We begin our guided hike in the city and pass by the distinctive parish church before heading for the slopes of Mount Salen. Hammerfest was established in 1789 at the site of an old anchorage. The first part of the name, `Hammer´, derives from the Old Norse word, `Hamarr´, which means `steep mountainside´.
The second part, `fest´, comes from the Old Norse word, `festr´, which means `fastening´ (for boats). On our way out of town, we follow `Gammelveien´ (`the Old Way´), which is essentially a hiking path around Mount Salen and was once the only way in and out of the city.
During our ascent, we also pass through Hammerfest’s only forest, Jansvannskogen. Scaling the mountain´s summit demands a fair amount of physical fitness, but the stunning views are worth it. On a clear day you can see the islands of Melkøya, Sørøya and Seiland. The route down follows a popular zigzag path to the town centre, where we take a well-earned rest before heading back to the ship.