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Cherm­si­deøya: Nord­kapp

Nordkapp, Chermsideøya

Nord­kapp on Cherm­si­deøya.

Many have been to Nord­kapp, Norway’s north cape. But only few know that the­re is ano­ther Nord­kapp in the same sec­tor of the Arc­tic, 1050 kilo­me­t­res fur­ther north: this “real” Nord­kapp is loca­ted on Cherm­si­deøya, a small island on the north side of Nord­aus­t­land.

Pan­ora­ma 1 – The eas­tern one of the two cairns on Chermsideøya’s Nord­kapp on a rather grey day.

The “real” Nord­kapp?

The desi­gna­ti­on “real” Nord­kapp may be slight­ly pro­vo­ca­ti­ve. After all, “Nord­kapp” is not a pro­tec­ted term, you can call any place Nord­kapp, inclu­ding the nor­t­hern cor­ner of your vege­ta­ble gar­den. And Chermsideøya’s Nord­kapp isn’t Svalbard’s nor­t­her­most bit of land – that is Ros­søya – and far from the nor­t­hern­most land in the world, that is nor­t­hern­most Green­land.

Pan­ora­ma 2 – The same cairn on a clear day, with views of Wal­denøya (the small, iso­la­ted island) and Sjuøya­ne.

But that does not mat­ter too much – in the end, it is just ter­mi­no­lo­gy. Just a name. Let’s rather take the oppor­tu­ni­ty to have a good look at the place when the­re is a rare oppor­tu­ni­ty to get clo­se to it. The cliffs of Nord­kapp are just 130 met­res high, but the ter­rain is quite rocky, and wal­king over the bould­er fields is some­thing that many will expe­ri­ence as chal­len­ging. But the views of the sur­roun­dings, inclu­ding Sjuøya­ne and Wal­denøya, are worth any effort.

Pan­ora­ma 3 – The wes­tern one of the two cairns at Nord­kapp on Cherm­si­deøya.

An open air muse­um of geo­lo­gy

And once you are the­re, you can enjoy the natu­ral open air muse­um of the regio­nal geo­lo­gy for free. Next to count­less erra­tic bould­ers which repre­sent a wide spec­trum of the various bed­rock types of the regi­on, the local bed­rock con­sists most­ly of various gra­ni­tes, gneis­ses and intru­si­ve rocks which altog­e­ther give the visi­tor a colourful pic­tu­re of the wild ear­ly histo­ry of the area.

Pan­ora­ma 4 – The rocky hills near Tot­tod­den, with a view of the “red bay”. The gra­ni­te the­re is of an inten­se red­dish colour.

Granit, Chermsideøya

“Red Bay” (not an offi­ci­al name) at Tot­tod­den on Cherm­si­deøya: red gra­ni­te.

Geo­lo­gists can find traces of the Gren­ville-event (col­li­si­on of seve­ral con­ti­nents forming an ear­ly super­con­ti­nent cal­led Rodi­nia about 1 bil­li­on years ago) and the Cale­do­ni­an oro­ge­ny (con­ti­nent col­li­si­on lea­ding to the for­ma­ti­on of a nor­t­hern con­ti­nent known as Lau­ra­sia about 400 mil­li­on years ago) by using sophisti­ca­ted methods such as radio­me­tric dating. And if you find this too tech­ni­cal, then you can sim­ply enjoy the colourful rocks and the beau­tiful struc­tures 🙂

Intrusive veins, Chermsideøya

Intru­si­ve veins near Tot­tod­den.

Knoll and Tott: the Kat­zen­jam­mer Kids

The­re is one curiou­si­ty: the moun­tain ridge south of Nord­kapp is named Tott, and the one on the west side of the island has got the name Knoll on the map. Knoll and Tott are the Nor­we­gi­an names of Fritz and Hans, the two main figu­res of a comic strip known as The Kat­zen­jam­mer Kids which appeared in Ame­ri­can news­pa­pers for many years start­ing in 1897. I don’t know what Fritz and Hans – or, rather, their Nor­we­gi­an alter egos – are doing on Cherm­si­deøya. I guess that the car­to­graph­ers who put their names on the map in 1964 were run­ning out of ide­as and the­re must have been a fan among­st them. The­re is an artic­le about the Kat­zen­jam­mer Kids in Wiki­pe­dia.

Nord­kapp & sur­roun­dings Cherm­si­deøya: pho­to gal­lery

Final­ly, some impres­si­ons of the “real” Nord­kapp and sur­roun­dings.

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



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last modification: 2021-10-09 · copyright: Rolf Stange