Svalbard, Arctic circle

Svalbard (prior to 1925 known by its Dutch name Spitsbergen) is a Norwegian archipelago in the Arctic Ocean. Situated north of mainland Europe, it is about midway between continental Norway and the North Pole. The archipelago features an Arctic climate, although with significantly higher temperatures than other areas at the same latitude. The flora take advantage of the long period of midnight sun to compensate for the polar night. Svalbard is a breeding ground for many seabirds, and also features polar bears, reindeer, the Arctic fox, and certain marine mammals. Seven national parks and twenty-three nature reserves cover two-thirds of the archipelago, protecting the largely untouched, yet fragile, natural environment. Approximately 60% of the archipelago is covered with glaciers, and the islands feature many mountains and fjords.

This was a trip taken in March 2018, organised by my friend, Farmer. We went in search of polar bears, but they had decided to follow the ice and were out of sight. Instead we set sail on an ice breaker, rode dog sleds, explored the inside of a glacier and spent two days exploring the remote East coast on snow mobiles. We even trekked up a mountain (I only went halfway) and had a coffee in an igloo. The brewery visit was epic. This was a truly memorable trip.

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