Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

2008 is a big year for polar anniversaries. Among those polar milestones is the eightieth anniversary of the death of Roald Amundsen, who lost his life while trying to rescue another veteran of polar exploration.

article summary —

This year is one for polar anniversaries. It was fifty years ago this summer that the United States' nuclear-powered submarine Nautilus successfully made an underwater crossing beneath the polar ice cap from the Bering Strait (between Alaska and Russia) to the Norwegian Sea, becoming in the process the first sea-going vessel to reach the North Pole. If the Nautilus venture (oddly dubbed 'Operation Sunshine' by the US military) represented the triumph of technology over environment, other anniversaries this year commemorate a more traditional form of polar endeavour.

The British explorer Wally Herbert embarked in February 1968 on his long walk across the Arctic. In an extraordinary journey that lasted fifteen months and had echoes of an earlier heroic age of polar exploration, Herbert made landfall in northern Svalbard, having trudged all the way from Alaska over shifting and often perilous Arctic ice.


This is just an excerpt. If you are a subscriber to hidden europe magazine, you can log in to read the full text online. Of course you can also read the full article in the print edition of hidden europe 19.

About the authors

hidden europe

and Susanne Kries manage hidden europe, a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine. Nicky and Susanne are dedicated slow travellers. They delight in discovering the exotic in the everyday.

This article was published in hidden europe 19.