Sunday, April 15, 2007

Day 259: The Brother

I've been told that this website is a major source of procrastination measures for many of my friends. Glad my experiences are being put to educational usage.

So the brother got here last Saturday, and the week has just flown by. We've managed to pull off some pretty good times, though, despite some patchy weather. There was a bit of a thaw scare (for me) a few days ago, which thankfully did not culminate in a disastrous river like last time. I fear the next thaw will be the last for the usable snow. Anyway, the first day he was here we took a bit of a drive around Longyearbyen, then went home to help prepare the massive Easter dinner we had planned for our kitchen.

Clockwise from the lower left: Ragga, Sigrid, Paal, Dane, Pierre, Olgeir, Tone, and Elisa. We had fancy lamb, fancy potatoes, garlic bread, veggies, and a dessert ensemble:

This is big news around here.

Another photo of Paal and Dane (the brother):

The next day we went on a little scooter trip up Adventdalen to see what we could see. That was mainly a lot of snow and mountains in beautiful weather. For the most part, the past week was very lucky with a lot of super, cold sun.

Although, as it turned out, I may have given Dane a bit of frostbite. I blame all the stores being closed for Easter and me not being able to buy a proper wind-proof face mask. It was just a mild sort of sun-burn case below the eyes, gone now.

We went farther up the fjord than I had been before, and it was just lovely.

Brother trying to warm his poor little fingers without his atrocious gloves. He bought some supposedly good gloves in California which were basically useless out here. Eventually I let him wear my nice scooter gloves, and I tried to wear his gloves since my scooter has handlebar-warmers, and I'm more used to the cold. My handlebar-warmers melted straight through the gloves.

We also stopped at the Russian airplane monument again, as described in a previous post.

Ptarmigan tracks next to the flower offerings:

Reindeer across the gully:

Going back to Longyearbyen we stopped at the limited remains of a German war plane that crashed in the fjord during World War II. The only bits showing over the snow now are the undercarriage - the entire plane is upside down.

Coming back around the fjord, across from Longyearbyen - great picture of "arctic smoke":

Annnd with some real smoke:

Old mining bit you've seen before:

Ridiculous scooter tracks - turns out my scooter just isn't powerful enough to do much of anything with two big ol' people on it. We can just about handle going along on flat ground, as long as we don't try to turn to much. I feel like I'm hurting it. Which I probably am.

Another short scooter trip later in the week - Dane's first time up the glacier, always amazing.

Good old Nybyen:

And the brother having a look around.

We managed to accidentally time our trip with the arrival of a massive tourist troupe. Hm.

My poor little brother gets tuckered out from so much excitement. Most days he pretty much passed out right after dinner. Not that we actually had that crazy of a time, but our meat-and-potatoes meals seem to inspire instant slumber. And then him tossing and turning on my floor half the night unable to sleep. (Yes, I made him sleep on the floor. I even eventually found him a blanket.)

During our little travels, we had some relatively close encounters with the reindeers. Here they are:

And to cap this edition off, a photograph that I like very much:

I am currently trying to stay awake to send my brother off to the airport at 3:30am. Tomorrow will be a long and horrible workday. But soon enough I will have time to finish displaying his epic visit to the north - this only shows about half the week yet. Some particularly succulent photos are on the internet horizon.

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