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Svalbard, Norway: Excursion to the Arctic Circle
Travelling northernmost archipelago in the world, just before dropping the long night of winter. We know the polar nature - from bears and reindeer and polar as swallows do activities and mark the best addresses for all those who are preparing to go for excursions to the North Pole side
The archipelago of Svalbard is probably the most hidden places of the world. To the point that on some maps even not even exist since it is so far north that will not fit on the pages of world atlas. It is the northernmost settlement on the planet, who belongs to Norway and counts about 2,500 residents. Its history goes back many centuries, but officially the great navigator Barents identified in 1596 in search of the "northern passage", that the alternative sea crossing the Atlantic - Pacific. Since Svalbard used as a basis whaling, hunters, explorers poles, mine lignite, battlefield of World War II, research center and base SvalSat, one of the most modern control centers beam satellites!
The VOREIOTEROS SETTLEMENT OF THE WORLD
Arriving at the international airport of Longyearbyen, the main settlements in the archipelago, you're not sure what to expect. Right from the airplane window have passed in front of your eyes, apart from hundreds of miles Arctic Ocean, vast expanses of ice and snow. The 'profile' passengers especially peculiar by ordinary lovers polar adventure and scientific personnel to Erasmus students! Certainly hear a lot about the problems of outlying islands, but the Svalbard does not share the same worries. Besides the university, mainly dealing with arctic studies (meteorology, biology, engineering, etc.), a fitness center with swimming pool, library, museums, cultural centers, elementary - high school, hospital, bank, post office and cinema. Not bad for the northernmost organized community in the world, just a few hundred kilometers from the North Pole. Most settlements are located in the archipelago of Spitsbergen Island in the east, which upheld the beneficial effect of a piece of the Gulf Stream, has a relatively higher temperatures than the other islands, some of which are permanently covered by ice. In Longyearbyen permanently living mainly Norwegians, while in Barentsburg Russians and Ukrainians. The Spitsbergen Treaty of 1920 gave jurisdiction of islands in Norway, but gave Russia the right pooling of resources. In Ny-Alesund reside solely scientists and research staff. The administrative center is Longyearbyen, which brings together the most visitors. From here begins and ends every Arctic adventure!
MEET polar nature
Starting a first acquaintance with Longyearbyen, certainly two words you hear from almost every corner: "Polar Bears." Long before the great explorers of the poles, polar bears knew very well these places. Today, some 4,000 living in the archipelago (numerically more than people!), 500 of which in Spitsbergen. They are the absolute rulers of the region. Protected species without biological opponent, crossing vast expanses of snow and ice looking for food and a game to break the boredom. Weigh up to 700 pounds and can easily run up to 40 km. / Hr. Can polar bears is what most sympathetic has used the industry of animation, but a meeting with any polar bear in Svalbard automatically mean the end of your trip, and polar organic!
Polar bears attack humans not so much to feed-have, after all, terrible weakness in the seal-meat, but mainly to satisfy their curiosity. For this reason, the carrying of weapons, if not mandatory, it is strongly recommended if you plan to move out of the confines of the settlement. Hunting rifles and equipment can be rented at Longyearbyen with about 100 Norwegian kroner (about 12 euros) per day. It is advisable to have one - two pictures of your military service in case you are asked a firearms license (rather rare). Generally, if you have no relevant experience, it is advisable to let the hands of associate offices adventure have experienced drivers. Even if good sign help you survive a polar bear, you will definitely have a very bad riddance to the governor of Svalbard, who shall chair the police, judiciary, military commander etc. and ask you to prove that it was indeed the last resort.
Apart from the polar bears will encounter microsomal reindeer grazing on the roadside and if you are lucky, and some tiny polar fox. Another fun finally meeting with the polar nature is the polar swallows. These tiny swallows make their largest annual migratory route in the world, from Antarctica to the North Pole and back. In the absence of trees, make their nests on the rocks or in the soil. If you happen to pass at a distance of 20-30 meters from there, then you will experience an unprecedented attack. Crying with a shrill sound, getting together in height from 10 to 15 meters and then the form gets modified shuttle to attack powerfully in your head. The first solution to this is to run with all your strength and move away from the area. Do not defend, it's really hard to beat, and, as in the case of polar bears, the governor will call you to his office for explanations. Telling our adventures at the bar of Longyearbyen, explained to us that we always have with you a wooden stick and attacked when you pick up in the air. Swallows, unable to stand, attack him and you're going through unmolested.
POLAR DAYS AND NIGHTS
Surely after the first 2-3 days will reconcile with the polar nature and you will find temper draw your acquaintance with the charm of the Arctic Circle. There is a huge variety of activities organized by the tourist office there, which in professionalism will put you in touch with what offers Svalbard, the actual polar adventure. Here you can participate in multi-day trips that include transportation inflatable glacier, trekking, kayaking, trails with snow, mobile, skis, sleds (with skis or wheels depending on the season), etc. Even a weekend trip like that will bring you back to the era of the great explorers of the poles as the legendary Amounsen and Nompile. Several visitors, with a corresponding course experience, independent organize outings, though they require rigorous preparation, especially for bears: weapons, fireworks, explosive traps, etc. In these cases you need to update the master and you are given permission to do so. Will surely encounter in the kitchen of the campsite to make endless discussions and formulate different paths over maps. Apart from the multi-day trips, the other days you can fill it with day trips to abandoned coal mines, where the scenery will remind you of most science fiction. You can also participate in one-day ascents which are organized daily to the glacier that ends in Longyearbyen or simply go up to one of the ships that guide you on the shores of the archipelago.
Even if you decide not to do something special one of your days on Svalbard, familiarity with the rhythms of the Arctic zone will amaze you. After the first days of acclimation will find that summer gar, there is no night. The sun makes constant rounds over your head, giving a sense beketiki where time and space are lost. And you will indulge in discussions of bars and cafes Longyearbyen and meet people from all four sides of the world who came for a week and not literally never left. On Fridays and Saturdays, the «Huset», which normally functions as a restaurant transforms into a club. Reaching the door, he sees the world to rid boots, hiking - hunting equipment and lost in a dark room! Doors and windows are closed tightly (artificial conditions blackout), the Disco Lights illuminate and wild party begins. Sometime the dj decides that "dawned" and stops the music. Definitely a surreal experience!
Svalbard, however, is not exclusively a summer experience. Most of the people there love the winter. Waiting to start the temperature drop (in summer is around 12 degrees Celsius) to freeze the ocean breaks loose with hundreds of snowmobiles in the vast archipelago. As a top time of the year characterize the "purple period", in February, when the first rays of the sun appear behind the frozen peaks after five months of polar night. The sky takes on a purple hue that alternates with pink until early March when the sun starts to rise properly. That very year organized and Polarjazz Festival, while in March the Sunfest organized on the occasion of the return of the sun. Similarly, the onset of polar night signaled the Dark Season Blues Spitsbergen with blues artists from around the world. For fans of rock, the Spitsbergen Rock Festival comes every May to raise their rates. During the year we organize various sports events, mainly associated with skiing as the Svalbard Skimaraton, a marathon on snowshoes.
Whatever season you choose to visit one Svalbard, one thing is certain: the Earth will cease to ever have a flat view of the map on the wall and you will obtain the actual shape - An elliptical sphere that rotates around the sun!
Subsistence expenses - food can be kept at moderate to low levels, but that will be crucial for the overall cost of the trip will be the adventure activities you choose to do. Svalbard except demilitarized zone is tax free. Keep your boarding the plane because it limited the amount of alcohol that you can buy from the supermarket.
With Scandinavian Airlines SAS (T/210-96.18.411, www.flysas.com), through one of the ... Nordic capitals. Calculate your tickets for 550 euros.
Longyearbyen Camping (T / +47 977 44 696, www.longyearbyen-camping.com). The cheapest and perhaps friendly solution to the island, 4 km from the center of Longyearbyen, by the sea, for aspiring winter swimmers. Near the airport, offers a basic room with kitchen, toilets and hot water. Small but real, of course, the chance to wake up lap with a white fluffy friend. If you plan to trap the area around your scene with fireworks, it would be the setup somewhat away from the other scenes. From € 10 per night.
Svalbard Lodge (T / +47 79 02 46 61, www.scooterutleie.net). Luxurious, fully equipped houses with living room, kitchen, bathroom, TV, dishwasher and many other amenities. There are two categories: Guesthouse 4 people in two rooms (50 sq.m.) and guest house with 6 people with three rooms (60 sq.m.). From 50 euros per person, breakfast is charged in addition to 12 per day.
Radisson BLU Polar Hotel Spitsbergen (T / +47 79 02 34 50, www.spitsbergentravel.com, sales.longyearbyen @ radissonsas.com). The latest luxury archipelago. Luxurious rooms with all the amenities, from wireless Internet to sauna. Even if you are not there, it is worth to spend several hours in the restaurant, which, apart from other offers panoramic views Isfjord.
• In Svalbard can find 'polar' specialties. Some dishes specific value-based reindeer, seal or whale. Do not forget to stop by the red van Ariaiwand, an immigrant from Iran, which holds the title of most North owner kebab in the world. The meat is of seal or whale.
• Funktionaermessen Restaurant. French cuisine, especially with wide selection of wines, overlooking the valley of Longyearbyen.
• Huset. Just outside the city center, visible from afar for its architecture, old meeting place of the miners. All in one: restaurants, cafes, bars, and a few days a week, open till late as clubs. The pros are definitely the huge range (over 1,000) beverages - mainly whiskey, brandy and cognac.
OFFICE ACTIVITIES / ADVENTURE
Tourism is the emerging sources of income in the archipelago. There are many offices that organize adventure activities that will not only bring you close, but literally in the polar climate. Depending on the season, we offer different kinds of excursions. There is really very wide variety of activities that will satisfy every taste: trips snowmobile (winter only), multi-day trips (4 imeres/1.000 euros), cruise the frozen shores (170 euros), dinner on ice (90 euros), climb glaciers (75 euros), exploring the most remote coasts with inflatables (from 85 euros), search fossils (from 40 euros), kayaking (80 euros), horse riding (80 million), exploration of abandoned lignite mines, sledding trips Mr. etc.. Because of the risk drivers really show professionalism that will relax you and leave you to enjoy from the very first moment the nature of Svalbard. If you wish to make a multi-day excursion should book early, since departure dates are specific. For day trips you can make understandings directly there. Some of the most prestigious offices are:
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