Who Turned Out the Lights?

I hope everyone is having a great holiday season and is looking forward to the new year. You are probably aware that our website was down for several days… the main server in Florida has some issues, so sorry for keeping everyone in the dark but we think the problem has been fixed. Speaking of keeping everything dark, we are currently in Narvik, Norway, a few hundred miles above the Arctic Circle looking down on most of the world. We also have not seen the sun in quite a while. The sky starts to get light at about 10 in the morning and by 2:30 in the afternoon, it is pitch black out. The sun does not get high enough in the horizon to actually see it and with another 1,000 kms or so to go before we get to North Cape, it is only going to get darker. It has been a bit of an adventure getting up here. The roads are still nice and smooth but also happen to be covered with about an inch or two of solid ice. We soon found out that trying to take a picture of a reindeer while skidding down a two-lane road at a 45 degree angle at 45mph can be quite challenging. I guess we will have to work on that… first the whole 45 degree angle thing and then maybe we can incorporate the photography. Luckily, in this part of the world, there are only about three or four people per square kilometer so there is not much traffic on the roads outside of the towns and urban areas.

Arctic Circle

Our highly detailed map of where the Arctic Circle is located


TWBR crew at what we thought was 66 30′ north latitude – 1:30 p.m.


The actual Arctic Circle was really 1 kilometer up the road – 2:00 p.m.

The lack of sun, coupled with temperatures that are consistently below freezing, can really mess with your head. It seems like I am always tired. I guess our subconscious, internal clocks tell us that it is time to go to bed when it is dark out. However, when it is only three in the afternoon, it really does not make much sense to go to bed, so in order to combat the fatigue that your mind seems to be forcing upon you, you eat. Steve, Mark and I are always hungry. We can not seem to get our hands on enough chips, salami, nuts, fruit, sardines, pickled herring or whatever we can find that does not cost more than $10. Even a McDonald’s value meal in Scandinavia will set you back at least $10. Not to worry, in true wandering nomad style I still seem to be loosing weight no matter how many calories I consume.


A beautiful sunset in Narvik, Norway at quarter past noon

Oh yeah, we also took some Christmas photos considering it was just a few days ago. We have become quite good at multitasking so the photos were taken while waiting in line for the ferry from Germany to Denmark. We do live in a time warp of varying degrees but every now and then are reminded of what time of year it is. In this case, we got a plastic Christmas tree as a gift for purchasing a SIM card in Bulgaria. Depending on who your favorite TWBR crew member is,(even though you love all of us), or which one you are related to, you can just print this page, preferably in color, cut out the appropriate picture, add whatever language you might feel is cleaver or appropriate and there you go… a TWBR Christmas card. You can pretend you got it a week ago.


Steve wishes ________ a Merry Christmas!


Steve wishes ________ a Merry Christmas!


Mark wishes __________ a Merry Christmas!