Find Svalbard On The Map
Svalbard is another of those happy places for me. It’s located above the Northern Polar Circle. I have traveled to Svalbard every year except for a few during the pandemic. It is a group of Islands that team with wildlife and spectacular landscapes. I usually take a small ship with 12 passengers on this trip. However, things may be changing. I think 2022 may have been the last trip for me to Svalbard. It’s getting crowded. It was a few years back a place that only the hearty would visit. There were only a few ships doing cruises there, and life was fine, and the wildlife encounters were really special.
Now there are large cruise ships, hundreds of passengers thinking they are doing an expedition in floating palaces. All these extra people have stressed the wildlife as well as the eco-system. Because of this the country of Norwary is about to impose somemstrict regualtions on the Svlabrd Tourist Industry. These new rules will limit how many people can visit the region, how close to wildlife people can get and shut down certain areas that have been popular to visit. And, a few polar bears have been killed that got too close to tourists. That is not right!
In the past we had incredible wildlife encounters with wildlife that came to us. Now running a photo tour there is pointless as we have to be hundreds of yards away from the Polar Bear and Walrus. Like Iceland which once was unknown it is wall to wall tourists and big buses today. I haven’t been back to Iceland in years. This kind of thing might be good for the economy but it comes with a lot of issues.
What were once gravel parking lots are paved with room for tourist buses. There is litter everywhere, and vendors have food trailers there. Places that had didt paths now have steel graeted walkways. Places you used to be able to access are blcked off with ropes and no treaspssing signs. ANnd, even with all that people ignore the signs and go where they aren’t supposed to go.
Deaths among toruists have been numerous from falls and drownings as it seems many touirists don’t have an ounce of common sense.
I could go on and on but times are chagning, My workshop business will change too. I won’t be visiting these locations. The same for National Parks in America which seem to have the dumbest people visiting them. I’m sure you have seen in the news videos of stupid people trying to have their picture with buffalo and bisen only to get gored or trampled. So, I am going to change things up moving forward and doing less workshiop and thiose that I do will be far away from the crazies.
Stay tuned as I work this out and in the meantime enjoy these images from my last visit to Svalbard.
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