Monday, July 20, 2015

North Cape

Visiting the country of Norway during the two summer months when the sun never sets (yes, it literally is the land of the midnight sun) was a treat that had been on my bucket list for a very long time. Every year from May 21 to July 21 the sun does not bother sinking below the horizon and it’s worth staying up to see. [When it was time for bed my brain would only fall sleep after I covered my eyes with cloth. I thought maybe my eyelids were thinner than most but the local residents I spoke with all seemed to have some similar trick to help them get to sleep.) Lest you think that because the sun stays above the horizon for 24-hours a day that the weather, therefore, is warm, think again. Honningsvag, Norway, touted as the northern-most town on planet earth, is at Latitude N 71o 10’ (similar to Latitude N 71o of Point Barrow, Alaska). “Warm” here is about 45o F. By way of reference 6o C is about 43o F. And even though the Gulf Stream flows by these Norwegian fjords, come fall and the temperature can easily fall to minus 15o C. You do the math. I just know I’ll be glad to be back home by then.  The North Cape, most northern part of Europe and 1300 miles from the North Pole, is bleakly impressive.

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