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Daily Archives: 29. June 2014 − News & Stories


Ber­lin Reykja­vik Ísaf­jörður

Exci­te­ments are rising and rising. A mix­tu­re of being exci­ted and loo­king for­ward to Jan May­en, but I am also almost fee­ling a bit ner­vous about it, some­thing I haven’t known befo­re ven­tu­ring on arc­tic trips for years. But this time, it’s dif­fe­rent. It will be deman­ding, a tough trip, an expe­di­ti­on if you want. No easy walks, but long, tough hikes. No upper limit to the shit wea­ther sca­le. And 2 days riding the waves befo­re we even get the­re. But that’s all part of the fun. The fasci­na­ti­on that is drag­ging us to Jan May­en does not come for free.

I plan­ned an inten­se trip to Jan May­en alrea­dy in 2012, but one of the two ships invol­ved in the logistics then had pro­blems some mon­ths befo­re, and that kil­led the who­le plan. May­be the plan was just too com­pli­ca­ted, invol­ving two ships, get­ting the­re with one, lea­ving with the next one, rather than having one small sai­ling yacht that is real­ly dedi­ca­ted to our voya­ge during that time and not­hing else. So it wasn’t to hap­pen in 2012. But it is may­be just per­fect as it is, becau­se Jan May­en was dis­co­ve­r­ed exact­ly 400 years ago. Pro­bab­ly. Nobo­dy knows exact­ly. But we know that the first docu­men­ted visit was on 28th June 1614 by the Eng­lish wha­ling Cap­tain John Clar­ke. The 28th June 1614. To the day exact­ly 400 years befo­re I packed my stuff to tra­vel in Clarke’s wake! How ama­zing is that! Is that coin­ci­dence? I guess it was meant to hap­pen like that. Some­ti­mes things hap­pen for rea­sons that we don’t qui­te under­stand. Let’s assu­me it is all a good sign!

Of cour­se, the last days were hec­tic. How else could it have been. Spent too much time run­ning around, spen­ding money on things that I thought I would need or things I know I will need but can’t find or wha­te­ver.

While the wea­ther on Jan May­en is almost sus­pi­cious­ly well – 11 degrees, almost no wind, even lar­ge­ly sun­ny – it is all almost sus­pi­cious­ly easy here. Neit­her a traf­fic jam causing cata­stro­phic delays, nor does the car break down. I am sus­pi­cious. And the cheap Ice­lan­dic air­line does not even com­p­lain about my over­weight. Tal­king about my lug­ga­ge, of cour­se! I have done my bit to make sure my own weight is in rea­son­ab­ly good shape, rea­dy for Bee­ren­berg, hope­ful­ly. Run­ning, hiking with hea­vy ruck­sack, bicy­cling, some extra trai­ning. In the end, get­ting to the top of Bee­ren­berg or not is not life important to me, it will be exci­ting whe­re­ver we get on Jan May­en. But if we have a chan­ce, if the wea­ther Gods are friend­ly and ever­ything works well, then it would be too annoy­ing if my legs don’t want to car­ry me up.

And while I am han­ging out ano­t­her 2 hours at the domestic air­port, I have the unex­pec­ted oppor­tu­ni­ty to watch foot­ball. Mexi­co against the Nether­lands. I have alrea­dy met Gudo, a fel­low tra­vel­ler from the Nether­lands. Of cour­se he is watching clo­se­ly. And the Dut­ch team has just got the ball into the net … hope that isn’t going over his mood … but it isn’t. Nobo­dy real­ly keen on foot­ball would tra­vel some­whe­re as remo­te as Jan May­en the­se days any­way.

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

And, by the way: the fact that we return to Ice­land one day befo­re the final is coin­ci­dence. Real­ly. I rea­li­zed it just a few days ago.

Did anyo­ne real­ly read this far, or was it alrea­dy too much? Apart from sit­ting in a pla­ne for some hours, not­hing has real­ly hap­pen­ed so far. Time to finish for the moment. I’d bet­ter read a bit in the Jan May­en book, polish my histo­ry know­ledge a bit. Yes, I am star­ting to read my own books. May­be weird, but … not bad … J and my last visit to Jan May­en was alrea­dy several years ago. Admit­ted­ly.

Infos for tra­vel tho­se inte­res­ted: Some thoughts about the Jan May­en tour that you should read if you con­si­der to par­ti­ci­pa­te in the future.

Arc­tic blog: Jan May­en, Spits­ber­gen

Join voya­ges to Jan May­en and Spits­ber­gen from the sofa! Rolf Stan­ge will publish impres­si­ons and adven­tures from his polar tra­vels more or less regu­lar­ly through the arc­tic sum­mer. Litt­le sto­ries and expe­ri­en­ces, first-hand from the far north. More here in the blog.

Approach to Isafjor­dur: Begin­ning of the Jan May­en adven­ture.

Arktis Blog: Anflug Ísafjörður

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