Residents on Norway’s Sommarøy Island Want to Ban Time
Sometimes, don’t you just wish a day could last forever? Well, an island in northern Norway is campaigning for exactly that. Yes, Sommarøy (meaning “Summer Island” in Norwegian) wants to swap its watches and declare itself the world’s first time-free zone.
Yes, 350 residents in Sommarøy has signed a petition to stop the clocks and do away with timekeeping on the island. It’s gained such momentum that Norway’s parliament is now considering the island’s petition.
Located in the Arctic Circle, just west of Tromsø, the sun doesn’t set on the island from 18th May through to 26th July, a full 69 days. Residents also have to endure a long polar night from November to January when the sun doesn’t rise at all. Both of these natural occurrences have meant that traditional time-keeping has never been adhered to on the island.
In a statement, islander Kjell Ove Hveding reveals; “In the middle of the night, which city folk might call ‘2 a.m.,’ you can spot children playing soccer, people painting their houses or mowing their lawns, and teens going for a swim.” Now Sommarøy residents want to make it official.
Islanders signed the time-free zone petition at the local town hall on 13th June and Hveding has met with a Norwegian MP since to discuss the practical and legal challenges of the initiative. Islanders hope that traditional opening hours and flexible school and working hours will change as a result.
It’s clear the islanders of Sommarøy are serious about the proposals. Currently the bridge which all tourists cross to get onto the island is covered with watches, as people prepare to enter the land time forgot. To find out more, check out the petition video over on Time-Free Zone Facebook page.
If you’re looking for a unique island escape in Norway, take a look at this off-grid private island located in the archipelago of Hvaler – just one our 10 Best Remote Private Islands on the planet available to hire.