Svalbard: Arctic crown of the world!
My ultimate inspiration for traveling has always been a world map – and every time i’ve looked at Europe i’ve been fascinated by the mysterious land mass above Scandinavia – Svalbard.
This curiosity was fueled by the movie “The Golden Compass” and further established by the fact that it as autonomous region governed by Norway, which i got to know via Mahesh Murthy’s list of visa-free countries to visit for Indian passport holders.
Svalbard has been hitherto very expensive to get to, but thanks to SAS & Norwegian flights (and now Finnair) – that’s no longer the case.
I flew in from Helsinki, via Oslo & Tromso (though i wish i did a stop in Tromso, in hindsight).
I have a pretty simple theory when it comes to traveling to new places: If normal humans live there, it’s worth visiting.
Thankfully, I was well prepared in terms of clothing. Upon reaching my hostel, a “take what you need, in case you forgot your snow shoes” sign put an instant smile on my face 🙂