First of all, the colors that you mark. Of these landscapes, pure, almost virgin, we remember before you all the shades of blue, grey, purple or green. And then the fjords, and the omnipresent arm of the sea intertwined in a land ripped apart, which emerge from the immense summits cold. These bodies of salt water that make the beauty of this part of the great north, is situated beyond the arctic circle. That said, it is in good times that can be differentiated landscapes tinted a bright blue, and the crisp air.
We are in Finnmark. A region placed at the extreme north of Norway, warmed by the waters of the Gulf Stream. The atlantic current brings temperatures relatively mild, and unfortunately also some plastic waste from countries sometimes thousands of miles away. Pollution, a scourge of our time, no savings unfortunately no corner of paradise, as isolated as they are. It is here the land of the Sámi, an indigenous people that has lived for centuries in harmony with the surrounding nature. These men and women of the north know by heart their territory, its glaciers, its vast plains and forests where we expect to see emerge at any moment the enchanted creatures of the fairy tales of our childhood. In the summer, the day is constant during two months. In the winter it is the night that never ends more. The sky is then seen dancing his mysterious aurora borealis. In sum, it is a journey to the end of the light that will be proposed. The Sami people are well aware of, they so cut out the year not into four, but in eight seasons, including each of the slices is defined by the infinite variations of light of day or of the night. This people also knows how to listen to the rhythm of the animals, especially the reindeer, of which they are the shepherds in the traditional sense. The animal, present in great number on this earth is not very fertile, could symbolize the region: it is eaten almost at every meal. But its inhabitants have preferred the polar bear is renowned for its vitality. And regardless of whether there are more polar bears in Norway for many years, this wealthy country of 5 million souls, has to grasp the importance of the ecological combat. It is a story of self-respect. Because the Norwegians are of these peoples, amendments to the character, kind, with sense of the common good. And this is not a legend.
Here is our selection of non-exhaustive places to visit in the region
Discover the wonders of Alta
The small quiet town of Alta will seduce you with its remarkable sites. Appointment first of all on the banks of the Altafjord to visit the Altamuseum which has the largest concentration of rock art in Northern Europe. These engravings and paintings made between 7 000 and 2 000 years known in the world, has earned the site to be ranked on the list of world heritage of UNESCO in 1985 as the only monument of prehistoric Norway. The works art millennia provide a unique insight into the thoughts and rituals, social organization, technology, and the use of the resources of the time. The characters represented are humans, reindeer, bears, dogs, wolves, or other whales. Then a change of atmosphere when you visit the modern cathedral of the city, inaugurated in 2013.
Its particular shape, spiral, wants to symbolize the relationship between God and humanity: inherently intertwined, one and the other drawing on each other. Referred to as the ” cathedral of the northern lights “, its shape iconic, in fact, a symbol of the city and the region. And its architecture rounded to reflect the surrounding nature such as mountains or waterfalls. Covered in sheets of titanium, it also captures the nature in outside in reflecting its immediate environment. The interior is appointed by the Danish architect Peter Brandes including the iconic Christ, with arms outstretched, seems to ascend towards the sky. A place that is worth visiting for lovers of architecture. You will then be invited to have dinner at Trasti & Trine, an organic restaurant, to the authentic cuisine and local. The food is prepared from the most noble, bred or grown on the mountain plateau, in the sea and in the surrounding forests. Special Mention for the bear meat that will delight your taste buds. Go finally the night at Holmen Husky Lodge, a cozy cottage that will offer you the experience of camping and glamour. You will stay in a tipi heated with a wood stove for atmosphere more cozy. This inn takes its name from the fifty-odd sled dogs who live year-round in these places. The tipis offer a glazed opening on the outside that will allow you to admire the northern lights in winter or midnight sun in the summer. The facilities include a hot tub and an outdoor sauna. Station to the howls of the dogs, the wolves that will give you a great thrill!
Visit the most northern town in the world
Browse the small quiet town of Hammerfest, the northernmost town of the globe! Crossing it up to the Geodetic Arc of the scientific Struve, the opportunity, why not, a ride electric bike. Struve wanted to prove it by the technique of triangulation that the earth is not a perfect sphere but is slightly flattened at the poles. Measurements were then made under the form of a chain of triangulation along the meridian stretching from Ismail on the Black sea in the south to Hammerfest in the north. And the column from the meridian marks the point of measurement on the north of this meridian, to Hammerfest. It is therefore the prime object of technical and scientific to be included on the world heritage list of UNESCO. You can then visit the museum, ” The polar Bear society “. This small institution has the proud traditions of fishing and hunting in arctic conditions. You will receive a pin of a polar bear as proof of your visit to the city. Then head to the museum of reconstruction, which traces the history of the wars, deportations, destructions and reconstructions of the region. It is a monument to the human will to overcome the destruction of war and create a new future. The exhibition offers a glimpse of life as refugees and the reconstruction of Finnmark. Here you will find reconstructed pieces in the caves, barracks and eventually the houses.
Cape at the extreme north of the european continent
In the village of Gjesvaer, you will be able to experience the Bird Safari is an incredible encounter wildlife in one of the remotest corners of Europe. This boat ride of nearly an hour and a half could well immerse you in the heart of a wildlife documentary on the wildlife. You will then be able to observe the largest and most accessible bird sanctuaries in the world. The colonies of different species together tens of thousands of specimens, dipping and twirling in a ballet of dazzling. Puffins, gulls, white-tailed eagles, guillemots, razorbills, cormorants or fulmars intersect in this natural reserve, located 15 km to the west of the plateau in the Northern Cape. Rocks that are full of life during the nesting and hatching season from April until September. You can then go on the “top of Europe “. The North Cape is a must-see place in the region, since it is the north of the european continent. The sunset there is nuance. The sky and the sea meet and intermingle in shades of sparkling colour. From mid-may until the end of the month of July, you can admire the midnight sun, the one that never goes down. Sublime.
Discover the sami culture
Meet an incredible family sami, the Utsi. This couple from the native-born population of Finnmark will share with you their stories about life as herders of reindeer. In the program: presentation of these amazing animals, the course of lassoing and dinner in a typical habitat of the sámi. The “Joik”, the song sami traditional, is an important part of this cultural experience. The family Utsi consists of the director general and mother Ellinor, of the father Ailu and their three children. You will learn the way nature is at the center of this millenary culture, in which the people extract capital in the form of natural resources. At Davvi Aids (this is the name of their residence) you can learn more about the history and culture of this indigenous people. Reindeer meat, fresh, smoked and dried are only a few of the many delights that will be offered. During the night, the Sami are sleeping in a washing machine, a kind of a tepee, on a bed of velvety twigs of birch. Simply magical.
Go snorkling in the Barents sea
Ekkerøy is one of the oldest fishing villages in Finnmark. The county hosts a large natural reserve of birds, with species sometimes rare. In this environment, the nature has progressively created a wide isthmus with sandy beaches on each side. A coastal path to the side of the cliff you will admire a superb view over the Barents sea, as well as volatile. A way of bucolic where they grow many wild berries that the essential berries of the clouds, typical of the region. The site was also of strategic importance during the Second world War, the Germans built fortifications to ensure the entrance to the fjord. The bombers russians attacked the positions during the war. One can still today see the remains of bunkers on the island. And you will also observe the riches of the Barents sea in water up to 8 degrees during a session of snorking. A special combination will be necessary in order to face these freezing temperatures. The crab is also excellent.
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