Birdwatching From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3573 posts, RR: 52 Posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3097 times:
So, we're back from the Arctic Ocean! I'm back in Germany and... it's dark outside! That is sooo scary! I haven't seen darkness for 5 days. And it's warm again. But I'm already missing the solitude of 78° North. What an unforgettable A.net meet. What a great time we had!
But let me start from the beginning. We were 4 people who dared to leave civilization for a couple of days: From left to right, me, Dan (PlymSpotter), Rune (DYFlyer) and Frederik (AirPacific747).
We all came in on a wide variety of flights, Dan had about 9 inbound flights carefully scheduled, and in the end we all met at the tiny airport of Longyearbyen, surrounded by barren tundra mountains and endless glaciers. And abandoned industrial buildings and mines.
We spent most of the time hiking around this very strange and unique place. At one point, on a 10+ hour walk, we entered an abandoned mine. Very creepy.
This is our "base camp". My tent was so small that I couldn't even sit up in it, while Frederik's tent was like a B737 hangar.
One highlight was a roundtrip flight on a Do228 to the mine Svea, which was completely free, after I told the mechanic that we're A.netters and Rune talked to somebody on the phone, and somehow we ended up on the passenger list.
Since I only had a point-and-shoot and the others had huge cameras (along with the C vs. N wars), I'm now going to leave it to the others to post pictures. Rune shot all of the rare airplanes, down to the last Soviet helicopter, Dan has the complete catalog of arctic flora, and Frederik has all of the wildlife covered (after he realized that running behind a polar fox and wildly waving with his arms is not a good way to get a decent picture).
Well, in the end we did a lot of interesting things, and didn't sleep a lot. Well, how are you going to sleep when the sun is up 24/7? Here we can see Dan, tired after a couple of nights without any sleep.
I'm sure the others will post a bunch of pics, Dan will probably add them to his web album. We'll also see some trip reports in the next days, as well as the first A.net uploads on Svalbard... that's right, there are no pictures of that place in the database yet!
Again, I'd like to thank the 3 others for the unforgettable trip we had. Without any doubt we'll do something similar next year... but to a warmer place this time!
All the things you probably hate about travelling are warm reminders that I'm home
Aloges From Germany, joined Jan 2006, 8357 posts, RR: 47 Reply 1, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3081 times:
So you twit went even further north than I've ever been!
After you had posted that thread inviting people to the meet, I started thinking about going since LYR shares a place on my "where to go" list with KEF, but after seeing the fares and hearing the howl of the wind in the emptiness of my bank account I decided against it... good to see you had fun!
Walk together, talk together all ye peoples of the earth. Then, and only then, shall ye have peace.
AirPacific747 From Denmark, joined May 2008, 2091 posts, RR: 23 Reply 2, posted (6 years 9 months 2 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 3072 times:
Hey Søren!!! I just got back! What an AWESOME TRIP! Something that I'll never forget, just like I wont forget the russians that started blowing up buildings behind us and the coal mine we visited.
Quoting Birdwatching (Thread starter): This is our "base camp". My tent was so small that I couldn't even sit up in it, while Frederik's tent was like a B737 hangar.
Just to put things into perspective: Svalbard is WAY higher up north than any part of Alaska. As far as I know, the northern most point in Alaska is at 71 degrees north. Longyearbyen is located at 78 degrees north.
The windchill made the place sooo friggin cold during the "night" and I was freezing every nighet except for the last night where I decided to sleep with 3 layers of clothes plus my jacket on and two layers of pants