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Kvitøya: Andréeneset

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Andrée­ne­set is a flat, very bar­ren pen­in­su­la of a few kilo­me­tres of ice-free land on the west side of Kvi­tøya, Svalbard’s nor­the­as­tern­most island. This is the end of the world in the wes­tern Euro­pean Arc­tic, neigh­bou­ring Frans Josef Land is not far from here.

Kvi­tøya is a rather hos­ti­le island. The name, „White Island“, is deri­ved from the ice cap Kvi­tøy­jø­ku­len that covers most of the 700 squa­re kilo­me­tres. The­re are just a few small spots of ice-free land: Kræ­mer­pyn­ten on the eas­tern end – Norway’s eas­tern­most land area any­whe­re – and Hor­nod­den, a small tip of land on the south side, next to Andrée­ne­set in the west.

Andrée­ne­set is qui­te expo­sed. Next to the often rough wea­ther, polar bears make lan­dings fre­quent­ly impos­si­ble. If you hap­pen to be lucky enough to go ashore, you can visit the site of the final camp of the Andrée expe­di­ti­on: this is whe­re Salo­mon August Andrée, Knut Fræn­kel and Nils Strind­berg put up their tent for the last time after the long march over the ice, on 05 Octo­ber 1897. Their mor­tal remains and the ruins of the camp were only found 33 years later, in 1930. The­re is a simp­le con­cre­te monu­ment on the rocks next to the Andrée site. Andrée, Fræn­kel and Strind­berg recei­ved gre­at public atten­ti­on in Swe­den and around the world, they were hono­u­red with a sta­te fun­e­ral in Stock­holm. Their exact cau­se of death is still a mat­ter of edu­ca­ted spe­cu­la­ti­on.

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last modification: 2019-10-10 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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