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The Enjoyment Of Fear | Darkness & Suspense In Svalbard

6th September 2017
fear

For as long as I can remember, I’ve enjoyed feeling scared. I used to love watching Are You Afraid Of The Dark at sleepovers. And reading Goosebumps books under my quilt. Ghost stories would have me terrified of bedtime. And I vividly remember watching my first Horror film. Fear was uncomfortable, but exciting.

Growing up meant my fears have obviously changed. I’m less concerned with ghosts and more likely to threat about work. Worrying about adult things is far from enjoyable. I never relish in it. And wouldn’t seek it out. But this is where my love of Halloween comes from. I love remembering those feelings.

Something which stood out for me in Svalbard, was serious nostalgia for those times. Hiding under my quilt, or too scared to repeat an urban legend in the mirror. Longyearbyen was a magical place. But some of the circumstances made the mind wander. In the same way 8 year old me would have been frightened, I found myself genuinely scared. And I have to admit, I enjoyed it.

Travel

Svalbard

22nd December 2016
polar night

We only stayed in Svalbard for four nights as I knew in the darkness there would be a limited number of things to do and see.

We spent the whole time exploring, often until late at night as the lack of daylight was disorienting. As taking photos in such dark conditions was really difficult, I’ve got nothing more than bad phone snaps from the trip, so I apologise in advance for the bad quality!

Travel

76 Days Of Night – The Svalbard Polar Nights

30th November 2016

I have to reiterate how bad the photos I’ve taken in Svalbard are. I feel frustrated whenever I look at them but in terms of photography I can’t imagine worse conditions, light is afterall pretty essential!

The photo at the top of this post was of the mountain opposite our hotel, whilst I was testing my settings incase the Northern lights decided to show up. It’s one of the only photos I took with my SLR as it was so dark.

As Svalbard is so far North -78° North and the last land stop before the North Pole- during the Polar night the sun doesn’t rise above the horizon at all for several months.

Travel

Headed North – Arriving In Svalbard

22nd November 2016

The past six weeks have been a total nightmare and I didn’t think I would be going to Svalbard. Immaturely, I was more upset about the fact I’d have to miss this trip I’ve dreamed about for years than the fact I was ill. We didn’t know for sure if we would be going until the day before, but thankfully I felt ok and decided I was going to go anyway.

Svalbard is 78° North and the last land stop before the North pole (which would be pretty difficult to visit, as it’s out on the sea ice and moving slowly all the time). During the polar night the sun never rises and temperatures are normally very, very cold. I say normally, because sadly due to global warming when we visited it was relatively mild, dropping to -6° at the lowest point but staying mostly around freezing.

Svalbard is the world’s most Northern town and it has more polar bears than people, so you can’t leave the settlement -Longyearbyen- without a weapon.

It took us four flights to get there and we stayed for just four days, but it was one of my favourite trips we’ve ever taken.

I underestimated just how dark it would be, without any light pollution you could barely see in-front of you without a torch so all the camera gear I packed my only luggage with turned out to be redundant and I took almost all of my photos on my iPhone. I considered not blogging about the trip because the photos are of such poor quality but decided to do it anyway, so I apologise in advance for the photo quality!