We're back from the arctic now and trying to get used to normal life again. We'll put a little slide show of our best pictures up soon so you can have a look at them. For now I'll tell you about some of the things we did. We spent our first 3 days in Longyearbyen, during that time we did water and polar bear safety training, visited a satellite station and met various scientists at Unis (Svalbard university). We spent the next week on board the Polaris, a Russian ice breaker! On the Polaris we traveled further and further north until we reached the edge of the pack ice! Along the way we saw a polar bear, a fin whale, reindeer, arctic foxes etc. Visited the worlds most northernly settlement; Ny-Alesund, which also has the worlds most northernly post office and shop! Climbed a mountain called 'the view' which defiantly lived up to its name!
Had a snowball fight, got attacked by birds and swam in the arctic ocean then made snow angles at 79 degrees north! And thats not nearly all of it!
Being at the pack ice itself was amazing. The place has a kind of desolate beauty. It seems to go on for ever. It really does feel like you've reached the edge of the world. We were also lucky enough to get to stand on the ice. At that point we were probably the most northern people on the planet!As well as doing all this we also got to know everyone else on the trip. We all made loads of new friends and are really missing everyone now that were back home. Hopefully we'll get a reunion at Christmas.
Heres a little fact for you: 60% of Svalbard is glaciers. I can't say for certain but I'd be willing to bet that most of the other 40% is mountains. I don't think we ever went anywhere where you couldn't see mountains or glaciers, its incredible and of course very beautiful.
We'll get some pictures on the blog soon I promise.