I can’t deny that the arctic season 2014 is history now. The last entry in my travel blog is already 3 weeks old (ages in times of social media), and in 2 weeks, the polar night will start to shed its darkness over our beloved Spitsbergen. Already now, it is pretty uncomfortable up there, out in the field; the tours in September were already blessed with freezing temperatures and quite a lot of snow and wind. Well. The outdoor season is definitely over north of the arctic circle. Full stop.
So the arctic experience happens, to a large degree, on the computer screen at the time being. But that isn’t as bad as it may sound. Not only that it involves a far smaller risk of frostbite and exhaustion. But also, even in my 18th Spitsbergen summer, all these impressions come down on me as a waterfall. Beautiful, mighty, but also a bit overwhelming, threatening to bury the individual experience under a flood of impressions, sightings, activities … I can certainly recall last summer’s trips day by day, remember pretty much all the hikes, landings, sailings, wildlife sightings, weather etc., not to mention the experience of constantly sharing all this with groups, colleagues, crew, friends (there isn’t necessarily a strict distinction between some of these groups) without referring to any diary or other brain support. But after all this excitement has been every day life for many months, it is a good thing to sit down for a while, have quite a few cups of tea and revive the experience in my head.
This turns a necessity into an advantage. It is a necessity to complete triplogs and slideshows after the season, there is simply not enough time to do it all on the road, and I consider it an important service to my guests. So it has to be done after the season, to some degree. So now I have the pleasure to recall all those trips again, go through countless photos, turn them into photo galleries and slideshows, compile triplogs … unbelievable, these months! Hundreds of kilometres of hiking over tundra and mountains, across snow and rocks, beaches and glaciers, muddy solifluction soil and sandy volcanic ashes, from Bear Island and Jan Mayen to Sjuøyane, Spitsbergen’s furthest north, and a lot of what is in between.
Join me, if you want to, on these retrospectives. It does not take any effort beyond a mouseclick, it does not cost anymore than a few minutes of time – a precious resource, I know, but I am sure, it will be worth it. So have a look at the photo galleries of the 2014 arctic season. These pages are largely complete by know, only one or the other slideshow is still to follow, but it won’t take long. And my tip: the polar panoramas with 360 degree panoramic images from all parts of the arctic (and Antarctic, for that sake) that I have travelled recently. It is by far the largest collection of its kind, and it is growing. It is almost like being there, as you rotate a polar scenery 360 degrees. Make a virtual trip to the arctic every day, explore a beautiful place you didn’t even know existed, be in such a wonderful place, virtually, for a moment. It will give you a moment of peace and beauty, almost as being there in reality. Especially the panoramic tours, which play almost like a little film, illustrating a place and telling some kind of story about it. For example: the famous trapper hut Fredheim in Tempelfjord, the remote, small islands of Ryke Yseøyane or, of course, Jan Mayen.
There won’t be any new travel blogs here for a while. Maybe I will have one or the other blog here, but no reports from “out there” in the new future. But I will feed the Spitsbergen news a bit more frequently, so meanwhile, check them.
View over Lilliehöökbreen in August. One of many priceless moments of the last summer.