Svalbard feels like what would have happened on the moon, if it had had atmosphere and we’d been able to colonize it.
Geography on the edge of the world.
First glimpse, from the plane.
A valley into absolute wilderness.
We hiked to the valley edge, after we’d reached the end of the road, where there was an observatory shuttered for the summer. “Entry by appointment only when it is dark,” said a sign at the bottom of the road. Below it, a radar station, with more dire warnings about getting close to the antennae.
I’m sure the research isn’t as mysterious as it looks.
We arrived at 1 am, but it doesn’t matter — the light is like midday 24 hours right now. Getting off the plane was giddy, the “high” from the perpetual light crackling across the town. The car rental lady acting at 1 am more perky than most Canadians at 3 pm, five stalwart souls marching across the parking lot and down to the campsite to set up their tents in the clasping wind, the hotel bar jammed full.
Everything up-ended at the top-edge of the world.