You have to have a globe, maps usually don’t do the trick, as our destination is so far out that the projection leaves the cold continent as a white smear, impolitely disfiguring the most amazing place in the world - Antarctica.
So extreme is this destination that you have to travel something between 24 and 36 hours, just to get to the departure point of our journey, which is at the same time the southernmost city in the world. Not really a short trip…
But there are perks galore: Surrounded by ragged sharp mountains, Ushuaia is nestled beautifully in a large bowl near the very “End of the World”, which is also the motto of the place and to be found on every other Tee-shirt.
And then there is the food! If you like meat you have come to the right place. Just try one of those typical Parilla places, where there artfully roast all kinds of delicacies over an open coal fire. A feast not to be missed.
And here, smack in the middle of it, lies our brave FRAM, waiting for our excited guests to arrive, who are coming from no less than 18 nations all over the globe. They all are embarking on an adventurous journey into the Mighty White, the last true wilderness on the planet. So, spirits are high, camera batteries get charged, binoculars cleaned, cabins are moved in, the ship gets thoroughly inspected.
The mandatory drill takes place a little after time, so at 6:30 pm we cast the lines and head out for the notorious Drake passage.
A memorable voyage to you all, is the key message of Captain Rune Andreassen, during his welcome speech the same evening.
And here’s a little reverence to our lovely Frieda which only she and Captain Arild will fully understand. Why else should someone appear dressed up as a whiskey barrel…?! But, dear reader, we will solve this mystery a little later during the voyage. Stay tuned!!