lørdag 28. juni 2008

Some images of June

Saxifraga oppositifolia (Rødsildre/Purple Saxifrage) -

Saxifraga cespitosa
(Tuesildre/Tufted Saxifrage) -

Draba oxycarpa (Bleikrublom/Pale Withlowgrass) -

Papaver dahlianum
(Svalbardvalmue/Svalbard Poppy), popping through the asphalt -

... and a molting Lagopus muta (Rype/Ptarmigan)

More flowers here.

fredag 27. juni 2008

Reminiscing and summarizing II

A rough map of where I´ve been since I came last August (not counting the last cruise - and not necessarily where the rest of the family´s been - only I (and these are literally the only places I´ve been since last August - I haven´t been off this island since then, remember?)).

It´s not very impressive when you look at the bigger map - lots and lots and LOTS more places to see!

onsdag 25. juni 2008

Nordstjernen: Møllerfjorden and Ny-Ålesund

Evening, day three: We stopped in Møllerfjorden where Lloyds hotel can be seen on the beach.

This is a building (shack, actually) from as long back as before 1928, maybe even dating back to 1912-14. The peculiar name comes from the original owners of the area, the German shipping company Norddeutscher Lloyd, and it has been a popular goal for tourist ships for more than a century.

Five stars, no less.

A bit cramped, but cosy.

Beachlife, with clothes ...

And without.

Today was William´s turn to swim - plus quite a few of the other passengers. I didn´t go in this time - once was enough (for the record, it was 2C when I went in in Magdalenefjorden, 3C here. Hah).

More beachlife: a bar...

... sunbathing.

Amazing weather, amazing place!

On day four, the weather had changed completely. Here´s Nordstjernen in port in Ny Ålesund.

And here´s the world´s most northerly post office.

Ny Ålesund was founded as a coal mining community in 1916, and so much history has taken place here that I won´t go into all. The famous Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen spent a lot of time in the area, and there´s still a bust of him here.

This train was restored in the 1980´s, it´s a remnant from the mining days, and looks forlorn on these shores - particularly in such weather.

In 1962, after several tragic mining accidents, there was a heated political debate, and the Norwegian prime minister Gerhardsen had to step down. Since then there has been no coal mining in Ny Ålesund, but scientists from ten countries have settled here. During the summer there can be as many as 130-140 people here, while during the winter there are only 30-40.

China is one of the countries that do research here, and they have placed two stone lions (weighing 1,6 tons) in front of their entrance, to guard off evil spirits (or more likely polarbears).

The weather didn´t keep us long in Ny Ålesund - it was pretty disgusting, actually, and a great contrast to the weather a few hours earlier. After Ny Ålesund we saw the Krone-glacier and some other stuff, but I didn´t take pictures . After that the ship went straight to Longyearbyen.

Of course we saw a lot of stuff that I haven´t mentioned (thousands of birds, for instance), but I´ve only included tidbits and highlights here. The map underneath shows approximately our route along the coast.

And thus ended our Svalbard-cruise ... and in a few days our year in Svalbard. Hm.

tirsdag 24. juni 2008

Nordstjernen: Lilliehöök-glacier and a Golden anniversary

... but first, some wildlife.

Day two, evening: Going out Magdalenefjorden we passed a lot of indolent walruses - what a lovely, lazy life!

The cruise-plan was to head up to Moffen at 80th latitude, but because of sea ice we didn´t get further than just north of Magdalenefjorden. The ship stopped by the iceridge, which looked like this:

The red circle points out this furry creature:

My first polarbear! It was eating a dead seal (I presume) while glancing our way, full of suspicion. We had quite a long look at it, to the enjoyment of all (maybe not the bear).

Further out on the ice we saw two other bears, but they were only visible through the binoculars, so therefore no pictures.

The skies cleared up soon after - here´s a photo of my brothers and my sister and Tor Ove on the deck, at 00.30 in the morning.

Day three: in the morning we approached the Lilliehöök-glacier in Krossfjorden in glorious sunlight and calm sea.

Tenderboats took us nearer the 8 km wide glacier-front.

Going in the smaller boats also brought us nearer all the beautiful, floating ice in the fjord.

And we passed another laidback walrus. Apparently oblivious of the rudely staring humans.

This beautiful day was also my parent´s 50th wedding anniversary - look at the cake the crew surprised us with!

It tasted great too:)

Before we left the Lilliehöök-glacier we managed to collect ourselves for a photo.

In the back, from left: Anders, William, Anne, Erik, Tor Ove, Birgit, Unni, Sidsel, Gunnar, Halvard, Martin, Emma, Peter and Thomas.

Loading all these photos take ages, so the rest will have to wait a little. But next time there´ll be a bar on the beach, and some nudity...

mandag 23. juni 2008

Nordstjernen: Barentsburg and Magdalenefjorden

Day one: Sailing out Isfjorden, passing Grumant and Fuglefjella.

Nordstjernen moored in Barentsburg.

Ascending Barentsburg. 220 steps.

Entertainment by the locals.

Day two: in Magdalenefjorden, not particularly good weather, but spectacular anyway. Also lots of snow and ice.

Going to the shore in tenderboats.

And here we are, a huge crowd of tourists, mostly French, plus some Germans and Scandinavians.

On Gravneset in Magdalenafjorden, there are many remains from the 15th and 16th century, left by whalers of many nationalities. Around 1623 the British had a whaling station here called Trinity Harbour. This particular spot is the most visited on Svalbard, and there are strict regulations about where you can walk and so forth.

On our visit, the 130 graves and other remains were completely covered by snow, so there weren´t much to look at.

Except the bathers, of course. Who´s this then?

Oh yes. Me.
There were 4 from the crew that had decided to go for a swim, and I sort of jumped in too.

Quiet life onboard afterwards - we were 14 altogether, minus William, Birgit and I on this picture.

I´ll sort out more photos to show soon - and on them I promise there´ll be wildlife...