"bLog means boring-Log"
day 05 in scandinavia, norway (0 comments)
there were four planned stops: first stop, robert wanted to hold a king crab with his own hands, second stop, the north cape again, third stop, doing a bird safari tour, and last stop, our hotel in alta.
on our way[001-018] to the first stop we drove to the nearby north cape fishing lodge[013-014], but unfortunately the fishermen were out on the sea on their boat. so instead of lifting crabs, we had coffee and bought some postcards, spotted a cat that lived at the tourist information right next to the crab cage. it was maintained by the fisherman's wife, who was born in england, but then moved here, as she told us.
back at the north cape[019-030] again (as mentioned in the previous bLog entry, the parking ticket is valid for 48h) there was cloudy weather, and again a lot of people. besides the globe, this time we also visited the visitor centre[026-030] and looked at all the exhibits[026-027], watched a movie in the "super video cinema", went to the souvenir shops, went inside the very small st. johannes chapel, and visited the also very small thai museum, which was built to commemorate the visit of king chulalongkorn of siam over a hundred years ago.
then it was time to bid farewell again, as we had our next appointment at our final planned stop for today. so we drove to gjesvær[031-050], as usual with several unplanned stops in between, to enjoy the amazing and beautiful landscapes.
i really, really, really, really, really hope that i will finally get to see puffins, since i have been "hunting" them now for almost over 20 years, and they were never at their location when i was there, instead they were wintering or somewhere far away from people, or breeding, or hatching, or... doing anything else, just not to be there. and i sooooooooooo want to see them.
when we arrived in gjesvær we drove to the bird safari office, only to find out that this was not the right one. i was glad, because i have seen the huge boat that could easily carry 60 persons or more, but our tour was with a maximum group size of eight people. we got driving instructions from the staff there how to get to the other bird watching company. and soon we found our captain, and the small boat in the harbour for us.
the captain seemed happy to see us, since two other people cancelled their trip for today. so it seems, we will have the boat all to ourselves; how cool is that.
after getting a coffee and biscuits, safety and other instructions, we dressed in thick overalls, took all the equipment we would need, and headed out with the captain from gjesvær harbour to gjesværstappan islands, where we were promised to see loads of birds. the weather was fine too, so we all were excited to get going.
we started our birdwatching boat trip[051-260] on the "aurora", and already in the harbour area i spotted a little puffin - oh, i was sooooooooooo happy.
but it turns out this was not the only puffin here. no, there are 1.5 millions (yes, one-point-five-mil-li-ons) puffins here. how awesome. i was sooooooooooo much more happy. and the puffins were really everywhere[081-093,177-178]; in the water, on the water, under the water, in the air, everywhere, yeah.
the captain gave us a few numbers, like the 1.5 millions for the lundefugls, and that there is an estimated total of three million birds here around those islands - that was incredible and mind blowing to me.
amongst all those birds, there were ...
... cormorants, ...
... gannets, ...
... and i mean lots of gannets, ...
... seagulls (and i also mean lots of seagulls here), ...
... so to sum it up: birds - millions of them.
that was really amazing. and with the small boat we could get so close to the cliffs and almost pet the birds, who were, in return, understandably pretty grumpy. we were really amazed by how many birds there are, and that we could get so close to them. the little boat was so much better than the big one[060-061,155,212] we had spotted earlier this day.
we were also happy to spot a few seals too - we already missed them since our last scotland trip.
and all those animals interweave with the dazzling and marvellous surrounding. the big open sea, the harsh cliffs, the colours of the green strips on the rocks, the colours of the rocks and their layers, and the colours of the birds - all this made a wonderful photo motif.
but unfortunately, and sadly, every trip has to end eventually, and so our cool captain[229,248,260] (who might look like a roughneck, but was absolutely lovely and nice) brought us back to the jetty safely. there we got out of our coats, and went right to the tables to order some food. because besides the boat tours, the captain's wife offers excellent sea food in the same building. so we had a really huge seafood plate, with really delicious mixed sea food. nomnomnom. oh, i wish we had that back home too in this freshness and quality (but then maybe also at a price level like back home).
still overwhelmed by the sheer amount of birds, we made our way to alta[264-271] to get to our last stop; our hotel, the scandic alta. there we will spend the night. the weather today was sunny (24 hours), with a few clouds, and 13°C.
track for day 05