|Svalbard is located at 78 degrees|
Before we arrived in Norway, we headed to Bass Pro Shop and the one local ski store near us in South Florida. I purchased a lovely Sunice jacket. We also purchased gloves, long underwear, wool socks, a hat, water and windproof pants and several other warm weather items. (But, one of the key items I purchased was at Trapper's Hotel in Longyearbyen, Svalbard - hand warmers! We loved our stay at Trappers Hotel. Comfortable rooms, hot drinks, cookies and friendly staff were the highlights. You can see my reviews on TripAdvisor (I'm BornForTravel).)
I cannot emphasize enough that when your travel companion, who is the planner of the trip, says you are going to the Arctic, he means literally.
Wearing Bone-Dry pants from Bass Pro Shop over silk long underwear and yoga pants kept my legs and butt warm, dry and comfy the entire hike. (A tip just for the ladies, bring a PStyle with you outdoor adventures lacking facilities. You really can pee standing up and without having to "drop-trou"!).
Since I look horrible in hats, my husband decided we should play it up. So, he chose a kid's hat for me.
|My failed attempt at a laser-eyed stare|
As to our hike up a mountain (and, here, "up" literally means up) to a glacier, we used Svalbard Wildlife Expeditions Day Tours. Ask for Alex and see if he'll bring his dog Troll. Watching this 8 month old puppy run up and down the mountain, back and forth between us and Alex, only exaggerated our huffing and puffing as we trekked. It was hilarious and also refreshing to be around that energy.
But, be careful. He might think your mittens are his toy.
Despite my shock at having arrived in the actual Arctic, it was a worth-while, unique and memorable adventure. The photos above and below demonstrate this. Whether it was also a vacation is something my husband and I still debate :)
|Barentsburg (a Russian settlement)|
|On the hike|