Planes, polar bears and introduced penguins…

Chilling in Montreal Trudeau Airport. I’d take this one over Mirabel any day!

Waiting in Edinburgh airport for my flight… This book about Arctic animals helps pass the time.

After three weeks in Scotland, which were very relaxing and nutritional, I’m on my way back to French country. But I’ll only be in Quebec for 4 days, and then I’m doing a U-turn for Norway. Let’s not elaborate on that one for now…

I’m getting pretty used to travelling on planes nowadays, although one thing I just can’t get used to is these damn security checkpoints. Not fun. On flights from Europe to North America, I normally go through three or four, which means tri-fold repetition of the whole belt off, belt on, computer out, computer in, money out, money in etc. process, and the metal machine ALWAYS goes off on me anyway!!

This time I flew in from Brussels, and was fortunate enough to be on one of those big transcontinental planes, which definitely make the journey more comfortable. Last time I did Newark to Edinburgh, the plane was regular sized, and the journey was, as the Scottish would say, “BOAK”. I realise as I’m writing this that the last lines do not make for very thrilling news. Perhaps more interesting are my present plans. On Friday, Moritz (fellow PhD student at Takuvik) and I are jetting off Tromso, Arctic Norway, where we will talk at the annual Arctic Frontiers conference. Then after that, we’re taking a cruise up to the Lofoten Islands, where there is a real chance of seeing THE AURORA! Here’s something else cool I read about Lofoten: way back in 1936, they introduced penguins there as an experiment. Unfortunately the poor guys didn’t do so well. They had a lot of threats to contend with that they weren’t used to. I’m confident our experience will be more rewarding…

King penguins in the Arctic?? Well it was a nice idea on paper, but it just didn’t work out…

Did any of you watch “The Polar Bear Family and Me” on BBC last week?? If you missed it, here’s a summary, and I seriously encourage you to catch it on I-Player. A Scottish cameraman (well he had to be right! ;)) lived alongside a mother bear called Lyla and her two cubs Miki and Luca, for a year on Svalbard. He caught some of the most amazing natural footage, and it was really emotional to see the cubs grow up (fast) and watch them learn to adapt in such an unforgiving wilderness. I reckon this documentary succeeding in making many people realise what the life of a polar bear is really like, and unfortunately to say, how much harder we continue to make it.

Watch the eye-opening scenes on I-Player here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01py626/The_Polar_Bear_Family_and_Me_Spring/

I’ll blog next from Norway!

Take care jx

Comments (1)
  • Kai

    January 16, 2013

    no wonder the metal machine goes off on you, with the amount of metal you have in your body lol. omg, the northern lights!!!! I hope you get to see it, must be out of this world. enjoy Norway.

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