Must Do: Snowmobiling
We were up early in the morning for a (7 hours) snow mobile trip. A group of 6 of us met our guide at the Arctic Adventures office where we were outfitted with warm clothes, boots, long gloves, helmets, and goggles.
We were driven out of town where the snowmobiles were waiting. We each had our own. I was a little nervous about driving it – we’d be covering over 120 km. It didn’t take long to get the feel for it. The guide had told me to trust the snowmobile. So that’s what I did. It was incredibly stable – and only once when we were coming down a steep mountain was I nervous. Truthfully I was very nervous. Somehow I made it down.
If I thought we were in the middle of nowhere the day before with the dog sleds….. well this was REALLY in the middle of nowhere. Miles and miles from town – all you could see all around was this incredible white. But it was incredible to be out there – going 60, 80 kph. For safety we were in a line with some distance between us so there were times when the people in front of you had gone down a mountain slope and were out of your sight. It was then that you would feel as if you were all alone out there. It was exhilarating.
We stopped at Tempelfjorden (fjord) where there was an abandoned trapper’s shack. There were chunks of cool blue ice in the water. From there we rode up and up a mountain where we stopped for a lunch. While we were there we saw a couple of reindeer and many, many auks.
Too soon it was time to start back to town. Along the way we stopped at a cave and took some time to explore. We arrvied back in town exhausted but exhilirated. It was a great day!
We booked our excursion through www.spitsbergentravel.no/eng/ but I guess you could go directly to Arctic Adventures.
Must Do: Dog Sledding
We were excited about our first excursion in Spitsbergen. We were going dog sledding. We were picked up at our hotel and taken to the dog kennels a short distance out of town.
My husband and I were going on one sled and the guide and a Norwegian lady were going on another. We were given heavy clothes and boots, the dogs were harnessed, we had a quick briefing on driving the sleds, and we were on our way.
We were pulled by 5 dogs all of whom were named after explorers. In our group of 5 we had two brothers who were only 9 months old. They were just raring to go. (In the summer months, the dogs pull sleds on wheels so they get exercise.) It was so cold! The temperature was only 1 degree C and the wind was really blowing.
My husband did most of the driving but I took a turn as well. (It was warmer in the sled, but the view was mostly dog butts!) A short time into our drive I saw my first reindeer. Wow – it didn’t look anything like Rudolph but I was excited anyway. It was white and blended so well into the snow.
We spent two hours driving seeing only snow and mountains. We arrived back at the kennels where we got to visit with all the other dogs for a while before going back to the hotel. (I have done a dog sledding excursion before in Alaska, but this was the real deal - a hundred times better!)
We booked our excursion through www.spitsbergentravel.no/eng/.