Posted by: Gary Guertin | August 13, 2015

9A. Viking Cruise – Aug. 7, 2015 – Ny Alesund, Spitsbergen, Norway – Part 1

BECAUSE OF THE SIZE OF THIS POST I HAVE DIVIDED IT INTO 2 PARTS.  PLEASE READ THIS PART FIRST AS PART 2 MAY BE ABOVE THIS IN A FEW DAYS

Hi All,

To begin with, I need to warn you, get out your reading glasses and have a lot of time to spend with this post.  This is the longest post I have done over the years, with over 50 photos.  My rule to keep these posts to 10 to 20 photos and as little comments as possible had to be broken to give Ny Alesund research station its complete due, as you will see.  OK, having been warned, let’s go.

The night of Thursday, Aug. 6th, our cruise director informed us that our Norwegian pilot (as you know, when your going into ports a pilot comes on board and captains the ship because of his knowledge of the local waters) had advised our captain that he had permission to take us into one of the largest fjords in the Arctic area on the way to the Ny Alesund port, and certainly would be a first for a ship of our size.  Our captain agreed and the catch was, we had to go in at 5 AM and be out within an hour to an hour and a half.  OK, here’s going into the Lilliehookfjord:

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As usual we had fog and full cloud cover, the air temperature about 41 degrees F., but believe me it felt a lot colder. I was there at 5 AM:

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If you look at that back ground you can see that it looks like there are several glaciers coming into the fjord, but that low one to the right looked a mile or more across. Let’s start looking at that wide glacier:

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Up close:

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Enough of fjords, they are all beautiful, but they’re walls of ice coming at you and this one is certainly the widest one we have seen. We left the Lilliehookfjord and at 8 AM arrived at the furthest research station north.  Here the ship sign as I debarked (you noticed Susy was not with me, because of her comfortable perch in the cabin, when it’s almost freezing outside at 8 in the morning):

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The research station from the ship:

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The beautiful view off the bow of the ship:

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and I was there:

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Ny Alesund has it own beach for warmer days:

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Now here’s were we start on our hike through the station.  To help us and save me typing we will pass signs which explain what we’re seeing and afterwards I’ll show the photos of what the signs are explaining. We’ll start with the overall information sign (as I said get out your reading glasses and if you still can’t read them, click them twice with the mouse and they will enlarge, hit the back arrow to go back to the blog):

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Did you note that the station has 30 (winter) to 150 (summer) residents?, next:

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Green is little barren, this is northern green:

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How about the Arctic yellow of these buildings?  Next, I stopped at the one and only store.  The way it works is you get into the check out line which weaves through the store and pick up your purchases as you wait (up to more than 45 minutes):

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THIS IS THE END OF PART 1, PLEASE GO TO PART 2 WHICH I WILL POST ABOVE THIS IN A FEW DAYS.

LOVE YOU ALL, TO BE CONTINUED


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