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  • Writer's pictureJeanne Marie

Hammerfest Hike, Day 10

Ugh, again we woke up early and had breakfast. It works out better since most people go down for breakfast at 8 or 8:30. We had a hike planned, but it wasn't scheduled until 10:45 when the boat docked, so we had time to relax until then. Hammerfest is the world's northernmost city with a population of 10,000. A city is defined as one that has over 5,000 inhabitants.

Our guide met us at the dock and he took us up one of the mountains surrounding the town. He gave us some little known facts about his town. Hammerfest was the first Norwegian city to get electric lights for the roads in 1891. The city was destroyed by the German army as WWII was coming to a close. This seems to have been the story for most of these northern towns. Toward the end of the war, the Russian troops were entering into Norway since Russia is not that far away. As the German armies were withdrawing, they burned all of the buildings so that the Russian army could not control the town. The only building that they did not destroy was the church because there were German soldiers buried in the church cemetery. There is a wooden fence surrounding the entire town to keep out the reindeer. There were no reindeer today since they have been taken out of the area. One of the mountains to the south of the city is called Tyven which translates to The Thief. The mountain blocks out the little bit of sunlight that the town receives during the winter. We passed a Sami house which had a roof of grass. The guide said that is also a restaurant that serves bidos. Bidos is a slow-cooked stew that is for special occasions. It is made of reindeer meat with potatoes and carrots. As we stood at the top of a hill we could see Melkøya, which is an island that processes liquid natural gas.

When we got back, we ate a quick lunch and checked to see if the the jacuzzi was open. It was, so we went back to the room to change and enjoy a nice warm swim. The most difficult part of the swim, is trying to get out without freezing! We spent most of the rest of the afternoon reading. Dinner was salmon sushi with pickled cucumbers, fennel and dill and beef from Trøndelag with vegetables, celery puree and potato cake. Dessert was lingonberries with custard.



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