Sunday June 15th ~ It’s Father’s Day back home ~ Honningsvag and the North Cape
After another full day at sea, we docked this morning in the town of Honningsvag, the Northern most city in Norway and (almost) the Northern most point in Europe. The famous North Cape Cliffs and visitors center is our tour destination.
Leaving the ship at 10:00 am, our first stop is at a small Sami family run roadside shop filled with touristy souvenirs. The Sami people are the Northernmost people of Europe. An indigenous culture, that the English have called Lapps or Laplanders. We were informed a few days ago that the Sami people consider the term “Lapps” as a vile or slanderous word now, much as the African-American community hates the “N” word.
Mother and son hold court inside waiting on people lined up to purchase a post card, coffee cup, reindeer fur boots, knit caps, or other gift or keepsake. I’m so thankful I am no longer “collecting things”! Just outside, the father patiently stands next to a reindeer and a teepee style dwelling, posing for our pictures. We are asked not to touch the velvet looking reindeer antlers.
After a brief 15 minutes we are once again on the road toward the North Cape.
This is a bleak landscape. No trees, no bushes. Only a few bits of lichen and low growing ground cover. The occasional lavender colored clump of wildflowers come into view. Blink and you will miss them.
Patches of snow make the hills look like a pinto.
We get brief glimpses of the Arctic Sea as we climb higher and travel further North.
Finally arriving at the North Cape we have an hour and a half to explore, both outside and inside. The arctic breeze makes it blisteringly cold when we step out of the bus.
Outside there are several monuments, including the mother and child statue and the large coin shaped features. The child points to Tim’s head. Having forgotten to bring his knit stocking cap, Tim is wearing the white hat I had purchased a couple of days earlier to keep my head warm. Hmmm, the things we do for love…
At the end of the point is an enormous open globe marking the spot. People line up to have their pictures taken.
Inside it is toasty warm and I’m able to use their free WiFi for a few minutes to check my emails. I don’t like being so far from home and disconnected.
The building houses a cafeteria, theater, chapel, museum and information center. I watched the short movie while Tim had a wonderful Father’s Day video chat with our son, Dane. I’m sorry that I missed seeing his new shaved haircut and the trimmed beard he is now sporting.
On our drive back to the ship we spot numerous reindeer along the way.
Gratitude Moment: Today I am grateful that I was blessed with several amazing and very special father figures in my life. First by own father, Raymond A Morton. He was a kind, quiet, honest, funny man with a gentle way of loving his family. We lost him way too soon at the young age of 53. A few years later I was blessed when my mom remarried and we gained a great step-father, Robert E Chriss. Bob was the opposite of my dad in many ways. Loud, boisterous, a tough German. He also came with a booming laughter and a joy for life. My father-in-law, Richard (Dick) Joseph was another blessing for me. How he loved to tease us. Quick to pull a practical joke or tell a funny story. He loved his family dearly and hated that his kids lived so far away from “home”.
All of these fine men have now left us and I miss them, their advice, laughter and love tremendously.
Another great “father” still in my life is my amazing, dear husband. He has always made our son a priority. When Dane was younger, Tim rarely missed attending a school or sporting event. Today Tim has become a mentor as our son spreads his wings in the business world. I am so proud of this father and son team and have tremendous respect for the friendship and special bond they have.