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Daily Archives: 31. May 2018 − News & Stories


Bill­efjord

One night’s sai­ling had taken us far into the inner bran­ches of Isfjord and we woke up to a fan­tastic pan­ora­ma in Bill­efjord. Mir­ror images on the water and dozens of seals lying on the ice! No lan­ding to start with, as the bay was still fro­zen and the shores blo­cked by ice, but we tho­rough­ly enjoy­ed.

Billefjord

Sce­ne­ry in Bill­efjord.

It was loci­gal to con­ti­nue just around the cor­ner to the migh­ty Nor­dens­kiöld­breen. One of Isfjord’s big­gest gla­ciers and more or less our last chan­ce for a polar bear sigh­t­ing.

Nordenskiöldbreen, Billefjord

Sce­ne­ry in Bill­efjord, Nor­dens­kiöld­breen.

Stun­ning sce­ne­ry and a lovely encoun­ter with a Bear­ded seal, but no polar bear …

Bearded seal, Nordenskiöldbreen

Bear­ded seal at Nor­dens­kiöld­breen.

Then it was time for a lan­ding. Cho­sing a beau­ti­ful spot in Bill­efjord not far from Nor­dens­kiöld­breen, I went back to old “hun­ting grounds” (not liter­al­ly) which brought back many fond memo­ries. That was just me per­so­nal­ly, but ever­y­bo­dy enjoy­ed the walk, the sce­ne­ry and the silence.

Landing at Brucebyen

Lan­ding near Bruce­by­en. Always the­se ter­ri­b­ly long Zodiac rides from ship to shore! 😉

Bruce­by­en was the site whe­re a Scot­tish com­pa­ny inves­ti­ga­ted coal occur­ren­ces around 1920. A short-lived adven­ture.

Brucebyen

Bruce­by­en.

Then, final­ly … we were almost on the way out of Bill­efjord, then we got our polar bear! Distant, yes, thus cer­tain­ly not allowing for world-class pho­to­gra­phy. But it was our polar bear! Clear­ly visi­ble with bino­cu­lars, it brought a smi­le on ever­y­bo­dies face.

Polar bear, Nordenskiöldbreen

Polar bear at Nor­dens­kiöld­breen, if you can see it. It was a bit distant, but it was our polar bear, and it was real! 🙂

So it was a hap­py ship that set cour­se for Lon­gye­ar­by­en in the late after­noon.

Isfjord: Alk­hor­net, Bar­ents­burg

It is real­ly ful­ly win­ter still here in Isfjord. Snow, snow, snow. Add to that some sun, the sound of a birdcliff in the back­ground and a wide pan­ora­ma of fjord and coast, moun­tains and gla­ciers, rein­de­er and geese on the first bits of open tun­dra. Does it get more beau­ti­ful than this? Hard­ly.

Schnee, Trygghamna

Late win­ter in Trygg­ham­na.

Harbour seal

Har­bour seal.

Snow buntings, Alkhornet

Snow bun­tings at Alk­hor­net.

Alkhornet

Some gol­den moments at Alk­hor­net.

We also made a visit to the Ymer­buk­ta swim­ming club. Always nice to meet the locals 🙂

Ymerbukta

Ymer­buk­ta swim­ming club.

Many will pro­bab­ly agree that Bar­ents­burg is not more beau­ti­ful, not in a clas­si­cal sen­se. But dif­fe­rent. Very dif­fe­rent! It is his­to­ri­cal and poli­ti­cal. We did have a clo­se look at all of this. If you have mis­sed this, than you have not ful­ly unders­tood what Spits­ber­gen is all about today. Lenin would agree.

Lenin in Barentsburg

Lenin in Bar­ents­burg.

Loo­king back at the last cou­p­le of days, we had ple­nty of good rea­sons to rai­se the glas­ses to a won­der­ful trip. So we did in the evening. A skål to Cap­tain Mario and chef Piet! And of cour­se to the who­le crew, but cap­tain and chef are key posi­ti­ons as ever­y­bo­dy knows who has tra­vel­led on a ship. A word for all of you who have tra­vel­led on Anti­gua in recent years and who are curious how things are going here now: of cour­se I was also curious how it would be after our for­mer Cap­tain Joa­chim and chef Sascha had set cour­se for new adven­tures. Big shoes to fill, as all of our fel­low tra­vel­lers will con­firm. So I am more than hap­py to tell you know that I am loo­king for­ward to many more trips to come with Anti­gua! We have had a gre­at jour­ney now (and still not finis­hed yet)!

Piet

Thumbs up for the Anti­gua-chef Piet!

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