NORTH POLE

 

     If you enjoy winter, the thought of icicles brings a smile to your face and you are at a comfortable temperature of under

     5 degrees; then, the North Pole is for you. I remember one temperature reading was -5 degrees; but, I assure you it got colder

     than that. It’s enough for those of us that don’t enjoy the cold to put hand warmers in the gloves, thermal underwear under

     another 2 layers of clothing and wear 3 layers of socks.

 

     “Why go there”, I hear you say – why not go to a place that seems like it’s on another planet, the ice caps are melting so it’s

     like a last frontier and it’s one of 2 mysterious places to me. And it’s sooo worth every layer of clothing. The serenity, the    

     awesomeness of nature, the white ice-scape as far as the eye can see. It’s unforgettable!

 

     Aboard a Russian nuclear ice-breaker, which is an amazing piece of engineering (take a ship tour with the head engineer to

     discover the ships intricacies, followed by a Q&A) even to a non-mechanical person like myself – fascinating. Ploughing through

     the ice to reach the ultimate goal of  90 Degrees North our journey is one of breath-taking views and panoramic vistas. The

     14-day journey takes in Franz Josef Land an archipelago of islands filled with wildlife and the ever-present ice covering the

     mountains or plains. To spend some time at a Russian polar weather station on Hooker Island was to walk through a living

     museum.

 

     We were lucky enough to see polar bears & a cub, walrus, seal, whales and birds galore. The weather was kind to us, so could

     fly in the helicopter that is a permanent fixture on the ship. Zodiac cruising whenever possible. A day spent on the pack ice to

     go walking, polar plunge for those crazy enough to take off the layers of warm clothes, a quiet walk to realize just how small

     you are in a very big world - it’s a humbling experience.

 

     If it’s a bucket list item of yours then just go and see it for yourself.