It was way too early on Tuesday morning when our alarms woke us. We were heading out bright and early today on the ultimate of wildlife quests: seeing a polar bear in the wild. There are very few places where you can see one of the greatest predators on Earth in its natural habitat, and Svalbard is one of them. In order to give us even a chance of seeing a bear, we would need to travel to the island’s east coast and to the edge of the sea ice. There are no roads outside of the settlement, and so we will be traversing the trackless wilderness on snowmobile. And once we’re out there, there is no guarantee that we’ll even glimpse a bear; this is nature, not a zoo. But we were going to give it a shot. … [Read more...] about Chasing Polar Bears In Svalbard: DDF Arctic Adventure Photo DO Trip Notes, Part 2
Polar bear cub
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After eating it was time for an early bedtime – tomorrow was going to be a long, cold, and physically draining day. So it goes without saying that as soon as we were all settled and drifting off, I peeked out of the window and caught a glimmer of green in the sky. Experience has taught me that when you see the Aurora Borealis, you don’t waste time dawdling – you never know how long a display may last, and when a tiny glimmer will explode into an all-sky light show. We had made up earlier that if someone spots the aurora he would wake the others, and so I jumped out of bed, pulled my boots and coat over my pajamas, grabbed my camera and tripod and ran out of the house, all the while raising the alarm. … [Read more...] about DDF Adventure Photo DO Trip Notes Part 2: Svalbard And The High Arctic
“Business class” from Oslo to Tromsø was exactly like coach, except it was at the front of the plane. Never mind extra legroom, SAS doesn’t even block off the middle seat in business class, so the only difference was the free drink and free WiFi. Scratch the free Wi-Fi actually, it didn’t work for more than a few minutes on any of our domestic flights. … [Read more...] about DDF Adventure Photo DO Trip Notes Part 1: Heading For Svalbard And The Far North
The Park Hyatt has a free shuttle that runs between the hotel and Shinjuku station, but the station is sprawling and despite asking the hotel for the location of the shuttle we were unable to figure out where to go. So we hopped in a taxi for a quick ride to the hotel. … [Read more...] about United Island Hopper Trip Notes Part 4: Tokyo, Japan And Back Home In ANA First Class
There are a myriad of halachos (Jewish laws) when it comes to cruises that travel over Shabbos. You are not allowed to charter a boat or go on a boat over Shabbos if the majority of passengers are Jewish, so we would have to tag onto an existing trip. Due to Shabbos, you are only supposed to board a cruise on Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday, which eliminates many trip options. If you depart on Sunday you would need to spend the previous Shabbos in Ushuaia, so we wanted to avoid that. If you depart on Tuesday then you would be stuck in Ushuaia for the following Shabbos, which we wanted to avoid as well. That meant we had to find a ship departing on a Monday. More crucially, we had to find a ship that was willing to work with us to arrange a kosher group with all of the special logistics that go into travelling as a religious Jew. … [Read more...] about Final Day To Register! Join Me And Over 40 DansDeals Readers On A Once-In-A-Lifetime Kosher Catered Trip To Antarctica!