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.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Seaview Café, Alaska

I have been posting here on very northern cafés, like Veronica's , Café Natur or the arctic Mellageret café.

This time, a lone and lost café in the middle of nowhere, in some remote area of Alaska, the Seaview Café, at the village of Hope's "main street". It´s a local must, for the views and the food, but it´s hard to understand how it was built in such a place.

Location: 60°55'N 149°38'W

The Seaview is located in the historic town of Hope on the north shore of the Kenai Peninsula , 80 miles from Anchorage, with a view to the waters of Cook Inlet.

Hope was Alaska's first gold mining town, established in the 1890s. Many of the town's original structures, like the Seaview Cafe, Bar & Cabins, still remain within this wild, mountainous, coastal setting.

Breathtaking views of the Kenai and Chugach Mountains and Cook Inlet, a 180-mile-long estuary that stretches northeast from the Gulf of Alaska. Great scenary for a hot meal or a coffee.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Inuvik on the Mackenzie delta, Northwest Territories (NWT) of Canada

Inuvik is located on subsea permafrost, on the East Channel of the Mackenzie Delta, approximately 100 km from the Arctic Ocean and 200 km north of the Arctic Circle.

The Igloo church and the Inukshuk, ex-libris of Inuvik

INUVIK (pop. 3500) is the largest community in Canada north of the Arctic circle.

Coordinates 68°21′N, 133°43′ W

is nested between the treeless tundra and the northern boreal forest, and overlooks the incredible maze of lakes and streams of the Delta.

Due to its northern location, Inuvik experiences an average of 56 days of continuous sunlight every summer and 30 days of polar night every winter.

Mckenzie Road is the main central street, where commerce and services are settled. The Eskimo Inn and The Mad Trapper restaurant are local favorites.

Lined with northern souvenir and gift shops, retails stores, businesses, as well as a variety of coffee shops, pubs, and restaurants.

A good collection of magazines to look through, summer or winter

The post office:

The residential area:

Colourful and joyfully styled housing contrasts with the surrounding tundra or with snow in winter:

The Alexander Mackenzie school:

The "Northern Images" store:

a native craft shop

Inuvik's Community Greenhouse, another landmark:

The most northern greenhouse in North America, and the only one of its kind in the world (converted from an old arena)!

The famous Igloo Church:

Inuvik's Our Lady Of Victory Church, often called Igloo Church, is a well-known landmark in the region. It is the most-photographed building in town.

The new Hospital:

A new hospital opened in early 2003, providing service to an area extending from Sachs Harbour on Banks Island, to Ulukhaktok on Victoria Island.

The Midnight Sun Complex :

A modern multi-use facility that offers recreational activities, like the Family Center:

The Mackenzie delta

The East Channel of the Mackenzie River flows to the Beaufort Sea and Arctic Ocean. In the winter, the Mackenzie turns into an ice road which allows for road travel to Aklavik and Tuktoyaktuk.

The Mackenzie spreads into a vast delta, Canada’s largest fresh water delta, close to the Arctic Ocean, in which the Peel River joins, splitting into thousands of channels before finally flowing to the Beaufort Sea.

The Dempster Highway

Inuvik is the end of Dempster Highway which connects connects the Yukon region to Northwest Territories on the Mackenzie River delta.

During the winter months, the highway extends another 194 km to Tuktoyaktuk and Aklakvik on the northern coast of Canada, using frozen portions of the Mackenzie River delta as an ice road .

The Dempster Highway at the Arctic Circle crossing.

see also: Tuktoyaktuk