When you go to the North Cape there is a free access in principle. Though you have to pay for the parking unless you want to hike a pretty long distance up the hill – and there is a separate fee to go inside the museum at the visitor center. So the total admittance can get pretty expensive. We decided to head for the museums despite the steep price tag – but after all it is a special place to go visit so we decided to pay up.
The first attraction we see is a big rock in the floor of the visitor center. This is actually one of the most famous pieces of graffiti in the world. when the king of Thailand visited Europe for the second time in 1907 he decide to go for a bit of a trip around the newly independent Norway – both as a tourist and as a way to create diplomatic ties which would hopefully secure Thai independence during a time when the European countries were busy colonizing pretty much all of the globe. When he came to North Cape he made it to the top thanks to a group of strong sailors carried him to the top. After they had carried him all the way to the top they had to find the only suitable rock and make it smooth so the king could get his name engraved on the stone.
We head down the stair to the series of different museums. First up is some stuffed birds and then there is a lot of different birds. Then we walk along a hall which got different small display of historical events around North Cape. The first one was the first identification of the location back in 1553 – back then they thought this was the northern most point of Europe – they didn’t realize this was an island or the northern most point on the island was Knivsodden a couple of miles away.
The next visitor to the cape was the first tourist. It was Francesco Negri from Ravenna in modern day Italy. Back then tourist travel was very rare around Europe – not like today when thousands of people visit North Cape on a busy day.
Later the center was visited by the king of Sweden-Norway in 1873 and obviously the king of Thailand in 1907. I guess many other famous people have been over the years – but these were the historical first movers to the tourist business of the area.
Along the tunnel is a little chapel – this is actually the northern most chapel in Europe and possible the world. Though there is a church in Qaanaaq Greenland which is much further north than this so it isn’t the northern most religious place of worship.
A little Thai museum has been financed by the Thai government to commemorate the Thai king’s visit to North Cape. The museum is mainly pictures of the event and a little story of the special relationship between Thailand and Norway which was founded during this visit.
The last attraction is a little lightshow which you can go and see at the end of the hall before you head up.
It turns out there is a little exhibition of the Second World War in the area which tells the story of this trying time for the locals in the area.