Neptun’s Empire and Svartisen Glacier

On August 1st, we will have crossed the Arctic Circle. Neptun appeared on deck at about 11:00 am and requested obedience. We all have to get baptized or else … Some refused. They will become fish fodder, eventually. The rest of us were allowed to proceed and discover moose later that evening. As you can see below the ritual was very human. Quite different then we had expected. Based on Neptun’s introduction, we thought we had to be baptized in the cold basin of the aft deck pool, but instead we just had to drink some vodka. So most of the passengers managed. See below our souls after the baptism.

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After the baptism, we continued our journey without incident and reached, in the evening, the Svartisen Glacier. The mighty glacier reached down from the highest mountain range to the shore. At least almost, it had retreated approximately 2 km from the shore line.

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We lowered our tender boats and shuttled to the shore. We had heard that in the local forest, we could see some moose and maybe reach the glacier tongue. When we set foot on the shore, it was already 20:00. Therefore, we restrained ourselves to the moose visit and took pictures of the glacier, the little birch forest at its bottom and the frontal moraine.

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There are images of the glacier from several decades ago when the glacier reached down to the sea, and later to the location where we found the rubble bump stretching through the forest from one side of the glacier bed to the other. We found one public domain picture from 8 years ago, where the glacier was wider.

The rubble stretch, we found, looks like an frontal moraine. However, it is very small maybe two meters high. They cut through the frontal moraine for a road which allowed us to examine its structure a little. While I am no expert when it comes to glaciers and geology, I have at least the impression it is an frontal moraine. In case I am mistaken, I am eager to hear and read a better explanation for the rubble stretch.

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We took quite a few glacier pictures and on one we marked a waterfall of meltwater running down the mountain. You can also see that in the glacier’s bed that there must have been ice in the past, which is now gone. Yes, this is only one glacier, but this one is retreating rapidly. You can see that the area beside the glacier do not show any larger vegetation, which would usually enter the area very quickly, as water is available and also minerals from the surface.

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We also visited the moose couple with a little moose. I had the impression that they are smaller then those I saw 27 years ago in Canada. However, this is a long time ago. And things seem to increase in memory.

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Moose are apparently the biggest wild living animals in Europe, according to a sign beside the moose park.

One our way back, we encountered a minion and a herd of smilies beside the road and we learned that we could have rented bikes (they were hidden, by a large bus when we arrived). Anyway, it was too late so we shuttled back to the ship and had a nice farewell from the fjord.

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