Tag Archives: Hammerfest

1 July 2019:
Hammerfest, Norway:
Everything Old is New Again

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Hammerfest is very Norwegian, with the same sort of end-of-the-world feeling as most of the other places we visit in northern Norway, inside the Arctic Circle.

And yet it also feels different.

500 kilometers or 312 miles inside the Arctic Circle, this is a place of very severe weather.

Hammerfest is an old settlement with evidence of inhabitation going back 10,000 years, the ancestral home of the Nordic Sea Sami people, and beginning in the early 19th century a settlement of European and then North American traders attracted to the ice-free harbor that is tempered by a finger of the Gulf Stream.

This is not a town of old clapboard houses and time-worn storefronts. You’ll find contemporary office and apartment building, state-of-the-art oil and gas terminals, and a church on Kirkegata shaped like a space rocket.

All right, not really a rocket ship: it is supposed to pay homage to the traditional triangular drying racks for stockfish or bacalao.

It is also home to the famed Struve Geodetic Arc Monument, a point of measurement along a meridian line from the 19th century, one of the first scientific efforts to determine the size and shape of the globe.

The Struve Geodetic Arc Monument

But why is Hammerfest so relatively modern?

The first reason is that old Hammerfest has had a very hard time over the years. The town has been knocked down, burned down, and bombed and rebuilt many times.

The second is that it is the recent beneficiary of massive investment by oil and gas producers working even farther north, in the Arctic.

All photos and text Copyright 2019 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved. See more photos on my website at http://www.coreysandler.com

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26 July 2018:
Hammerfest, Norway:
Old World, New World

By Corey Sandler, Destination Consultant Silversea Cruises

Hammerfest is very Norwegian, with the end-of-the-world feeling of northern Norway, inside the Arctic Circle.

And yet it also feels quite different.

500 kilometers or 312 miles inside the Arctic Circle, this is a place of very severe weather. The winds and the seas can pound anytime of the year, and in winter it is brutally cold and the snow builds up and the roads are closed and it is completely dark and you might not want to be here.

We are visiting in summer, or so says the calendar. In the morning it was gray and cold and foggy, which is pretty typical for these parts. But around noontime the sun burst through and there were sunbathers around the pool deck.

I have been here many times, and always find it an interesting place to visit…and then leave, sailing away on a warm, luxurious cruise ship in time for cocktails and dinner.

Silver Wind at the dock this morning.

Foggy bottom morning.

Snow fences up on the hills above town.

And the midday sun filled the harbor in the land of Midnight Sun:

All photos by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.

Hammerfest is an old settlement with evidence of inhabitation going back 10,000 years, and is the ancestral home of the Nordic Sea Sami people, and beginning in the early 19th century a settlement of European and then North American traders.

There are many places like that in this part of the world. But Hammerfest looks and feels so very modern.

This is not a town of old clapboard houses and time-worn storefronts. You’ll find contemporary office and apartment building, state-of-the-art oil and gas terminals, and a church on Kirkegata shaped like a space rocket.

All right, not really a rocket ship: it is supposed to pay homage to the traditional trianglular stockfish racks of fishing ports.)

All photos and text Copyright 2018 by Corey Sandler, all rights reserved.