Fantasy Friday – Antarctica

Perhaps my winter would end with a bit of snow this year?

I am quite perturbed about the lack of snow in most places in Canada and the USA. All I hear in my head is, “climate change, climate change, climate change”. I know there are abnormal years, and abnormal decades, but has our recorded history, or research ever seen something like this? Ak.

In search of snow to make me happy (for the moment)…

My surprise fantasy (surprise to myself, given the time of year) is – Antarctica….again

Talk about being lonely, read this cruise itinerary to Artactica

There are no indigenous people on Antarctica. The population varies from fewer than 1,000 in winter to over 50,000 in summer: 5,000 scientists from 27 of the countries party to the Antarctic Treaty, plus tourists. Last season 2010/2011 there were 33,824 tourists, the peak was the 2007/2008 season with 46,000 visitors.

Antarctica surrounds the South Pole. The nearest landmass is South America, which is over 620 miles from the tip of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Surface area: 14 million square miles (36 million square kilometers).

There is no indigenous government, management of the Antarctic is organised through the legal framework of the Antarctic Treaty of 1959. Forty-three nations are now party to this agreement, and seven of those – UK, Norway, Chile, France, Australia, Argentina and New Zealand – have historic claims on parts of the continent as national territory. The 1959 Antarctic Treaty preserves the status quo of the continent by neither recognizing nor rejecting the claims of these countries and by not allowing expansion in any way on the continent.

Antarctica currently has no economic activity apart from offshore fishing and tourism, and these are run by other nations (i.e. not the continent of Antarctica)

Eek. I need to go NOW, since it is summer there. I would actually still love to go, some winter in North America soon….

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Fantasy Friday, it’s back!

It’s been a month or two since I wrote about a fantasy place I would like to visit some day. I better make it a good one! Let’s try…ANTARCTICA!

My boyfriend’s parents are going there next year, and I am quite envious. Maybe I can go with them!?

Lonely Planet has given me some ideas of what can be seen on this cold cold continent.

1. South Shetland Islands: Abundant wildlife crowds the beaches of these islands off the Antarctic Peninsula

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2. South Georgia: Fur seals and king penguins teem, and Shackleton left several traces here too

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3. Deception Island: This collapsed, restless volcano hides a former whaling station and enormous chinstrap penguin colony

4. Lemaire Channel: This narrow passage is among Antarctica’s most scenic, bordered by mountains and glaciers

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5. Port Lockroy: Restored as a museum, this former British base offers glimpses of Antarctic life past

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6. Scullin and Murray Monoliths: These massive formations harbor East Antarctica’s greatest concentration of breeding seabird colonies

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7. Dry Valleys: This alien landscape, desolate and beautiful, hides several very unusual lakes

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8. Commonwealth Bay: Mawson’s ‘Home of the Blizzard’ is one of the windiest places on earth

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9. Ross Island: Three eerie, ghost-filled explorer’s huts sit not far from two modern scientific research stations

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10. Campbell Island: Dazzling blooms of violet, pink and white flower in the unique ‘megaherb’ meadows

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Sign me up!