Friday, 31 December 2010

New Year

To all my visitors, my best wishes for 2011.

This is New Year celebration in Tasiilaq, a wonderful town in Greenland'a northeast coast.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Oymyakon, Siberia - the Pole of Cold

350 Kms south of the Arctic Circle, at 63°15′N , 143°9′E, Oymyakon is the permanently inhabitated place on earth where the lowest temperature has been registered (January 26, 1926):

Everest min. - 41ºC
Oymyakon min. - 71,2 ºC

This region of  Yakutia is considered as the coldest place in Siberia and the northern hemisphere. It is situated in an area of Siberia nicknamed "Stalin's Death Ring" (a former destination for political exiles).

The residents of this small settlement in north-eastern Russia consider it a normal winter day when the temperature hovers around -45°C, which is the average winter temperature. Oymyakon's solitary school shuts only when temperatures fall below -52º C ! Residents usually leave their vehicles running all day and warn visitors against wearing glasses outside, as they will freeze to a person's face...
The snow covered track between Tomtor and Oymyakon: about 2 hours are needed to cover the distance of 50km, OR, things can get worse...

Oymyakon is a village of many small wooden houses, still burning coal and wood for heat; about 1200 people live there, in a valley between two mountain ranges (that's why low temperatures happen). The name Oymyakon means "non-freezing water" because of the natural hot spring close to the village.

Most locals resort to reindeer-breeding, hunting and ice-fishing for their livelihoods. Breeding horses is also a traditional activity:

The Yakutian horse or simply the Yakut is a rare native horse breed from the region. It is noted for its adaptation to the extreme cold climate, including the ability to locate and graze on vegetation that is under deep snow cover.

Vostok, Antarctica: -89.2C (scientific base)
Oymyakon, Russia: -71.2C
Verkhoyansk, Russia: -67.7C
Snag, Yukon, Canada: -63C
Prospect Creek, Alaska, US: -62.1C

The monument to the "coldest inhabitated place on earth" :

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Arctic christmas

Christmas lights, Røros, Norway

Christmas covered bridge, Alaska

All-day-long Christmas night, Upernavik, Greenland

Christmas lights truck, Seward , Canada

Christmas street, Trondheim, Norway

Christmas house, Nunavut, Canada

Cathedral church, Vestvadøy, Lofoten Islands

Street at Christmas, Khabarovsk, Russia

Christmas stamps, Faröe islands

Christmas ship, Klaksvik, Faröe Islands

Christmas tree, Nuuk, Greenland

Best wishes of merry Christmas for all.

Saturday, 4 December 2010


The Coracle is an ancient one-person boat with a long history. Coracles (from the Welsh "cwrwgl") date back thousands of years. They have been in large use in the British Isles from pre-Roman times, mainly for the transport of fish, meat, grain or reeds, by the celtic population.

Designed for use in the swiftly flowing streams of Wales and parts of the rest of Britain and Ireland, the coracles were noted by Julius Caesar in his invasion of Britain in the mid first century BC, and he used them in his campaigns in Spain. But already Timaeus , a greek historian of III B.C., had referred the coracles in Cornwall - and some historians believe they date back from neolithic age.

Their prime use is for the purposes of transport and fishing.

Originally covered with animal skins, coracles are traditionally made of willow or ash laths and covered with calico or canvas impregnated with pitch and tar or, more recently, bitumastic paint.

The structure has a keel-less, flat bottom to evenly spread the weight of the boat and its load across the structure and to reduce the required depth of water. That's partircularly well fitted to the Welsh calm streams, like those around Langollen.

River Dwyryd, Wales

Coracles are so light and portable that they can easily be carried on the fisherman's shoulders when proceeding to and from his work. They are usually propelled with a single paddle held in two hands over the bow, executing a figure of 8 movement.

They can also be found in India (parisal) , Vietnam (tchung-chai) and Tibet (ku-dru), and even in Iraq (quffa). In Asia, they are built of interwoven bamboo and waterproofed by using resin and coconut oil.