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Daily Archives: 21. June 2016 − News & Stories


Sou­thwards to Kapp Wien – 21st June 2016

A sta­ti­on visit is almost man­da­to­ry when you are on Jan May­en, but strict­ly by invi­ta­ti­on only. We have got our invi­ta­ti­on for today 1300 Nor­we­gi­an time (1100 Ice­lan­dic time = our time). So break­fast on time and we head off with disci­pli­ne as sche­du­led. We need two hours to walk along the road, 8 km long, to the sta­ti­on.

On the way, we are pas­sing various important bits and pie­ces of the local infra­struc­tu­re: Jan May­en Inter­na­tio­nal Air­port (just a simp­le run­way), the wea­ther sta­ti­on (1-2 km north of the actu­al sta­ti­on) and, of cour­se, various spe­ci­mens of the local forest of traf­fic signs, which are most­ly reflec­ting the spe­ci­fic sen­se of humour on such a place rather than regu­la­to­ry needs of den­se traf­fic.

On the sta­ti­on, we are allo­wed to enjoy the hos­pi­ta­li­ty with its various, typi­cal aspects for some hours: plea­sant stay in a rather zivi­li­sed venue, curious looks and pho­tos in public are­as as are made acces­si­ble to us and – the high­light – an inten­se shop­ping ses­si­on in the sou­ve­nir shop. Our curious ques­ti­ons are also ans­we­red.

Gal­lery 1

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

As it is time to take off again, the sun is shi­ning and the day is still long. When, if not now, do I have the chan­ce to explo­re the ter­rain south of the sta­ti­on? This part of Jan May­en does have a lot to offer: start­ing in Borg­da­len, which I came down quite recent­ly but wit­hout see­ing any­thing due to the den­se fog, so I saw not­hing of the sharp moun­tain ridge Schiert­zeg­ga.

Green, wide are­as, almost like mea­dows, are stret­ching in lower Blind­da­len, befo­re some hef­ty ascents lead up to Fly­kol­len abo­ve Kapp Wien. The­re, a Ger­man wea­ther recon­nois­sance pla­ne cra­s­hed into a steep slo­pe in July 1942. All four crew mem­bers died. The wreck is still the­re, as one out of two WWII air­craft wrecks on Jan May­en. The other one, at Dani­el­sen­kra­ter­et near the nor­t­hern lagoon, is quite easi­ly acces­si­ble, in com­pa­ri­son at least.

You can’t say that this one is easy to get to. For a while alre­a­dy, I have been clim­bing up a steep slo­pe, asking mys­elf per­ma­nent­ly how far I was actual­ly wil­ling to go. Behind a litt­le ridge, the view is ope­ning into a steep ravi­ne, and the­re it is, the pla­ne wreck, in seve­ral parts. A wing here, the main body the­re. The ter­rain is too steep for me, I don’t want to go down here, being on my own and wit­hout any rope or other safe­ty. I have seen enough, after a cou­ple of pho­tos I turn back.

Ins­tead, I rather enjoy the grand coas­tal sce­n­ery at Bran­der­pyn­ten for a while. Jag­ged coas­tal rock stacks and caves, bird cliffs and the asso­cia­ted den­se, colourful vege­ta­ti­on. All this makes this part of Jan May­en a par­ti­cu­lar­ly beau­tiful one. I would have to spend more time here …

Gal­lery 2

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

As so often, the tour finis­hes with some long, tough kilo­me­t­res on the road back to Kval­ross­buk­ta, amoun­ting to a total of 30 kilo­me­t­res in the end for today. As I come back to the base­camp, I find the others gathe­red around a cosy camp fire. Spi­rits are excel­lent, ever­y­bo­dy has sto­ries about the day to tell.

Gal­lery 3

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

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