Northern Norway: Day 4: Gjesvaer-Hammerfest-Alta

On the morning of the fourth day we headed south already around nine o’clock. The idea was to drive from Gjesvær via Honningsvåg and Hammerfest to Alta. The driving distance is reasonable 352km, but because the roads are tricky the time spent on covering this distance wouldn’t be short.

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Route for the day: Gjesvaer-Honningsvåg-Hammerfest-Alta

The road to Gjesvær is by the way amazing and we stopped several times to take pictures. When driving the night before we were so tired and cold that we didn’t have any energy to do this.

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On the way to Honningsvåg
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Scenery
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Winding road

What is missing from the photos are reindeers. There were quite a lot of them in these parts of the world, but luckily there are no trees, so it was quite easy to spot them from the distance.

Because there was no breakfast in our accommodation and we didn’t realize to buy food in advance, we decided to drive 35km to Honningsvåg and have breakfast there. We checked suggestions online and selected a cafe called Cafe Corner. It turned out that the place was closed and would open at 10 o’clock, so we went to get some gas and took a stroll on the nearby streets. Honningsvåg turned out to be much bigger than what we had assumed the day before when passing the city and getting gas. Cafe Corner didn’t look like much from the outside, but inside it was nice and it seems to function as some sort of bar or a night club in the evenings.

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Cafe Corner

We chose a couple of sandwiches for breakfast and were served quite large portions. The sandwiches, coffee and ice tea cost together almost 40€, which was a good introduction to Norway’s price level after the cheaper breakfasts we enjoyed in Finland.

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Breakfast

After Honningsvåg we started driving towards Hammerfest. Lots of nice scenery on that route as well.

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On the way to Hammerfest
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Winding road
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Kvalsundbrua
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View from Kvalsundbrua bridge

After yesterday I’ve attached all the layers I had to my bike coat and pants as I assumed that today will be no better than the day before, but of course today was a hot day. When we arrived in Hammerfest the temperature was +23 Celsius in the shade. I’ve taken off the layers from my coat already on the way, but now we needed to find a cafe, so I could take the layer off my pants as well and have a nice cold drink.

We ended up in a place called Qa Spiseri because it was next to the parking lot where we parked our bikes. The food was rather good, but the service was horrible. The girl behind the counter couldn’t care less and then she opened a bottle of Coke when I ordered a Coke Zero and started arguing with me about whether I in fact said Coke or Coke Zero.

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Qa Spiseri’s good salmon soup

I have really hard time saying something about Hammerfest. It was so hot that after strolling a bit downtown we decided to drive to the hill from where you could see the entire Hammerfest from above. You can walk up the mountain, but we managed to ride there with our bike with significantly less sweat than the climbing would’ve required. 🙂

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Hammerfest
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Hammerfest

On the Norwegian scale, we’re talking about a rather big city and I’m sure there was plenty to see and do, but we were almost having a heat stroke because of being in bikini gear, so we decided that we better just continue driving. The road from Hammerfest to Alta went along the coast and partially inland, so the scenery changed all the time.

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Coastal scenery

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We arrived in Alta in the evening and we had a reservation in Best Western Nordlys Hotell Alta. You could get 10% discount at this hotel by being a member of Autoliitto (Automobile and Touring Club of Finland), so the price for the night was 980 NOK (i.e. 120€) and they didn’t even ask to prove your membership. For some reason they didn’t accept credit cards in the hotel, so we had to pay cash. The lady at the reception didn’t explain why, just apologized that it’s not possible. We took our things to the room and then headed directly to take a cold shower. The room was of decent size, although a bit dated, but the bathroom was huge. The not so nice thing was that the windows in our room faced the sunny side, so it was quite hot in the room. We decided to go for a walk and get something to eat.

Our impression was that Alta is spread to quite a large area although I don’t think it’s such a huge town. We walked approx. 2km until we ended up in a shopping mall-like area, which looked to us to be the center of the town as it also had a big church.

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Alta

While walking we saw the building from the side and were wondering what it was.

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Church of Alta from the side

When we looked at it from the front, it was clearly a church.

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Church of Alta

We randomly chose a restaurant called Du Verden, which turned out to be an excellent choice both in terms of food and service. We found out later that this is a chain of restaurants, but the place was very inviting and cozy.

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Du Verden
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Du Verden
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Hamburger
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Sushi

Dinner for two cost about 90€, which is quite alright for the food we had considering the Norway prices.

After dinner we walked back, got some ice cream on the way and went to the coast to watch the “sunset”. There is of course no sunset in these parts of the world in July, but the sun was pretty low. After that we headed back to our hotel to get some sleep.

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Coast in Alta
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Night sun

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