walking, the sadness began to be felt; because it was officially started the descent, the return …
I will not tell the return, because however our journey could be defined finished with the arrival at Knivskjellodden. In any case, we descended in a straight line, passing from Rovaniemi (Finland) and Stockholm(Sweden), and then crossing Denmark, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
A huge thank you for this trip goes to Francesca; without her, this adventure would not even have started. Thank you.