Svalbard

An extract of my trip to Svalbard in the Winter of 2015.

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Our trip to Svalbard started in Providence, Rhode Island. Since we needed to get to NYC to get the plane and we were running late, we decided to take an Uber. I know it sounds weird, and the Uber guy wanted to kill us. I chat a little bit with him. He was an Elementary teacher at a school for kids who had trouble learning. He also had a meeting that day, which he canceled. At least he got a nice “extra” tip and he got to visit NYC!

 

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The view after we got out of the airport. You could see these signs everywhere. Our main purpose of this trip was to experience a total solar eclipse which could be seen from here.

 

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Every time we wanted to go out for a walk or visit, we thought about it twice. Getting dressed was a protocol, around six layers of clothes and half an hour!

 

 

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The bar where we usually hung out with other people from the tour. Most of the people from the tour were Americans and Norwegians. For some of them, this was one of many eclipses they have seen in the past.

 

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In every place we visit, public or private, we always had to take our boots off and put them on the shelves. All the buildings have a hall destinated for the boots and sometimes they provided  Crocks of all sizes to wear them inside. This reminds me that this particular custom of taking your shoes off is practiced in some cultures, but not all of them. I think it’s a good practice in order to keep the place clean.

 

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My brother pointing out on the map our exact location within the Spitsbergen archipelago. We were 78 degrees north which is really close to the North Pole, being the latter  90 degrees.

 

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Our accommodation wasn’t exactly a five-stars hotel, in fact, it was a guest house. The first night was so cold that we slept with all our jackets on. It was crazy.

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Taking a shower was very complicated. I usually had to get dress really quick to not get frozen, even if I was inside the bathroom.

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Taking pictures outside wasn’t easy. When you are wearing three pairs of gloves on its hard to handle the camera as you become clumsy. But taking my gloves off for a long time was risky, my hands could freeze and I could have gotten gangrene in the hands.

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A picture at sunset hour. I know it is a little bit blurry, but it was really hard to take pictures with these temperatures. For this kind of trips, I would say is rather preferable to experience the trip by being completely present, than to be worried about “taking pictures”.

 

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