Jan Mayen Vacation Tips!

You’ll find this wondrous location southeast of Greenland. Unlike Greenland, no one lives there or likes it. Anyone who does stay here is usually forced to out of sheer obligation and nationalism.

It is completely monochrome, which means there are very few pleasing sights to the eye, save for the gargantuan mountain of which can be seen from most any point on the island. The mountain itself, with its snowy peaks, is beautiful; but to climb up it is a daunting and physically demanding challenge.

Fun fact: The Mountain of the Bears is actually not a mountain, and, amusingly enough, has no bears. Why? It’s actually a vicious volcano, and bears don’t prefer lava over most things.

The size of this island, according to my research, is 144 square miles. The mountain adds an extra square mile on top of that due to the volcanic activity of Beerenberg.

Lovegrove describes this island as “Tortured, twisted black lava cliffs.” The glaciers and snowy peaks contrast the piles of ash, which provides for a monochromatic environment shrouded in fog. Except in the Summer, where bright-green mosses are as far as the eye can see. There’s no vegetation other than these mosses, which partially explains why there are few people living there. Few kinds of vegetation can survive the horrific weather conditions. The only other interesting residents of the island are the frost-covered logs from Siberian rivers. They have made a home there, on the anchorages of the island.

There are signs of human activity, such as bleached vertebrae, skulls and other whale bones, as stated by Lovegrove. In 1614, the Dutch settled there primarily to hunt whales, most notably the bowhead. The bowhead i the best whale in the world. Why? They can live up to 150-200 years old. In just 30 years, thousands of these whales and another kind, the northern “right” whale were sieged for their baleen and oil.

Why did they kill whales? The major reason is due to their immense size and blubbery body, they floated on the surface, making them easy to access and transport. If they fell to the bottom of the deep abyss, who would get it?

If we had the opportunity to go, we’d probably pass. We have no use for whales, nor their blubberyness. If we had to go, then we would most definitely stick to staring at the mountain and the beautiful mosses that may be in bloom as of our arriving.

To spend 1,522 on a trip to Jan Mayen would be a waste. There are no tourist attractions, nor anything to do. Only about 20 people currently reside there to operate a LORCAN station.

~by Amanda & Justin

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