Olympic Ski Jump

Olympic Ski Jump

Fiona and I took time before the bus left for the airport to take the metro to the winter Olympics Ski lift. It’s a long way down. Fiona showed me how to use the metro. Something I’d never done before and would need to know how to do once we returned from the Arctic. At the top of the ski lift there is a 360 view of the surrounding area. It is beautiful, and so close to the city. The metro ride wasn’t more than twenty minutes. I noticed the plants as we passed by, and they look much like those from home; maple trees, what I think are cascara trees, lupines. It really felt like we were in Washington. I must check to see what native plants are here and compare with home. That would be a great activity for my students during our plant unit as well. We made it back just in time to get on the buses to the airport. Phew!

National Geographic Explorer

National Geographic Explorer

We flew into Longyearbyen and were bused to the ship, the National Geographic Explorer. Fiona got a glimpse of Jonathan and Craig, the fellows on the ship prior to us, as she entered the airport. I was sad to have missed it but hope to see the next fellows coming in next week. Everyone was so helpful on the ship. Eduardo showed us around, and I was able to speak with everyone I needed to about my health issues. It’s difficult to travel when you have allergies but not impossible. On board the ship my needs were met wonderfully.

Dinner was delicious. I will not starve on this ship. I will however avoid elevators and take stairs as much as possible. It is my goal to sit with different passengers for every meal so I can meet as many people as possible. There are a wide variety of states as well as countries represented on this ship. There seem to be a lot of doctors…so that’s handy. At dinner I sat with three lively ladies in real estate. I must tell Katy about Disney cruise time shares. Who knew they existed?

Fiona and Floridian After Dinner on the Bridge

Fiona and Floridian After Dinner on the Bridge

The highlight of the day would be looking out the back of the ship and seeing a beautiful sky in the Arctic Svalbard surrounded by water, ice, and peaks. It wasn’t quite sunset because at this time of the year the sun does not set. The length of daylight is longer in summer due to the axis tilt of the earth towards the sun. I must include this in our study of weather and different regions of the earth. I don’t think that will affect my sleep. I usually can sleep in any light conditions. What may keep me awake is all the activity and excitement.

I have arrived. It is surreal.

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