Fly Polar – Helgeturer i nord!

Fly Polar Weekends

Forsikringselskapet Polar forsikring tilbyr i sommer gjennom sitt datterselskap Fly Polar helgeturer i nord fra Bardufoss til hele Nordkalotten. Etterhvert vil selskapet fly fra andre destinasjoner også. Som kunde av Polar forsikring vil du få rabatt på turene.

Her er filmklipp fra jomfruturen 31. mars 2017:

Bardufoss – Sørkjosen t/r

Vi kan maks ta med fem passasjerer per flyvning med vanlig helgebagasje. Avganger fra Bardufoss på fredager kl. 20 og landing på Bardufoss kl. 16 på søndager. Kr. 1.250,- per pax (tur-retur)*

Billetter kan bestilles for hver tur ved å klikke på turen:

 

1_VisitNordkapp_Kiruna

 

2_VisitNordkapp_Rovaniemi_1

 

3_VisitNordkapp_Lakselv_1

 

4_VisitNordkapp_Lulea

 

5_VisitNordkapp_Sodankyla

 

6_VisitNordkapp_Kauto

 

7_VisitNordkapp_Gallivare

 

8_VisitNordkapp_Levi

 

9_VisitNordkapp_Rovaniemi_2

 

9_VisitNordkapp_Boden

 

* Ved endringer i avgifter kan prisen endres

Velkommen til Fly Polar!

Posted in LIFE

Ta gjerne kontakt for å få et godt tilbud

Smiley

APRILSNARR!

Men, ta gjerne kontakt for å få et godt tilbud på forsikring:

Ta kontakt med Tommy Fredriksen, forklar at du gikk fem på, og få en aprilsnarr-rabatt.

Tlf: 992 01 715

Polar forsikring

Posted in LIFE

The Tractor Safari to Nordkapp

TractorOn May 17th 2015 Mr. Günther Ingwersen from Nordfriesland and Mr. Winfried Langner from Lauenförde in Germany doubled up to drive to Nordkapp. They are driving their individual tractor – pulling a caravan each – thousands of kilometers to the far north of Europe. We met Günther 380 km south of the famous plateau.

They have experience the magnificent spring throughout Norway. It is already summer in the south and the further they have bumped-the-bumped north, trees have turned green and farmers started to work the fields. Along the way they have been acquainted with several dairy farmers.

Near Tromsø they also met some reindeer herders. I have been invited by a Saami family to enjoy a week with the reindeers in the autumn, says Günther. The people we meet along the Arctic Fjord Road have been most hospitable.

At 20 km/h they are on average driving 100 km every day. Depending if they have to climb over mountains, the distance covered can be as short as 80 km.

They haven’t had any major problems with the tractors along the way. We hope to finish in Germany in August as scheduled, Günther says. We will drive through Sweden on our way back home. We’ve been lucky so far, the only problem we’ve had is that the tractors need extra ignition fuel when we start up.

Günther’s 17 Horsepower Fendt from 1958 doesn’t like the cool Northern Norwegian summer. Five degrees is almost too cold for his “Henriette”.

According to their plan they will be at North Cape on June 22nd. In Alta, they will be followed by a German TV-station, Norddeutscher Rundfunk the last few days – on tractor – to Nordkapp. Winfried has just left the parking spot with his “Robert”.

Happy tractoring, Günther!

Günther Ingwersen and “Henriette”

Great North Cape Tour Rolls On

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Posted in ARCTIC FJORD ROAD, LIFE

Tirpitz Museum – The Story of the Beast

TirpitzYou’ll find Kåfjord just a few deciliters of fuel southwest of Alta. Between March 22nd 1943 and October 15th 1944 the battle ship Tirpitz anchored in Kåfjord, Altafjord. Just behind the new bridge on the picture it harbored. The ship was Adolf Hitler’s most fearsome naval force and spent most of its time in Norwegian waters.

If Tirpitz was the pride of the Germans, it was the obsession of Winston Churchill. The British would employ more and more ingenuous attempts to destroy the ship as the war unfolded. They succeeded to wound the ship in Kåfjord with specially manufactured mini-submarines late 1944. The ship limped to Tromsø where it was sunk by the specially designed and obliterating Tallboy bombs on November 12th in 1944.

The ship was Adolf Hitler’s most fearsome naval force

On this day, a lot of evacuees from Finnmark and Nord-Troms had arrived Tromsø in transit, including, all my grandparents and my pre-school aged parents. On many occasions, I have heard the stories, told by my family members, on how they experienced the sinking of the mighty Tirpitz.

Tirpitz is thus personal.

Thanks to Mr. Even Blomkvist, Tirpitz has its own museum at the very site of its 1943/44 home. Even welcomed us to the museum on its 10th anniversary on Friday June 5th 2015. No fanfare, however, Even was celebrating the day with enhancing the museum.

In the entrance of the museum there are two models of sister ships:

  • Tirpitz (1/32 model)
  • Bismarck

A senior and a craftsman, Mr. Egil Lerfaldet has been working on the Bismarck for seven years. It is four more years than the shipyard of Blohm & Voss in Hamburg spent on building the original. Meticulously, he has keeled, gunned and manned the replica bottom up. Wood, balsa, paper, copper tread and other material have been used. Egil is happy the Bismarck model is almost complete. I am so old my fingers are starting to shake and my eyesight waning to haze, he says.

Along with artifacts and memorabilia, some actual parts of the Tirpitz are displayed at the museum.  Mounted on the walls are pictures of the cadet’s daily life and some rare color pictures.  A BBC produced documentary about the Tirpitz is also included in the entrance fee.

The item causing me the most chill is a bed linen. The grey bed linen is similar to a bed linen my grandmother once made my guest bed at my grandparents. My grandparents had obtained these bed linens during or after the war.

I was a little child, and I was lying in bed with a swastika. I did not sleep that night. I was too scared.

The Tirpitz Museum in Kåfjord is the work of one industrious Blomkvist and his helpers.

Kåfjord has in fact more interesting stories in store for its visitors.

The Tirpitz museum is only two kilometers off the Arctic Fjord Road.

Tirpitz

Tirpitz

Even Blomkvist

Even Blomkvist enhancing the Tirpitz Museum

Egil Lerfaldet

Egil Lerfaldet has worked seven years on the model of Bismarck

Bed linens to the right

Arctic Fjord Road

Arctic Fjord Road – Kåfjord

 

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Posted in Alta, ARCTIC FJORD ROAD, LIFE

Arctic Fjord Road

Arctic Fjord RoadAnother roadumentary is on the way. We have documented a lot of happenings and opportunities along the roads from Rovaniemi, Finland to Nordkapp and Piteå, Sweden to Nordkapp. The third road is perhaps the longest in kilometers per latitude. The main road along the coast of Norway ending at Nordkapp is spiraling through one scenic fjord after another.

The starting point has been set at Steinkjer, well below the Arctic Circle. 7 kilometers north of Steinkjer, at Asp, travelers have two alternative touristic roads to choose from when driving towards Bodø/Tverlandet/Fauske. The road less driven is Fv17, Kystriksveien. The road along the coast of Helgeland includes Namsos, Brønnøysund, Sandnessjøen, Nesna and Saltstraumen. The road most people travel is the E6 passing Mosjøen, Mo i Rana and Saltfjellet.

This road Steinkjer – Mo i Rana – Fauske – Narvik – Alta – Olderfjord – Nordkapp is the Arctic Fjord Road. Most of it is along E6. The last 129 kilometer stretch between Olderfjord and Nordkapp is E69. Included in the Arctic Fjord Road are “detours” to significant destinations such as Tjøtta, Bodø, Tromsø, Jøkelfjord, Hammerfest and Havøysund.

Tjøtta is the burial site of Russian and other international soldiers who died on Norwegian soil during World War II. Tjøtta is 84 km west of E6. Jøkelfjord is perhaps the most exotic natural destination of all along the Arctic Fjord Road.

Some destinations are already documented as part of the Midnight Sun Road or Santa’s Road. In particular, Nordkapp as a municipality and Alta have been explored in greater detail.  More details and better graphics will be added when more information is ready.

 

Here are the latest blog from the Arctic Fjord Road:

The Tractor Safari to Nordkapp

Tirpitz Museum – The Story of the Beast

Jøkelfjord – The Imperial Ice of the Arctic

The Most Important War Memorial in Norway Is Deliberately Made out of Reach for Tourists (Tjøtta)

 

Other blog post along the Arctic Fjord Road:

How the King Crab came to the Barents Sea

The Day I Met Mrs. Santa Claus

The Northernmost Fishing Village in the World

11 Places to Get Fish on Your Dish in Nordkapp

The Northern Gannet Trilogy. Part I – The Secrets of the Regal White Bird at North Cape

Gjesværstappan Nature Reserve in Nordkapp – An Egg Heaven before 1983

Arctic Cartoons Long before Disney

The Northern Lights Cathedral 

The Northern Lights Currency – NOK 200

Three Simple Tips from an Arctic Cook That Will Make Anyone an Excellent Cook

 

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Posted in ARCTIC FJORD ROAD

Jøkelfjord – The Imperial Ice of the Arctic

JøkelfjordJøkelfjord is the imperial diamond of the Arctic. It seems to be an obscure fjord at 70 degrees north. Most people pass by. If you stop, you can experience something you cannot do anywhere else in Europe.

The local cod stock in Jøkelfjord has been attractive to people as far back as the 1553. It has been documented that the fish has nourished the local communities for hundreds of years and today it has become immensely popular among sport fishermen. Some of the largest cods ever caught on rod have been hauled in Jøkelfjord. Adding to the excitement has been its innate danger.

At the very innermost part of the fjord is the arm of the 44 square km Øksfjord glacier (Øksfjordjøkelen): The Jøkelfjord glacier. Jøkelfjordbreen is the only glacier on mainland Europe calving into the sea. When it does, it is potentially dangerous. Small tsunami-like waves can ripple through the fjord on occasions.

Jøkelfjordbreen is the only glacier on mainland Europe calving into the sea

The two-part glacier has receded in recent years. The lower part was in the sea a few years ago, but now the ice has melted to be above the sea level. On a special excursion in mid May 2015, I could see the red marks made by British scientist showing how far the glacier has extended into the Jøkelfjord just a few decades ago.

Ms. Synnøve Mathiassen at Synatur offers a short cut to this unique glacier. In a rubber boat you may enjoy a short hour to the ice instead of hiking there back and forth for seven/eight hours. Normally, the excursion is run one after another between 10 in the morning until six in the evening. Hiking is a great option if you enjoy hiking, the last part is a little tricky, but doable even for families. Excursions on the glacier itself with professional guides are also available.

Glacier hiking is possible on the upper part of the Jøkelfjord glacier. This part is 700 meters above sea level. It is this part of the glacier that calves. From the time the calving starts until the debris hits the sea it takes about a minute, says Synnøve. We have witnessed near accidents of people too close to the glacier not aware of the oncoming calf.

It was a miracle that no lives were lost in a spell of 30 years from the 1920s until the 1950s when the glacier was used as tap ice for the fishing industry. Three shifts of seven men would load big ships with ice from Jøkelfjord 24/7. The ice “production” of Jøkelfjord for most of Northern Norway ended when the fishing industry invested in modern ice making machines.

Another miracle occurred in the latter part of World War II. 70 locals in Jøkelfjord and nearby Alteidet decided to disobey the Germans. The order was to evacuate Nord-Troms and Finnmark in the autumn of 1944. Instead, they stayed by the glacier in simple huts and boats flipped upside down. They even managed to keep a few cows from the Germans, which they kept on the east side of the fjord and would milk twice a day.

The site was “safe” as the German soldiers feared the calving glacier so much that they would not check if any people were hiding there. After a couple of months, the local people were discovered nevertheless, and left the place in January 1945. Right after, the glacier had a big calf that would have swept the temporary dwellings into the sea.

Today, the glacier does not have as big droppings as before. However, the glacier and excursion is still so special that Synnøve and her husband Birger have gotten praise from some unexpected people, in fact, some industry colleagues from Lofoten. They were curious on what is going on in Jøkelfjord and Synatur.  Their guests in Lofoten had been in such an awe of the Jøkelfjord glacier after a visit.

I concluded that the soft adventure people of Lofoten go to Jøkelfjord for their travelling amusement, and rightly so.

Almost ever since travelling became a fad, Jøkelfjord has been a destination. Onboard luxurious Hoenzolleren, on his journey that included North Cape, Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany visited Jøkelfjord twice between 1889 and 1913. Even cruise ships today pop into Jøkelfjord every now and then.

Bring your favorite whisky and have a drink with some special rocks.

Road sign to Jøkelfjord

A short detour from E6 – Jøkelfjord glacier – 8 km

Jøkelfjord glacier

Synnøve Mathiassen talks about the glacier

The Jøkelfjord

The innermost part of the Jøkelfjord

Cruise ship

Modern day cruise ship visiting Jøkelfjord

Hoenzolleren

Hoenzolleren des Kaizer Wilhelm II

Arctic Fjord Road

 

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Posted in ARCTIC FJORD ROAD, Kvænangen

The Top Ten Arctic Airports

Arctic AirflightsMillions of travelers fly to and from the airports of Arctic Europe every year. In 2014, Tromsø Langnes had most passengers with a little more than two million passengers. Closely followed by the airport in Bodø.

Next on the list are the Swedish airports of Luleå – Kallax and UmeåOulu of Finland and Arkhangelsk – Talagi of Russia places 5th and 6th.

The four other airports in the top 10 spots are Harstad/Narvik Evenes, Murmansk, Rovaniemi and Alta.

Here is the list of the top ten and the rest:

Rating Airport Pax 2014
1 N – Tromsø Langnes                   2 101 142
2 N – Bodø                   1 810 928
3 S – Luleå                   1 138 846
4 S – Umeå                   1 035 450
5 F – Oulu                      960 547
6 R – Arkhangelsk (Talagi)                      798 872
7 N – Harstad/Narvik Evenes                      719 638
8 R – Murmansk                      667 065
9 F – Rovaniemi                      444 561
10 N – Alta                      384 655
11 S – Skellefteå                      319 806
12 N – Kirkenes Høybuktmoen                      315 221
13 S – Kiruna                      269 884
14 F – Kittilä                      234 792
15 N – Bardufoss                      220 761
16 N – Hammerfest                      199 202
17 N – Brønnøysund Brønnøy                      167 587
18 N – Svalbard Longyearbyen                      159 659
19 F – Ivalo                      142 719
20 N – Mo i Rana Røssvold                      135 679
21 N – Vadsø                      125 889
22 N – Sandnessjøen Stokka                      120 504
23 N – Stokmarknes Skagen                      118 490
24 N – Vestvågøy Leknes                      111 535
25 N – Mosjøen Kjærstad                      109 522
26 N – Svolvær Helle                        82 081
27 F – Kuusamo                        73 432
28 N – Andenes Andøya                        69 084
29 N – Lakselv Banak                        66 559
30 F – Kemi-Tornio                        59 040
31 S – Arvidsjaur                        50 936
32 N – Vardø Svartnes                        47 584
33 S – Gällivare                        40 908
34 N – Båtsfjord                        39 282
35 N – Sørkjosen                        36 344
36 N – Honningsvåg Valan                        35 183
37 N – Mehamn                        31 798
38 N – Narvik Framnes                        27 330
39 N – Berlevåg                        22 059
40 N – Hasvik                        21 257
41 N – Røst                        21 237
42 F – Enontekiö                        19 468
43 S – Vilhelmina                        16 256
44 S – Hemavan-Tärnaby                        12 629
45 N – Værøy                          9 585
46 S – Pajala                          6 365

The number of passengers at 46 different airports are listed. Here is a graphical display:

Arctic Airports

Graphical display of passengers at airports in Arctic Europe

 

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Posted in LIFE

The Most Important War Memorial in Norway Is Deliberately Made Out of Reach for Tourists

Tjøtta Russian War MemorialIn 1950 a war memorial was blown up to pieces at Bjørnelva, Salten, Norway. Representatives of the authorities explained it this way: It is so unpleasant for tourists to see these Russian war memorials erected everywhere.

Operation Asphalt (Operasjon asfalt) in 1951 was an inhuman project of moving all burial sites of Russian prisoners of war (POW) who died during World War II in Norway to a place as far away from the main road as possible. The site is Tjøtta in Helgeland.

Some 100.000 Russian POW were sent to Norway during the war. A number of them were sent to Northern Norway. Under cruel circumstances they worked mostly on infrastructure projects such as Riksvei 50 on Saltfjellet. Today this road is E6. The Arctic Circle crosses the E6 on Saltfjellet.

The number of Russians who died as POW in Norway is larger than the total number of Norwegian casualties during World War II. It is estimated that 13.700 Russians died. In 2010, only 2.700 had been identified. Work is done by “Painful Heritage” to identify more of the unknown Russian war heroes. The lack of documentation and the use of mass graves make it difficult work.

It is sad; the graveyard just northwest of Tjøtta has not been kept up by the authorities, according to its importance.

The number of Russians who died as POW in Norway is larger than the total number of Norwegian casualties during World War II

Around 84.000 Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusians and other Soviet nationalities returned to the USSR in the summer of 1945. More than half of these were allowed to return to their homes. The speculations of what happened to the other half have been many. Even executions may have occurred upon arrival in the USSR.

In 2015, it is 70 years since World War II ended in Europe. May 8th and 9th have become the days of liberation and victory. The atrocities during the war have been well documented. For many, it has been so painful that it has been difficult to talk about, it has been difficult to hear about it, and impossible to comprehend.

On January 27th in 2015, 70 years after the Red Army liberated Auschwitz, survivor Roman Kent spoke of the 11th commandment: “You should never be a bystander”.

Liberated Soviet POW from Bjørnelva in Saltdal

Liberated Soviet POW from Bjørnelva in Saltdal.

Tjøtta

Along Kystriksveien 17 you’ll find Tjøtta and two important War Memorials. 85 km from E6

Arctic Fjord Road

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Posted in ARCTIC FJORD ROAD, Helgeland, LIFE

Three Special Nordic Letters – Ä, Ø and Å – Three Special Arctic Destination Endings

Kaunispää There are 26 letters in the English alphabet. There are three additional letters in the mainland Nordic alphabets. They come in two different versions and are all at the end of the alphabet. In Finland and Sweden it is the å, ä and ö. In Norway and Denmark it is the æ, ø and å. Ä and Æ are the same, just like the Ö and Ø.

When you travel north of the Arctic Circle you stumble upon some places that have one of this letters at the end of the name. In three different ways they reveal what the name of the destination stands for. The name denounces certain geographic key points fitting the last letters in the alphabet. In Norway it is the letter ø, in Sweden it is the letter å, and in Finland the letter ä.

Ä – … pää – fell top (Finland)

In Finland you can visit Kiilopää and Kaunispää (top right picture). Pää in Finnish is top or head. Both Kiilopää and Kaunispää are names on fell tops. Kaunispää, just north of Saariselkä, is a significant historical top point in its region. On this point a triangulation tower was built for mapping this part of Finland. There are many places ending with an ä in Finland, such as Sodankylä. Kylä is a word for village. …pää is the interesting one in this blog post.

Å – …eå – river end (Sweden)

In Sweden you find a number of places along the eastern coast called …eå. You have Luleå, Piteå, and Umeå. For instance, Piteå is the town situated at the end of the Pite älv, the Pite River. Piteå is at the mouth of the plus 400 km long Piteälven. Luleå is at the mouth of the Lule river. And the list goes on. The “å” signifies the end point of a river.

Ø – …ø – island (Norway)

In Northern Norway up and down the coast you find a number of towns ending in an ø. Towns like Bodø, Tromsø, Vardø and Vadsø. The ø is short for øy, which in English is island. Bodø is not really set on an island, it is a peninsula. But in a not so distant past it was also set on an island. Tromsø is definitely an island, so is Vardø. Both became important trading towns when boats were the means of transportation.

The Three Nordic Letters

Ä – … pää – fell top (Finland)
Å – …eå – river end (Sweden)
Ø – …ø – island (Norway)

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V X Y Z (Å) (Ä/Æ) (Ö/Ø)

Most places have a story in the name. These were just a few.

Luleå

Tromsø

Kaunispää

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Posted in LIFE

The Bonus Diamonds

Bonus DiamondsThere are plenty of destinations in the Arctic worthy of notability. Many of these are outside the Midnight Sun Road (Piteå – Nordkapp) and the Santa’s Road (Rovaniemi – Nordkapp). The two roads have been the primary focus of the Diamonds of the Arctic Tour. The bonus diamonds manifested on the 2014 tour belongs to the triangle area Luleå – Muonio – Rovaniemi.

The Diamonds of the Arctic Tour followed eight rules:

  1. The road to and from Nordkapp represents destinations
  2. The area above the Arctic Circle is one big destination
  3. We are looking for diamonds along the roads above or near the Arctic Circle
  4. We wanted to create something informative
  5. We wanted local people to be more important than ourselves. We wanted local and genuine representatives of the premises to talk about their service, culture, and/or nature
  6. Certain topics have been particularly interesting: Churches/architecture, art, and food
  7. We had one key bonus question that we asked people whenever appropriate. What is your favorite? Implying, what’s in it for you?
  8. We wanted the blog and film posts to be complementary

There were three destinations in the bonus area that triggered the extra miles. Without these, the bonus part of the tour in 2014 would not have happened: The huskies in Muonio, the Swedish military in Boden, and the magical art of Reidar Särestöniemi.

3rd Leg of the Diamonds of the Arctic Tour 2014

Here is a list of bonus blog post experienced in 2014:

The Golf Cart Sightseeing of the Arctic Riviera - First Camp Luleå

Keeper of the Swedish Military Might 

The Destination of Many Kings – Boden 

How a Cup of Coffee and a Green Buick Became a Café 

The 15 Points for Making Great Sled Dogs 

Why It Is Easier for a Golfer to Get an Eagle in the Arctic 

When You Want a Temporary Home in Touristic Levi/Kittilä 

You’ll Find the Särestöniemi Storytellers at the Back of the Store 

Twelve Points That Made Reidar Särestöniemi One of the Greatest Arctic Artists 

Of all the Saunas in the Arctic, Särestöniemi Sauna Is the Diamond 

The borders of civilization are defined by how far the women are willing to go. Beyond those borders you only have temporary hunters and artificial non-sustainable societies.

In late October 1944, my grandparents were told to evacuate the far north and head south. The irresponsible Norwegian government in exile urged the local people not to follow the orders of the Nazis. My grandfather planned for a winter without proper housing. My grandmother said no. The family with small kids headed south. If they hadn’t, I may not have been able to write this blog post.

Nordkapp is the far edge, not the end, but the beginning. On the edge, a bucket is a bucket, and what needs to be first is first. The blog posts are about finding the tiniest diamond making it worthwhile for people to enjoy life.

Check Santa’s Road and Midnight Sun Road for more blogs on the Diamonds of the Arctic Tour 2014.

The whole adventure is part of an ambitious mission. It encompasses political, cultural, economic, and business visions of the 21st century.

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