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HomeArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → Lil­le Kval­fjord & Ham­mer­fest

Lil­le Kval­fjord & Ham­mer­fest

The wea­ther does all sorts of things here the­se days, but not necessa­ri­ly what we want it to do. Cros­sing the Bar­ents Sea is cur­r­ent­ly not an opti­on, but we are hap­py here on the Nor­we­gi­an main­land coast. After some wea­ther-rela­ted chan­ges of plans we ended up in Lil­le Kval­fjord on Stje­rnøya. Never heard? Neit­her have we 🙂

Lille Kvalfjord

Lil­le Kval­fjord on Stje­rnøya in Altafjord.

It is real­ly a lost place, with a tiny sett­le­ment, but it seems com­ple­te­ly deser­ted. Com­ple­te­ly sur­roun­ded by steep moun­tains, the only access appears from the sea. But it is an beau­ti­ful place in its own way. Some old huts and houses spread along the shore and in the forest of low birch trees. Huge rocks and steep moun­tains. And very deep, soft snow. A very lone­so­me, very quiet place!

Stje­rnøya has always been an important place for the Sami peop­le, who call it Stier­d­ná. They still keep rein­de­er here during the sum­mer mon­ths.

Pho­to gal­le­ry Lil­le Kval­fjord

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Then we set cour­se for Ham­mer­fest.


Ham­mer­fest – cool! None of us would have expec­ted that a week ago. I have never been here befo­re. And now we are sud­den­ly here! Nice!


The “old” cent­re of Ham­mer­fest in wea­ther that fits the lati­tu­de.

Ham­mer­fest is one of tho­se cities that claim to be the nort­hern­most one in the world. This may have been the case at some sta­ge and of cour­se it will depend on your defi­ni­ti­on of a city. With a good 11,000 inha­bi­tants, it is cer­tain­ly a good bit lar­ger than Lon­gye­ar­by­en, no doubt.

So we spent Fri­day here, again with some pret­ty impres­si­ve wea­ther chan­ges.

Struve-Meridian, Hammerfest

The monu­ment of the Struve meri­di­an in Ham­mer­fest.

And the­re are qui­te a few things to see and to do. The­re is the town its­elf, of cour­se, with its streets and shops, pubs and cafés and church­es. The­re is the monu­ment of the Struve meri­di­an, which was qui­te an impres­si­ve bit of sci­en­ti­fic work of the ear­ly 19th cen­tu­ry, covering a geo­de­tic arc from the Black Sea to – exact­ly – Ham­mer­fest. The­re is the world famous polar bear club (no, I did not join) and the muse­um about the regio­nal histo­ry, main­ly focus­sing on the awful years of the second world war which brought com­ple­te dest­ruc­tion to the who­le area. This is why Ham­mer­fest does not have any older buil­dings.

It is easy to spend a day here.

Now we expect to lea­ve for Bear Island and Spits­ber­gen tomor­row (Satur­day).

Pho­to gal­le­ry Ham­mer­fest

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the tit­le “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (3): Die Bären­in­sel und Jan May­en”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!



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last modification: 2022-04-29 · copyright: Rolf Stange