During their different journeys of the MEMORIA Norway project, SpringerParker will update the Logbook on a regular basis.
It documents their route and events in forms of on location photos and descriptions sent directly via the mobile phone to this website.
Clicking at the geographical data to the left of the entries lets you follow their route on the map.


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Darkness shall give way to the sun

Vardø is usually referred to as Norway's only mainland town in the Arctic climate zone. In July, the 24-hr average temperature is only 9.1 °C, while the January average is a modest -5.1 °C. "Darkness shall give way to the sun" is the motto of the city, and although this can be interpreted in different ways, the most obvious one is still messing up with our perception of time. The city is in the same time zone as the rest of the country, even if it is more than an hour at odds with daylight hours, which end at the moment before 2 pm. This fact makes it difficult to use the mobile phone for the logbook snapshots after that time and also the cold wind is not the best partner when it comes to handheld devices. There are no reindeers around, but a few horses.

Sound archives

For recordings for our sound archive, Parker is attaching contact microphones to the huge wooden rack that is braving the elements. This construction is called "hjell" and was used fo drying fish. You will come across these in various shapes and sizes in all fisher towns.


Vardø is sometimes called the witch capital of Norway, because approximately 70 witch- trials took place here between 1601 and 1663. There are supporting stories and legends that reach until our times, surrounding the mountain of Domen not far from the island, a kind of equivalent to the German Blocksberg/Brocken. The artist Louise Bourgeois together with architect Peter Zumthor made a monument reminding of these inhuman trials to be built in Vardø in 2010.

The Fortress

This most northern fortress in the world was built in 1307. In the 1700s it was an important trading centre, where both Finland and Russia were sending merchant ships to the port that remains ice-free due to the effect of the warm North Atlantic drift. The Vardø fortess was extensively rebuilt early in that century. In 1944, the town was almost completely destroyed by the Nazis and many of its residents murdered. If you look at the map from satelite view you will notice the shape of a seaman rose.

Shrinking Cities

Vardø is one of the shrinking cities in Norway. During the last years, about 20% of the inhabitants moved elsewhere. Of course, this has to do with fishing policies and affected all towns on the coastline that lived mainly on fishing. While driving through the city you can hardly oversee the many abandoned and run-down houses. In the background you see the observatory which main purpose is to cartograph space junk.

In a tunnel under the sea

We nearly arrived at Vardø, the northeasternmost point of Europe. It's even more east than St. Petersburg and Istanbul. It is located on an island which can be accessed through a tunnel under the sea. What's behind this tunnel and what space junk has to do with it: tomorrow in this logbook.

Vadsø by Night

Night view over Vadsø, for now we are just passing through, but will be back later this trip.

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