Sitting in the sun, a drink, no jacket, mountain view, people.
Sailing is great, but after days and days walking on land, talking to some different people, getting real food… Is like being on vacation. I have no words. I just keep sitting here and enjoy.
I can’t really believe it. Is this the Kapital of the Arctic?
The town looks small, of course it is. 2600 people live around the archipelago and 3000 polar bears. 3 hotels, 4 hostels or vise versa… Many tourists, too many some say, can be worse say some others. Town is booked out, I’ve learned. Don’t mind, we’ve got a spot on the terrace in the sun.
It’s just us girls. We had a shower, first thing after docking was cleaning the boat, second starting a washing machine, third cleaning us. A warm shower. I took the luxury of the “long” version, 8min. It feels soo great. After the last on bearisland. This little things make my happy these days. The cloth hang in a tent, the harbour office usually offers merchandise articles in for tourists from the cruise ships. Next ship will come in a week, so no problem, we can use it to dry laundry. It’s stunning what you get when you just dare to ask. The tent has only a zip, is never closed, just zipped. If this is that people can flee from polar bears, like the unlocked houses are ment to be or is it just because it’s a small trustful island? We don’t think anyone will steal our woolen underwear, the Arctic version on “hot pants”
We walked up to town, hungry and big expectation on proper restaurants, museums and photo galleries. Soon did we figure out that 5pm is clothing time for most things like galleries and stores, some are open till 6, some little till 8 and the store for candies till 10. Restaurants are open till late… All we need. The choise for the restaurant was pretty easy. The only obvious place to sit outside it was.
Now we are sitting here, beer and cider… Embracing every little moment, every sunray… And a not moving horizon. I don’t have that anymore, coming from boat to land used to make me still feel feel the movement, make me walk funny. It’s the first time I actually notice that it is gone.
What little did I know about what will happen on my first day back in civilization.
Andre, a sympathic guy from Oslo I knew from the Internet turned out to be with his kids just 500m down the road from the pub we were sitting on the terrace. The world is so big and so small. I walked down to say hi and bye as they were already on the way to the airport. We had a little chat. He’d been here several times and will keep coming back to Svalbard. I have the feeling, me too. This place is somehow addictive.
Back in the pub a guy, Tobi from Austria, takes the table next to us and asks if I’d mind to watch his suff, “sure sure” I said without looking and “damn sure” after I took a look. Tow cameras, one with super zoom. I remember the days I had to travel with a suitcase to fit my photography gear in. I am happy these days are over and that I’ve downsized it all. But that was a good opener for hours long talk. He tells me, he couldn’t find anyone freewillingly spending the summer vacations with him in the Arctic, in snow jackets and warm boots. Well, nothing to resent, but, actually I would come again. No daubt. With every 6hours I spend here longer this feeling gets stronger.
We chat away about life ideas, travel and future plans.
Tobi goes home by midnight, I join the others that had to move to the inside as alcohol mustn’t be drunken outside. The guys came from the boat and had joint us at some point during the evening.
At two the restaurang shut down, it’s the girls again that run off to the bar next door while the guys made it home in time. Maybe, clever sleep wise but the adventure doesn’t know times of the day.
In this place there are no strangers. We meet people who live here and some who stranded. They work for a cruise ship and due to overbooking they were parked here for a week by full salary and covered expenses. Some show us a place on the beach with a fireplace. It’s fresh by now, still blue sky. We sit on the fire and talk but it starts to become a stupid discussion of drunken people and we go home.
Sitting on the boat, peaceful in the sun and keep on chatting instead of early to bed, this is just magical but probably the missed out sleep opportunity will lead to regrets in the morning. For the 5min of wakeing up. At 10am we’ve planed to meet a again to drive with the dinghy on shore. It’s 6am now, let’s make it 11am then.
What a great day, what an interesting night. I am totally tired now. And in love. In love with Svalbard.