Sunday, January 18, 2015

Funny Thing Happened on Way to Nordkapp

click to enlarge images
Nothing Would Stop Us from Visiting North Cape

Honningsvåg at 70° 58' N, in Nordkapp municipality, claims to be the northernmost city in Norway and even in the world. It is situated at a bay on the southern side of Magerøya island, while the famous North Cape and its visitors center is on the northern side, 45 minutes away from where our ship docked. 

Bus to North Cape

Our plan was to take the North Cape Transfer (FFR Bus)  public bus to North Cape.

Here I am waiting with fellow passengers for our bus to arrive that would take us there. 

We had been told that there was no need to reserve seats to the North Cape in the summer season, they guarantee room for everyone. Unfortunately, we found out this wasn't the case. There was a large group of foreign tourists from our ship that filled the entire 50-seat FFR bus and we were unable to get on the 10:45 transfer to North Cape Hall.

The bus departs Honningsvåg at 10:45 AM and arrives at the North Cape at 11:15 AM. The return bus departs the North Cape at 1:15 PM and arrives at Honningsvag at 2:00 PM. By taking the public bus, if the weather is terrible, you are not locked into a ship's tour.

TIP: When you arrive in Honningsvåg, go to the tourist office and confirm the bus schedule. You can't miss it - right by the biggest souvenir store near the pier used by cruise ships (not the Hurtigruten pier).   Note: there's been a change in ownership of the bus since we went there.

If there happens to be a large group, like in our case, you might not be able to get on this bus. FFR did add a second bus in the afternoon (1:30 departure from the pier). Even going by Taxi is not an option, as they are quickly booked. If you go by Taxi, make sure they wait for you. We were told they would wait for an hour.  

Alternate Plans

With the bus departed leaving us behind, our hopes of getting to North Cape seemed to be impossible.  One of the local shop keepers came by and asked us if we were trying to get to North Cape.   We said there was a group of us that had missed the bus.   They told us about a "mini bus" that was for rent at a nearby shop.  One of our group said they could drive it, so we pooled our money and rented the mini bus. 

The vehicle wasn't in the best of shape, it was quite old but we decided to give it a shot.   We hadn't gotten far when we seemed to be having mechanical problems.   It was difficult to make it up the hills, but we kept driving.   There were even some animals in our way, as you can see in the images above, but as we said, nothing would keep us from completing our mission.

After arriving at North Cape, we contacted the company where we had rented the vehicle and told them about the difficulty we were having.  They sent a vehicle to follow us back from North Cape.  We were able to get back, as the return trip was a bit easier, without difficulty.   We all had a good laugh about our adventure.   It certainly would have been much easier with the ship's excursion, but it would not have been as memorable.

Share Your Stories & Pictures
This story was prompted by preparation for #TravelPics chat/share on Twitter. While other chats simply talk about travel, #travelpics is all about participants sharing their own travel photos about each theme. Come join us! 

The next #travelpics chat is Monday, January 19th, 2015, from 3-4pm Eastern time. Join us for our chat/share on famous attractions!

Follow us on Twitter: @ChrisPappinMCC  Pinterest: CruiseWithChris Pappin and Facebook: CruiseWithChris Pappin Cruises Inc for more ideas.

No comments: