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HomeArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → Island – 13th June 2016

Island – 13th June 2016

Let’s not talk too much about yes­ter­day. A has­ty good­bye to Anti­gua and her good peop­le, re-orga­niz­a­ti­on of lug­ga­ge and equip­ment late at night, then a day spent being tired in air­ports and on flights. Lon­gye­ar­by­en, Oslo, Kefla­vik, Reykja­vik. Who wants that? I don’t, but the­re is no way around it. The­re is no train and no bus to Jan May­en.

24 hours after lea­ving Anti­gua in Lon­gye­ar­by­en I am alrea­dy in a simp­le guest house in Reykja­vik, slow­ly reco­vering from the voya­ge.

I con­ti­nue ear­ly next morning with a small, but power­ful pro­pel­ler-dri­ven air­craft to Ísaf­jörður, the metro­po­lis of Iceland’s remo­te nor­thwest fjords.

Don’t expect too much from this metro­po­lis. You have seen most of it after an hour or two. But Ísaf­jörður is not only our gate­way to Jan May­en, it is also extre­me­ly friend­ly today: the sun is bur­ning from a cloud­less sky. The­re is still time for a litt­le excur­si­on. A ren­tal bike is quick­ly found, and after a litt­le ride I start ascen­ding the moun­tain Kub­bi. Just a bike and hiking boots. Not­hing that flies or burns fuel. Won­der­ful! That is fun, that is how it should be. Get­ting a bit out of breath, fresh, unfil­te­red air in the lungs, sit­ting on arc­tic hea­ther tun­dra a few metres high with bare feet, enjoy­ing stun­ning views on moun­tains, water­falls and fjords – a lot of my ide­as of good life are in this. More, plea­se! Well, the­re may be a lot of it in a few days’ time on Jan May­en.

Soon some final shop­ping is done, the last pre­pa­ra­ti­on befo­re depar­tu­re invol­ves a big pla­te of local fried cod. Then, a litt­le group of 11 gathers around the table on Sigurdur’s Auro­ra. Next to the skip­per hims­elf, mate Vidar and moun­tain gui­de Magnus, all from Ice­land, and me, the­re are Anne­li from Esto­nia, who is attrac­ted by remo­te pla­ces that are dif­fi­cult to get to („you can’t get the­re? Gre­at, let’s go the­re!“), Domi­ni­que from Eng­land, a friend of remo­te islands, Erling from Nor­way, who had felt a desi­re to go to Jan May­en alrea­dy in child­hood days, Fred from Ame­ri­ca, who has recent­ly made an impres­si­ve expe­di­ti­on to Heard Island, Karl, who had been with Sig­gi to Green­land, Mar­cus, who is fasci­na­ted by polar histo­ry, and Mar­tin, who has a strong pas­si­on for the vol­ca­noes of the world.

Gal­le­ry Island – 13th June 2016

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

Next to Auro­ra, Sigurdur’s new ship is along­side, the old Bør, now bea­ring her new name Ark­ti­ka. That would be a good ship for Green­land … well, now we are on Auro­ra, hea­ding for Jan May­en. The adven­ture begins.

We have a lovely start in the nicest evening light. Some­ti­mes the fjord lies calm and clear around us, some­ti­mes a bree­ze from the table moun­tains fur­ther north pushes small waves up. The ship is stom­ping into a strong wind as we sur­round the last capes, but it should not last too long, the fore­cast is fine and we should have a rea­son­ab­ly calm cros­sing.

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: 2016-08-12 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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