There is something genuinely mystical about flying into Northern Norway. Sharp mountain tops that scratch holes in the clouds. The aesthetically pleasing smattering of snow and the wending of the land and the sea.
Its no surprise seeing the land that it was the home of various trolls, ice giants and gods. The landscape is drastically shaped by the ice and cold.
Even in the 21st century very little of it is considered arable (farmable) so to a foreigner much of the land appears to be untouched and hostile. Only huddled outpostings of wooden houses on the sea shore looking alarmingly fragile.
I was lucky enough to get here a few times around the end of high school. Launching rockets from Andoya Rocket Range with a whole bunch of enthusiastic youths. This time I'm back heading further into the Arctic to Longyearbyen (literally translated - Long Year City) to study a bit of marine ecology. Not specifically my field, but I generally consider everything to be my field as a Geographer.
The flight in was particularly exciting, I spotted almost every geographical feature ever mentioned in textbooks back at home. It was about as exciting as it gets.
Stay tuned for the next post! We're learning how to protect from polar bears and jumping into the sea in survival suits.