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Home* News and Stories → Loo­king back at 2015 – March

Loo­king back at 2015 – March

Spits­ber­gen got back into inter­na­tio­nal head­lines in ear­ly March, when a polar bear was shot after an encoun­ter with Czech ski tou­rists in their camp. One man suf­fe­red mild inju­ries when he was drag­ged out of his tent. The event might have been avoided, which makes the result – a dead polar bear – even more sad. And still more sad for us, as we are qui­te sure that this bear was one of the two cute litt­le cubs that were play­ing so beau­ti­ful­ly with their mother in Tem­pel­fjord in ear­ly May 2013. We had the pri­vi­le­ge to spend many hours obser­ving them, a stun­ning expe­ri­ence that will stay with us fore­ver. I am stray­ing off cour­se, this was 2013. And now they are dead … the first one pro­bab­ly died in April 2014, after ana­es­the­sia for sci­en­ti­fic pur­po­ses. A con­nec­tion? Does not exist, offi­cial­ly. Of cour­se.

Now, away from sad­ness and dis­as­ter. On March 20, short­ly after 11 a.m. local time, Spits­ber­gen was bles­sed with a total eclip­se. Once befo­re, I had seen a par­ti­cal eclip­se, which I found qui­te impres­si­ve. Many peop­le have sin­ce told me that a total eclip­se is some­thing com­ple­te­ly dif­fe­rent from a par­ti­al one. Yes, of cour­se. Always gre­at to tell someo­ne „what you have seen isn’t the real thing“. Pure bla­tancy, isn’t it?

No, they were sim­ply right. A total eclip­se is an unre­al, other­world­ly, frigh­tenin­gly beau­ti­ful expe­ri­ence. And this in the con­text Spitsbergen’s win­ter land­s­cape, which is magi­cal by its­elf! From the diver­se light phe­no­me­na to the atmo­s­phe­re that silen­ced ever­ything while it crept over val­leys and moun­tains and the tem­pe­ra­tu­re which was fal­ling drasti­cal­ly wit­hin moments: all this was extre­me­ly impres­si­ve. Unf­or­gett­able.

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

All the eclip­se tou­rists, who had come from all over the glo­be, whe­re so extre­me­ly lucky with the wea­ther, may­be more than the­re were awa­re of. Until then, the­re had been remar­kab­ly few clear days. But this Fri­day had been imma­cul­ate­ly beau­ti­ful.

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the tit­le “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (1): Spitz­ber­gen – vom Polar­licht bis zur Mit­ter­nachts­son­ne”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!

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last modification: 2016-01-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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