Svalbard – 01.-05.04.15

11 04 2015

Polar bears…

Well, first of all, we got to see polar bears this time! 😀

I had in fact given up my hopes this time too, we were heading back home, and our guide told us to halt because he wanted to advance a little bit to check if the ice was safe to drive on, and returning he told us that he had seen not one, but two polar bears “around the corner”, not visible from where we were… so long story short, he instructed us what he wanted us to do, to drive slowly and as quiet as possible, and how to park in formation facing away from the polar bears, in case we would have to leave in a hurry… ;-P

We were around 300 meters away, but still we would be in trouble because they can run at 30 km/h if hunting down a snack, so better safe than sorry… 😀

Svalbard – 01.-05.04.15

11 04 2015

Snowmobile trip to the East Coast

Last time I visited Svalbard, one of the main objective and goal was, as well as this time, to see and photograph polar bears.

I didn’t succeeded last time, so this time we had to rent some snowmobiles and travel out in the wilderness to the East Coast again to search for them again…

The journey on a snowmobile to the East Coast is an experience well worth it on it’s own, seeing polar bears or not. The scenery is beautiful, the glaciers are breathtaking, and the feeling of actually driving around out there on open sea, well on the ice obviously, but it is simply a surreal experience…

Svalbard – 01.-05.04.15

11 04 2015

Some pictures taken from my hotel room..!

My first travel advice about Svalbard: Do not go there! Ever! Unless you are mentally prepared to go back… and back again… It is staggering beautiful, mesmerizing, breathtaking, unforgettable, and addictive… so… you are hereby warned… do not go there…! 😀 (yes yes… I know… my travel advices sucks, but fortunately for other fellow travelers, I’m not working as a guide… 😀 )

I had been there once before, the Easter two years ago, and it fulfilled all my dreams and hopes about the Arctic… I am more like a winter person anyway, I don’t like the summers, and we do have winters on the mainland Norway too, but it is something different about the Arctic… not easy to describe, but the purity, the tranquility, the wilderness, and the lack of people.. being alone (well, apart from other tourists and guides…)… and very close to mother nature…

So I had to come back… and this time my wife traveled with me… she had been here one time before too, but in the summer, so she was very excited to visit Svalbard in the winter…

I am still editing and sorting my photos from the trip, close to 600 raw-files and 19GB, but to start this series of blog entries from Svalbard of, why not start with some photos taken from our hotel room..!

About equipment, after all I have declared this blog to be about photography… I brought with me a Canon 1D4 and a Canon 5D mk II, and a 16-35 f2.8, 70-200 f4 and a 500 f4. And a Hasselblad Stellar (really a pimped Sony RX100..) as a small compact, and… a Leica M6 with 50mm Summilux loaded with a Fuji Provia 100… my intention were to take some beautiful landscapes… but the meter died after only 10 frames… how ironic… Crappy German electronics… leave electronics to the Japaneses… 😀