Longyearbjen is far from South Africa.
After more than 30 hours of travel we finally arrived at the most northern town in the world. On an aside, I have now been to both most northern and most southern town (Ushuaia) in the world. Pretty cool I think!
Anyway, we are about to kick off a 10 day photo safari around Svalbard which, based on the books I have read and what I have seen so far, promises to be an incredible adventure!
Apart from a slight delay on the last of our 3 flights from South Africa the trip ran quite smoothly and the scenes and scenery from the sky made for great visuals and iPhoneography.
During a previous visit to Norway I saw the country from the ocean side as we sailed into the fjords but the view from the sky showed what a beautiful country it really is.
We landed in Longyearbjen just after 01:00 in the morning and it looked like this.
Yeah, looks like day!
This time of year the sun never sets so the next time we will see a dark night is when we return to South Africa in about two weeks time.
A quick 5 minute taxi ride to the centre of town – because another 5 minutes would have taken us out of town in the other direction – took us to our hotel where we, let’s call it like it is, crashed! After 30 hours of travel and airplane food not even the bright midnight sun could keep us awake.
Upon waking this morning this was the view from my hotel room.
Not bad. And the sign on the window just confirmed that I am not in Africa anymore…
So, this is it…
In about 5 hours from now we will be boarding our expedition charter that will take us, 12 photographers, around one of the most unique, desolate and wild places on the planet.
It is going to be… incredible!
During our trip we will not have any cellphone of internet access. On the one side I was hoping to do live blogging, like I will do from the Masai Mara in a few weeks time, but I think that being forced to unplug completely and focus on the scenes and wildlife of the arctic circle is a blessing in disguise.
So, I’ll leave you with one last shot of my ‘office’ from where I am writing this blog.
Could be worse right?
Anyway, I’m back in the office on 29 July and look forward to sharing the stories and images of an amazing two weeks of wildlife photography.
Polar bears, arctic foxes, walruses and some of the most foreign, beautiful landscapes I have ever seen.
The scene is set. Let the adventure begin.
Until next time.
Gerry van der Walt
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