Hammerfest - Under Midnight Sun

Jun 15, 2012

Around midsummer I had a chance to do a little business trip to Hammerfest, which is located in the very north of Norway. Getting to Hammerfest is quite long from Paris: You have to get on three different flights, with layovers in Oslo and Tromsø. The flight over the Lyngen Alps as you approach Tromsø is incredibly scenic; mountains rising vertically from the sea. The last flight’s with a small propeller plane, which really adds to the feeling of going to the northernmost corner of the world.

A good ten hours later we arrived (local time 10pm) and the sun was shining on full blast with no intention to set at all. After a beer at the hotel with colleagues, I decided to hit the track towards the summit of the Tyven (419m) - a peak just ‘above’ the town. This was around midnight

It was most definitely an out-of-ordinary feeling to go hiking under the midnight sun. After a sharp start, I reached a long plateau where I ran into few reindeers that were wandering around. In the previous year, the reindeers have actually caused a lot of controversy in Hammerfest as they have invaded the town causing traffic disturbances and other mischief.

Midway through the hike I had to cross several snow patches that were still remaining on the ground, before reaching the final ridge. I got to the top after a good one hour hike, and the views were simply astonishing; snow capped mountains rising from the Norwegian Sea. About twenty minutes and few photos later, it was time to head back to the hotel for a short sleep (after all, I was there for business).

Two days later, after our meeting, we visited the polar beer museum before getting on the plane back to France. However, my travel was not ending in Paris. Just enough time to grab a meal at work and it was time to jump on the train towards home and the Alps, where the others were already waiting for me!

But what it comes to Norway (aside from the fact that it’s ridiculously expensive), I would definitely like to go back there, especially to check out the fjords and do some actual hiking…

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