Everywhere we went on our voyage through the untouched icy wilderness of the Antarctic peninsula, there was no shortage of stunning icy vistas. Each one was marked by a fascinating combination of mountains, glaciers, snow and water, that somehow created magical sceneries.
The morning we went through the Gerlache Strait was probably the most impressive landscape of foggy snow-covered mountains surrounding us with plenty of ice in the water all around us, adding to the memorable views of this pristine winter wonderland. Yet other places, such as Wiencke Island and Deception Island, offered equally spectacular views — all of them unforgettable.
The subtle play of light and shadow, and clouds and colors across this frozen world most definitely captured my heart in unforeseen ways. Being a small part of something so big and vast, even though it was just for a short amount a time, didn’t make me feel lost or lonely. Instead, it made me feel like I belong, and that I am part of something larger. It also made me feel extraordinarily connected to place — something that has stayed with me since coming back home two months ago. Others had mention these feelings and connections during the prep phase of the voyage but it was hard to understand what they truly meant until it happened to me, too.
Another deeply memorable experience was the quietude of Antarctica. Far removed from the noise of human civilization, the vast, untouched snowscapes offered a kind of silence that was worth listening to. Disrupted only by the whispers of the wind and the occasional crackling of the ice, hearing nature “be” was profound in many ways and not mute at all. In those quiet moments, time seemed to stand still, alongside the thousand year old glacial ice and the age old mountains. In this kind of calm and majestic environment, it came easy to contemplate life, the universe, and everything, and to deeply connect with the raw beauty of the white continent.
Antarctica is the frozen frontier and a place like no other. Exploring its beautiful landscapes and allowing oneself to get carried away is like a journey into a different world — a world that is so separate from everything else on Earth, yet so closely connected to the rest of the planet. This underscores the importance of preserving the fragile and magnificent Antarctic environment. And yes, it does takes a while to recognize these vital connections and critical interplays of it all, but once you have experienced it, you just can’t unsee it.
What can you not unsee?