I had the day to myself. Jim had gone off on another boat trip, but I elected to stay behind today. The boat yesterday didn’t agree with me, and after days of travel, hiking, and boat-tripping, I needed a day to just… be.
I knew I’d probably miss out on polar bears, so I walked out to the edge of town to take a picture of the polar bear warning sign (I’m such a tourist!)
Much of the surrounding area of Svalbard reminds me of the Columbia Gorge (before it all started burning down) with big folded hills, mostly stark and barren and brown. It had snowed the night before, so the tops of the hills were dusted with just enough powder to bring out all the texture of the hills, and the clouds that had obscured the tops in the days before were gone. It was bright, sunny, and 36 degrees outside.
On my way our to the sign, I was passed by a team of sled dogs pulling a 4-wheeler. I guess they have to work in the summer, too! There was a dog kennel out here — I could smell it before I saw it. The stench nearly knocked me over. The grass under the culvert on the other side of the road was *very* green, though!
Also, Svalbard has a brewery! Imagine that. Their pilsner is the newest, but I tried their stout – pretty good!
This is whale meat – with lingonberry. Tasty!
Tomorrow we fly back to Norway. Then start leg two of our trip: camping in the Lofoten Islands!