24 Hours of Sun: Best of Northern Norway in Summer

(gentle music)

- This is a story of the people and places

under the Midnight Sun in Northern Norway,

where you'll find some of Europe's most spectacular fjords,

vibrant fishing villages, picturesque mountains,

and unbelievable coastline.

Right now I'm standing

in front of the northernmost lighthouse in the entire world.

Welcome to the Arctic Circle.

I'm Alice Ford, and we're back in Northern Norway

to experience summer under the Midnight Sun.

We'll be starting our trip in Honningsvag

at 71 degrees north.

During the summer the Arctic Circle

experiences 24 hours of daylight,

the longest days on planet Earth

that last not just for hours, but for weeks.

After a brief tour of Honningsvag,

which is the northernmost town in all of Norway,

I boarded a bus and headed to the North Cape.

Our driver here is ready to see the Midnight Sun,

see, he's got his sunglasses on.

(crowd laughs)

- [Man] You could have YouTube paying for it.

- That's not because of the sun,

that is because of the snow.

(crowd laughing)

- From Honningsvag, the drive to the Cape

is a gorgeous one, with reindeer

running through the moisture-laden summer tundra,

streams springing to life, and rolling hills

passing by colorful fishing villages, and beautiful scenery.

30 minutes from Honningsvag is the North Cape,

and back before there was a road here,

people used to have to climb up this.

And after a brief walk,

I arrived at the observation point

which houses a museum, a theater, a store,

lounge, and even a restaurant,

where I sat to enjoy some champagne and food

while waiting for the clock to strike midnight.

I know I told you guys I came to back to Norway

to experience the Midnight Sun,

but I actually just came for the waffles.

It's hard to eat them with one hand.

(people chattering in foreign language)

Delicious. (chuckles)

(gentle uptempo music)

I wanted to show you guys,

it is actually 11:49 p.m. right now.

Yes, almost midnight.

As you guys can see, it is very daylight out right now,

but we're just hoping, (wind buffeting)

if I don't get blown off the mountaintop here,

that we are able to capture the Midnight Sun.

And lots of people come from all over the world

to try and see it.

With the first night under my belt,

it was time to try and get some sleep

before getting immersed in the seafood business

the next morning.

First stop, king crab safari.

Our experience is gonna start by boat

and that means we have to bundle up,

or if you guys remember,

when we went dog sledding,

we had to bundle up just like this.

They weren't yellow, though, not my color.

I'm taking a poll if you guys like this outfit.

I might just wear it in all my videos from now on,

so let me know in the comments.

During my winter visit, you guys might remember,

all the reindeer we saw, and the Sami people

in the summertime send the reindeer to the islands

on the North Cape, and here's some of them now.

(people chattering in foreign language)

Definitely not the kind of crab

that I have fished for before.

Arriving into the Village of Sarnass,

we got right to work learning all about king crab.

Funnily enough, king crabs are not even endemic

to this area, they were actually introduced to Norway

by the Russians after the Cold War.

And now, they make up nearly half of the fishing economy

in Northern Norway.

Crabs here are somewhat of an invasive species,

so all the fishermen that are out catching the king crabs

are actually doing a great service to the environment.

While they may move slow on land,

they're actually quite quick movers under the sea,

and they've really been able to spread much more quickly

than people have been able to catch up with.

They have no predators, and so they're really taking over

and could potentially become a huge problem

for the fishing industry.

(seagull cawing) (gentle music)

I think he's ready for dinner.

- So you should just. - Yeah, yeah, you don't need

to keep, you can just push.

- You can just press this down.

- I'm just gonna give you guys a warning,

I'm sorry if you think this is barbaric,

but we wanted to eat.

(knife scraping)

- Of course.

- You've done excellent.

- [Woman] Now you can pull it off, yup.

- Oh, she's doing pretty good

for the time I've had. (crowd laughing)

- That's a no. (chuckles)

Crabs prepared, we headed into the Labu

for a bit more crabucation and cooking.

The crabs are actually cooked in saltwater

and the process includes cooking them once for 15 minutes,

and then actually dumping out the hot water,

refilling it with cold water, and then cooking it

for a little bit longer.

This really locks in the flavor

and helps the meat bind together

so it's more tender and more easily comes off the shell.

Dinner is served.

The American way to eat king crab

is just with a little bit of lemon and butter,

but the Norwegian way is to eat it on homemade pita bread

with a little bit of mayo, a sprinkle of lemon,

and then folded in half like a sandwich.

L.A.'s newest food truck coming to you right here.

Honningsvag is the biggest community in the Northern Cape

and the people that live here,

experiencing the Midnight Sun and the Arctic winters,

are a special and tough kind of person.

I sat down with a few locals to learn about

how the 24 hours of daylight and darkness can affect you.

And the overarching thing I heard

was that every year, and every person is different,

but staying busy and on routine

is the most important thing

for making it through those long winters,

and those long summers.

Fishermen are the backbone of this community,

and after learning about fishing for crabs,

it was time to see just how they get from the sea

to the people around the world.

Do you guys smell that? (laughs)

Well I'm in a fish factory right now,

actually a seafood factory, the largest one in this area.

And as I have been saying throughout this video,

the fishing industry is one of the most important industries

in this area of Northern Norway,

and today we're gonna be touring the factory

to see just what they make and how they do it.

So one of the things we're learning about king crab

is that it looks like they have eight legs, right?

Well, they actually have ten, because the ones in the back

help them get clean.

They're very cleanly crabs, which is surprising.

This guy's about four kilos,

and the biggest one they've ever caught was 15 kilos.

Can you imagine a crab that big?

So one of the delicacies that you're probably

never gonna try, is king crab caviar,

we're trying it straight from the crab,

you can't get fresher than that.

Actually, pretty tasty, it's a little bit salty

but I actually think it's better

than the caviar I've had before.

- With the face first, and it goes,

click, click, crab in half.

So the crab dies within two seconds,

and that's how fast it has to go,

according to the Norwegian law.

If you put a knife in the head of a king crab,

you turn the knife and then you cut it open,

it is actually too slow.

(gentle uptempo music)

- One of the oldest ways to preserve fish

in Norway is actually by drying them,

and right now we're outside at the drying racks here,

where you see lots of fish.

And this fish has actually dried for three to four months.

And this fish you can actually eat just dried like this,

which, here in Norway, they'll serve with a beer,

and you can just take off little pieces of it

and snack on it.

It can also be reconstituted into regular fish

by soaking it in water.

And it's exported primarily to Italy,

Croatia, and Africa.

The Arctic Circle has an incredible amount of wildlife,

and it's not uncommon to see reindeer

running along the sides of the roads.

But what a lot of people come to the North Cape

to see is birds.

Right now we're gonna be hopping on a bird safari

and going to one of the outer islands

to see puffins, eagles, and all kinds

of other bird species nesting,

and enjoying the Arctic summer.

Once aboard, we jetted out to the Nature Reserve.

The northern seas that day were choppy,

with a cold rain falling from the skies.

Dressed in a blue snowsuit big enough for two,

I joined the crowd on the deck

to see the more than 20 bird species

and several thousand individuals that covered the rocks

and the skies.

Sea birds of all types soared overhead.

Eagles flew high above the cliffs

and puffins could be seen nesting on the ledges,

in just about every open space.

For my last night in the North Cape,

I actually came across the fjord on the Hurtigruten,

which is a small ship cruise line and ferry.

And now I'm in the town of Kjollefjord.

I'm staying at the only hotel here in the village,

with just 10 rooms, it's called the Hotel Nordkyn,

and the views here are amazing.

The weather in this small fishing village

was absolutely perfect, which gave me a chance

to really feel the Sun for the first time.

Coupled with vibrant houses, green grass,

and flying sea birds, it made for the perfect setting

to take in the Midnight Sun.

Tonight we've been invited to dinner with Eleanor,

a Sami woman, who's gonna teach us

all about her handicrafts and cook us

some delicious Sami cuisine.

(group laughing) - [All] Skol!

- If you want to get a fish, that has to be flat,

because in that way you can turn it around.

- [Alice] Eleanor, and her husband David,

run a small Sami craft store,

as well as host guests throughout the year.

After whittling our skewers, we cooked up some wild salmon

and reindeer, while learning more

about their family and culture.

Much like many of the indigenous groups

around the world, a lot of Sami culture

was actually eradicated by the church.

- Church, they say it's not allowed

to use this drum anymore, so they decide

they want to collect all the drum, and they do it,

and they burned.

(chanting in foreign language) (drum pounding)

- Historically, Sami were believers in a form of shamanism,

and over dinner, Eleanor told us what she knew

of this forgotten history, and her hopes

that future generations would continue its legacy.

(gentle upbeat music)

After that marvelous Sami dinner,

I came here to the northernmost lighthouse

in the entire world.

And it's here that I'm finally getting a glimpse

of the Midnight Sun, and its full spectacular blue skies,

and I'm really breathless right now.

Sitting here with the sun shining on my face

at midnight is a feeling unlike any I've ever had before.

You know, the last couple of nights,

we've had cloudy skies, and it hasn't really felt

like a sunny midnight.

But tonight there are no clouds in the skies

and the sun is shining brightly on my face.

I feel like it's, you know first thing in the morning,

not the middle of the night.

And it's an absolutely amazing feeling.

If I could experience this again,

or encourage any of you to come and experience this,

then I hope that I do, I hope that you guys watch this video

and want to come experience this.

It's something that happens only here

in the Arctic Circle, and the Antarctic Circle.

And the reason that it's so special,

it's just 70 days every year,

from mid-May to about mid-July.

And it's something that many people never get to feel

or experience, so I hope you guys have enjoyed

watching this video.

If you're not subscribed to my channel,

go ahead and hit that subscribe button.

And if you have any questions

about visiting Northern Norway,

please let me know.

I also want to thank my sponsors for this video,

Norwegian Airlines, which provides the best low-cost

and most energy-efficient transatlantic flights

in the world, as well as the Northern Norway

Tourism Board, and everyone that has helped me out

in making this trip a possibility.

Thanks so much guys.

I'm Alice Ford.

Never stop exploring.

I don't know about you guys, but this video's making me

a little crabby, so, think I'm gonna go.