Saturday, June 28, 2014

6/29/14 Oslo, Norway

I stood at the helm of the actual Fram yesterday, 6/28/14! Perhaps only my National Ocean Sciences Bowl team will understand my total excitement at walking in the footsteps of Frdtdjof Nansen, Roald Amundsen, and Otto Sverdrup, but it was an amazing experience to duck through the hatches they did, see their galley and bunks, and appreciate their fur clothing and navigational tools. The belly of the ship smelled like history - a mix of old oak, oils, sweat, and animal skins.

Other highlights from Saturday, 6/28/14, included a visit to the awesome Vigelandsparken in the rain and realizing my sleep-wake cycles are very dependent on the sun. Traveling north and east, the Friday "night" I experienced only lasted 2.5 hours during the 5 hour flight from JFK airport to Kelflavic (Reykjavic), and I slept less than an hour. I dozed a bit on the flight from Keflavic to Oslo, but not enough to keep me from feeling like the walking dead as we checked into the Thon Bristol yesterday afternoon. There was a fabulous Euro Pride parade occurring as we checked in. Unfortunately I didn't get any photos because my hands were full, my camera was buried in my luggage, and I was too tired to dig it out.  

Saturday finished with the tours of the Fram and Vigelandsparken. Although I felt exhausted, I couldn't fall asleep because it was too bright out. A June Saturday "night" in Oslo is only dark from about 11 pm to 3 am, and as the first photons found their way around the edges of the thick hotel curtains this morning, my confused internal clock decided it was time to be wide awake. Today, we report for the flight to Longyearbyen, Svalbard at 7am. Since it's only 5 am, I'm going to round up some Jarlsberg and an apple for first breakfast and hike down to the harbor to see Akershus Castle.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

6/26/14 Here I Go...

It's finally arrived. I've finished stuffing rubber muck boots, wool socks, thermal underwear, waterproof gloves, rain gear, down parka, cameras, laptop, and travel documents into one carry-on bag. I'm excited to begin  my journey to the Arctic tomorrow, but I'm a little nervous, too. My anxiety mostly arises from imagining my trip through security at MSP toting a huge parka and bag overstuffed with polar gear on a warm summer day. Let the adventure begin!