Saturday, 21 August 2010

Belgian station in Antarctica

a Thule for the future

The Princess Elisabeth Station in Antarctica.

Coordinates 71° 57’ S, 23° 20’E

The belgian Princess Elisabeth Station was officially inaugurated on the 15th February 2009.

It's the first "zero emission" station ever, the world's first polar station run entirely on renewable energy.

The Station has been pre-built in Brussels, where it has been on show before it gets shipped down to the Antarctic.

http://www.antarcticstation.org/

The Princess Elisabeth Station will also offer a certain level of comfort which will, after a tough day of work, surely be welcomed.

Utsteinen, a village of tents

The Belgian station on Antarctica is situated 300 m North of Utsteinen nunatak, on a small relatively flat granite ridge, sticking out of the snow. The ridge is 700 m long and a few meters large and elevates 20 m above the surrounding snow surface in the accumulation zone. Closeby is the so called Ulsteinen village, a camp where the scientific crew used to live and work.

The local pub

Princess Elisabeth station in the sunlight

Thursday, 5 August 2010

Unalaska, Aleutian islands

The Aleutian Islands are a streched archipelago of volcanic islands that reach far into the Bering sea. That remoteness is also the source of their income: fabulous fisheries, mainly crab and halibut...

The islands have frequently changed sovereignty, but they were integrated in U.S.Alaska in 1867. The main settlement is Unalaska / Dutch Harbour, a community of about 4 000 residents.

Unalaska is located at 53°53′ N, 166°31′ W

The city enjoys a strategic position near the center of the nation's most productive fishing grounds and is the hub of the transshipment of cargo between Pacific Rim trading partners.

Nine thousand years ago, the Unangan people, ancestors of the Aleuts, settled here and throughout the Aleutian Islands. Russian explorers arrived in 1759 and the Russian influence has remained strong ever since.

The Cathedral

The Russian Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Ascension, built in 1896, is the oldest cathedral in Alaska.

Some bald eagle is always sitting on top of the cathedral’s crosses over the ognions.

Bald eagles are all around town and harbour.

The Harbour

Dutch Harbor, the official name of the city's port, is often applied to the portion of the City of Unalaska located on Amaknak Island, which is connected by bridge to the rest of the community on Unalaska Island .

The ships and their crew are the true stars and heroes in Dutch Harbour.
Many of the fishing vessels became famous in the TV Discovery documental series “Deadliest Catch".

"Sheila´s B&B”, a 1897 wooden house on main street.

Isaalux bridge (meaning “safe crossing”) goes over a little stream from main street to the library.

Museum of the Aleutians
http://www.aleutians.org/

The museum is a must see for both locals and visitors. Perhaps the best small town museum in Alaska, it has a great archaeology collection, Unangan crafts, WWII memoriabilia, and historical displays.

Aleut hat of walrus whiskers

The volcanic ring

Mt Shishaldin is a moderately active volcano on Unimak Island with nearly 40 historic eruptions, which have been brief and explosive.

The most symmetrical cone-shaped glacier covered large mountain on earth, the volcano's topographic contour lines are nearly perfect circles above 6 500 feet.

http://www.unalaska.info/