Monday, June 24, 2024

North, way north

 I've been up north. From the end of May to mid-June I've been back to Iceland (first visit 2001) and have added new destinations of Svalbard, Norway and the very northern tip of Norway from the North Cape to Tromso.

To give you a sense of the location of these far-flung lands, see the map below.

The scenery was spectacular and of course I was also interested in the wildlife. One of my goals was to see walrus in the wild which we did from a small boat out of Svalbard. 

As usual on my trips some fun adventures were thrown in such as snorkeling in Iceland between the North American and European continental plates. Since the water temperature was a balmy 34 degrees, I did don a dry suit!

Linda snorkeling between continental plates

The water clarity was astounding!

There was seeing the Dettifoss waterfall in Iceland from the east side after traveling on an "impassible" road and crossing a snow field (and being the only four people there,) traipsing along the cliffs of Iceland"s West Fjords to see nesting razorbills, traveling remote roads in Iceland and encountering the endearing Icelandic horses, and heading out from Norway's North Cape to the bird islands to see puffins, razorbills, gannets, and white-tailed eagles.
In the two day sea crossing from Iceland to Svalbard we had winds of 44 knots and seas up to 8 meters as we worked to keep ahead of a gale to the west of us. On the full day sea crossing from Svalbard to Norway the seas were bigger and the winds topped 66 knots. What great fun! Most of the areas we visited have had 24 hour sun since May 17. 

Dettifoss, Iceland, 2nd most powerful waterfall in Europe

You'll see paintings evolve from this trip once the ideas roll around in my mind for a bit.

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