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Home → October, 2014

Monthly Archives: October 2014 − Travelblog

The arc­tic sea­son 2014 in retro­s­pec­ti­ve: Bjørnøya, Jan May­en, Spits­ber­gen …

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.



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