Imagine being a fisherman whose boat is blocked in the ice around the Svalbard. Imagine going on foot on the island to find a shelter and coming back the next day to find the ice has gone away with your boat. Imagine having left a gun, 12 bullets and a lighter. Imagine surviving this place during 6 years in the 18th century.
That's what happened to 4 russians in 1743 and since I know this story keeps me in total awe for this place.Reply
You don't need to go that far to see fragile splendor. The fragile splendor is here all around us. Svalbard is the canary in the coal mine.Reply
I visted Svalbard during the middle of polar night one year. It was the first time in my life I didn't see the sun in a week.
It was nothing short of awesome, spectacular, majestic, and terrifying, all at the same time. The fact that within this town of <2000 people, everything went about just as normal, even without the sun -- with a couple of bars, restaurants, and a supermarket -- yet just outside the borders of this town, for a thousand kilometers in any direction there is practically nothing, just the raw, wild, unforgiving arctic. No roads, no cell reception, just nothing, just you and snow, and maybe some hungry polar bears. (And yes, you aren't allowed to leave the town without registering and carrying a rifle.)Reply