Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The northernmost volcano:

Beerenberg in Jan Mayen

An active volcano, Beerenberg (2277 m), dominates the volcanic island of Jan Mayen. It is the northernmost active volcano on land in the world.

Jan Mayen is a small (380 Km2) barren island with some moss and grass situated at 71°N , 8°30' W, suddenly rising from the North Atlantic ocean, 950km west of Norway, 600 km north of Iceland. It is the most remote place of the northern hemisphere, well north of the Arctic Circle. The upper part of mount Beerenberg is covered by an ice cap, which sends glacial tongues in all directions. The lower landscape is dominated by black lava stone and green moss. The island is a part of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

Glacier falling from the crater into the sea.

Jan Mayen became Norwegian in 1922. Only since 1921 has it become inhabitated - a total crew of 18 runs the navigation station, the meteorological station , radio and vulcanology stations, and maintains the infrastructure - buildings, airstrip, power station. The island and the stations are under the rule of Norway.

The main crater - you can see the start of the falling glacier.

Beerenberg has erupted six times between 1732 and 1985. All of these eruptions produced lava flows and scoria cones. The most recent eruptions were in 1970 (the strongest), 1973 and 1985.

The 1970 eruption was the only one witnessed in modern times. It was large, erupting at least 0.5 km³ of basalt from a 6 km long fissure that ran from sea-level to an elevation of 1000 m.

Olonkinbyen (Olonkin City ) is the permanent settlement that houses the staff that operates the weather and radio stations. Besides full-equiped offices and labs, it has an unexpected comfort, with several relaxing rooms - library, bar, media room, gym and sauna, large living and dining rooms, decorated corridors, a museum and a swimming pool !

A place of mistery and desolation, of science and adventure, it could well be someone's Ultima Thule !


Sunday, 18 April 2010

and Veronica's café,

Kenai, Alaska

One more charming northern café, Veronica's Coffee House is a 1918 cabin in its original location and a good example of what the early russian buildings in Kenai looked like.

Located in historic downtown Kenai, Veronica's Coffee House serves expresso, of course, and breakfast, but also homemade soups, sandwiches, desserts.

Veronica´s coffee house, 60º33' N, 151º 16' W

Close by, other russian-era reminders are the old orthodox church and the St. Nicholas chapel:

Friday, 16 April 2010

Café Natur, Tórshavn

I find a particular charm in high latitude cafés, because a café is usually a place of civilization - people making acquaintances, talking, culture happening, mind opening.

The Faröe Islands are not so remote (though remote enough) and in the capital Tórshavn you can find several cafés; Café Natur is the oldest, most charming and best located, overlooking the boats at the old harbour. One easily feels like writing a poem there...

Café Natur was for years the only place to get a beer in Tórshavn. It has grown slightly in size over the years, adding a “mezzanine” level, but is still a tiny and cosy place, down by the Eystaravág (east harbour), close to the viking parliament Tinganes and the old town.

Very popular, with live music every weekend and very lively atmosphere, it can get very crowded.

Coordinates: 62°0′N, 6°46′W

I posted before on Mellageret Kafe, Ny Ålesund‎ (Svalbard Islands).