Arctic Favorite Tips by tini58de Top 5 Page for this destination
Arctic Favorites: 37 reviews and 41 photos
on Spitsbergen Island
Favorite thing: Yes, there is such a thing as a flora in the Arctic. It is a highly vulnerable ecosystem, but it is there! You just have to look closely and you will see it!
I was so surprised to see little beautiful flowers where I thought nothing could bloom any more! Bright colors and thankful for every ray of sun!
We also got to see a grown tree on Spitsbergen, which was only the size of a child's foot! Because of the very short summers, it can only grow for a very limited time and thus stays very small! It does have annual rings and everything - fascinating!
For some more information have a look at this interesting website!
polar bear tracks
Favorite thing: Polar bears are an endangered species and although they are very dangerous animals, we should do all we can to preserve their species!!!
Fondest memory: Seeing the footprints of polar bears so close was a breathtaking experience for me!!!
Favorite thing: We were extremely lucky to see some walrusses that far south - I guess it was because the winter was that long that they were still in the area!!
We took a zodiac cruise that took us so close to the walrus that we could hear him breathe - and watch him cleaning himself..... boy, he must have been into something...... ;-)
Polar bears in a distance
Favorite thing: Two days in a row we had the chance to observe polar bears from a distance - the first day there was a mother with her cub - playfighting in the water for more than an hour!!!
Then finally they went on and the cub walked up the hill, threw himself on the back and slid down the hill... hilarious!!! Not once, not twice - in fact it was 3 times, before Mom could call him to wandering on.....
Favorite thing: The Spitsbergen reindeer is quite a bit smaller than its Scandinavian mainland relative and they live in much smaller herds as well. In fact the reindeer that we saw were all solitary. They grase on what little they can find, but I guess they have adapted to this kind of environment well.
Favorite thing: Those fellows are really fascinating!! They look like a mixture between a parrot and a penguin and when they fly they look like little clowns!!
We first saw them on Fair Isle and even in Svalbard there were Atlantic Puffins.
When breeding they like to use rabbit holes - but most of the year they are not landbound but rather on and in the water.
Favorite thing: On this tour we sure learnt a lot about Arctic birds and from many of those birds I just know the English name and not even the German name!
We did have some experts who could really distinguish those birds - to me they were generally "birds" or "gulls".... But once you get into this subject you will be fascinated by the variety of birds: guillemots, kittiwakes, Arctic terns, puffins, gannets and many more species can be observed while birdwatching in the Arctic.
One detail that I love to remember is the fantastic camouflage of those birds! Many of them are white underneath and dark on top: the underwater predators like seals will not be able to see them well while diving up and looking into a sunlit sea, so white is a perfect color - whereas predators looking from above will have problems to distinguish the black camouflage against the dark sea.... Clever nature, isn't it?
Favorite thing: I had hoped to see many more whales on this trip, but well, you can't force it...
One day we saw quite a few Finwhales and on another day I just barely missed some Beluga whales just off the coast of Spitsbergen.
For some more information, you might enjoy the website of whales-online.org or have a look here.
Favorite thing: On our trip to the Arctic we saw thousands of seals - a truly breathtaking experience!! Seals are not defined to the Arctic: we saw the first seals around Fair Isle and then all the way up north to Spitsbergen.
There are so many different species, if you want to find out a little more, you might enjoy this website on seals
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