Monday, March 12, 2007

Svalbard Day 1

Here's Day 1 in Svalbard.


Well we've finally made it to the Arctic Circle! After a 4 hour delay in Tromso because of blizzards in Longyearbyen, we spent a few hours sitting on the plane, hoping we were actually going to make it here today. When we finally did land in Svalbard, there were amazing snow drifts coarsing over the runway. Even though you know the temperature is going to be way below freezing, nothing prepares you for how cold that really is. Taking in that first breath of sub zero air was such a shock it threw me into a coughing fit. It was unbelievable. And because it's all snowing, and dark, my perception has been completely thrown, and I find that I am unable to distinguish the things that I'm looking at.. is that snow on the roof? Is that a roof at all or just a part of the sky? Is that a car or a bear? Or am I just hungry...?

But now we've all checked into our apartments at the SAS Radisson (oh yes people. We go to the acrtic circle and stay in style.. nice!), and we've gotten all of our cold weather gear (including my new hat which has a deer on it! Not quite as dangerous as a seal I'm sure), and gone our for a walk around town.. the only problem with that is that we keep getting distracted by all the feather light snow, and we all just keep falling over and rolling in it. A bit like dogs. It really is amazing here. Freezing and dark, but amazing.

So we're off to have dinner now, in the hotel restaurant, which looks amazing. And surprisingly heaps cheaper than Oslo! Tomorrow we've got a 3 hour dog sled tour booked, where we get to meet the doggies, harness them and drive them around! I'm so excited!

Firstly though, here's my personal checklist of things to do on this holiday:

  1. Try Seal
  2. Try reindeer
  3. Try Deer - done
  4. Dogsleding
  5. Snowmobiling
  6. Snowball fight
  7. See the Doomsday Vault
  8. See the Northern Lights
  9. See the Polar bears
  10. See glaciars
  11. Possibly, run outside in my underwear in the snow....

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