Gjesvær is a little fishing village at the top of Finnmark near Nordkapp and is the only town in the county recorded in Viking literature. The area boasts having Norway’s largest sea bird colony–a perfect destination for birdwatchers.

Even though it was the middle of summer, it was still quite cold. A boat tour took us out to the bird islands, passing an island formation known as the Pregnant Lady to the locals.

We spent 40 minutes looking at the wildlife, as the wildlife looked back. Socialising on the cliffs were Great Cormorants, Razorbills, Guillemots and Northern Gannets. We spotted some white-tailed eagles flying above too. I was excited to see seals playing in the surf by the rocks. The puffins were playing in the waves, ducking under that surface for food or running on the top of the water batting their wings. There was even a scientist perched up on the rocks observing the happenings.

On the way back, I realised I was looking at a bald village, (and I’m not talking about the men). There was not a tree in sight! The green on the mountains was just moss and shaggy bits of grass but there was nothing taller than a foot. It seems the further up you go in Norway, the smaller the trees become until there are no trees at all.

However, there was one tree in Gjesvær. At the end of town by the water stands a dead twisted white tree. It was brought to the village by a film crew and was left as an eery memento. It reminded me of the White Tree of Gondor (LOTR), though, it certainly makes no valid comment on Gjestvær–the place may be a tree-less island, but it is surrounded by living waters.

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