Blogs from Northern Norway, Norway, Europe - page 2


Europe » Norway » Northern Norway » Tromsø March 4th 2013

Tromso, some 350km north and within the Arctic Circle, was a destination that was decided pretty late on as we were eagerly searching for trips in an attempt to catch the Northern Lights. As one of the most eluded wonders of science, I was pretty insistent that we give it a shot to try and catch it. And even if lady luck doesn’t come our way, at least we tried. So glad that we eventually booked the tickets to Norway, as we not only caught the amazing natural light phenomenon, but also had the trip of our lives, which we now still proclaim every now and then: “Ah, I miss Tromso and I wanna go back!!” The trip up has got to be one of the most memorable of my travels, typically related to exploration of ... read more
Stream behind our cabin
Having fun in the snow!
Jump Shot!

Europe » Norway » Northern Norway » Knivskjelodden October 16th 2012

So, here’s what happened on Tuesday 16th of October at Knivskjelodden, Norway: Early Tuesday morning I got to the breakfast at the Vandrerhjem Hostel in Honningsvåg, where I had been staying for two days already. I was planning to do the hike to the actual northernmost point of continental Europe – not Nordkapp, but the one-and-a-half kilometers farther reaching Knivskjelodden. A hike of nine kilometers, going and back. I knew it was going to be hardcore, but I really needed to go there, write my name in the book and get this certificate. So the morning started well. Breakfast, saying goodbye to the friends I made the night before and finding two German guys to convince to do the hike with me. I was warned already that I should be prepared for fast-changing weather and a ... read more

Europe » Norway » Northern Norway » Tromsø September 25th 2012

please visit Momenteel zijn we een jaar op wandelreis: Lappland, Nepal, Patagonia, Centrale Andes (Bolivia/Peru) en Colombia. De eerste 8 weken in Lappland zittern erop, momenteel wandelen we 3 maanden rond in Nepal. Een eerste verslag met heel wat foto's van 8 weken rondzwervern in Lappland vind je op ... read more
8 weken in Lappland
Packraften op Bierikjarve

Europe » Norway » Northern Norway » Longyearbyen August 8th 2012

Today was not a hugely successful day. A couple of landings weren’t possible due to weather; we ended up visiting the rather grandiosely named “Ny-London” (new London). In 1920 or thereabouts, some English miners/explorers discovered the most beautiful marble in the world – and lots of it. So they set up a mine at great expense, train tracks, conveyers, even a modest town square. Little did they know that the marble was inherently faulty because of the repeated exposure to freeze and thaw, which had cracked the marbles’ internal structure, so once it got to a warmer climate, it dissolved into powder. The mine was abandoned fairly quickly, most of the equipment went across the fjord to Ny-Alesund (a coal mine up until the seventies). Leaving a few rusty bits of equipment to gradually disintegrate in ... read more
There are reindeers here somewhere

Europe » Norway » Northern Norway » Longyearbyen August 7th 2012

Day 5. Cruising to Palanderbukta and walking on the side of a glacier. No chance of walking on the front lest it collapse. That afternoon we went to the Alkerfjellet bird cliffs. Massive basalt columns with literally tens of thousands of nesting little auk pairs, with their new summer babies. Perhaps 180,000 birds all together. The go here is that mum and dad push the babies off the cliff and they flop into the water as they can't yet fly. Dad then dives in, finds the kid (and there are thousands and they all look the same). They then spend the next month IN THE WATER, and start their migration south by paddling! I did manage this experience without being crapped on, but the smell is still in the parka!... read more
Walking on a glacier


Europe » Norway » Northern Norway » Longyearbyen August 6th 2012

Big day today. We zodiaced out to an island called Phippsoya. On the way were half a dozen curious walrus, popping their heads up and having a look. There were more on the beach – maybe a pile of twenty? They lie around together in groups, flopping about on top of each other, scratching, rolling. They are most ungainly on land and can weigh up to 4000lb. Whilst they could attack a human if cornered, they are quite indifferent to our presence and make no effort to get off the beach or come towards us. Off in the distance someone spots a white blob. It is literally a speck, but it appears to be moving. Yes it is a polar bear. Fortunately it is on another island across the sound, so we don’t have to immediately ... read more
There's a bear in there

Europe » Norway » Northern Norway » Longyearbyen August 5th 2012

So true to expedition cruising, our initial plans are thrown out the window. The pack ice (i.e. the sea ice that covers the north pole) is well north of Svalbard. This is where bears and walrus prefer to live, so the plan is to head towards it! It is so far north (about 80 degrees) that it doesn’t appear on most maps. This would not be a good time to discover that the world is flat, because we are about to reach the edge of it. By the end of the day we have reached 80 degrees 50 minutes (give or take). 560 miles from the north pole. We think we are the northernmost people on the planet! The pack ice has retreated as is normal in summer. No it’s not global warming, it just happens ... read more
7/10 pack ice
Standing on an ice floe

Europe » Norway » Northern Norway » Longyearbyen August 4th 2012

Days and agendas are up in the air as is the nature of expedition cruising. We started earlier than usual today (6am rather than 7am), to make room for a bit of longer-distance travel between sights today. First stop was a zodiac cruise in a fjord called Sallyhamna. Nothing to see at the start except for a few seals and the ubiquitous birds, until the zodiacs rounded the corner and there is the most almighty cliff face of ice, part of the Sallyhamna glacier.. Willing a huge piece to fall off was unsuccessful. Two hours steaming towards an area called Fuglesongen (bird song). We zodiaced to a rocky beach (very slippery and awkward). then walked up a fairly sheer cliff and sat on a cold rock, whilst thousands of birds pretended not to notice we were ... read more

Europe » Norway » Northern Norway » Longyearbyen August 3rd 2012

Early morning checkout from hotel with transport to Oslo airport. There is something about guided tours that is a bit lazy….everything just happens. The trade off is that you spend a bit of time waiting for others but I think this is more than outweighed by the fact that it is all laid on for you. A two hour flight to Tromsø on the Norwegian coast, followed by a bizarre deplaning, checkout, passport control and check-in through a separate gate, getting back on the same plane in the same seat! We worked out later that this is because Longyearbyen is outside of the Schengen customs zone which explains the extra layer of beauracracy. Airport signs in Norwegian, English and Russian suggest we are heading to a unique part of the world. Norway is FULL of lakes. ... read more
MS Expedition
Svalbard looks like this

Europe » Norway » Northern Norway » Narvik June 20th 2012

Zondagmorgen 17/06/2012 vertrokken begaaid en wel op weg naar Zweden. We hadden allebei niet zo goed geslapen en best wel murg van de vorige beklimming. Het was een hartelijk afscheid van de camping-eigenaar. Hij vroeg al wanneer we terug kwamen.... Het eerste stuk van de route verliep tergend langzaam. 150km in 3u. Wel een prachtige weg langs de kronkelende fjorden. Via Narvik reden we recht Zweden en/ook Lapland binnen. De omgeving veranderde drastisch van steile besneeuwde bergen met volop water naar een hoogvlakte compleet in de verlatenheid. De bossen werden alsmaar dichter en ontoegankelijker. De sneeuw en ijsvlakten maakten het tot een zeer onherbergzaam gebied.De rendieren langs de weg zorgden voor grote oplettendheid tijdens het rijden. Eens de hoogvlakte voorbij bleven de bossen donker en dicht. Geen gemakkelijke plek om te wonen, denk ik. Er waren ... read more
Afscheid van Noorwegen...
Bijna een spijtige bende!
Nog een leuke verrassing!

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