Antarctica, Beyond the Circle (A Panorama)

Antarctica, uninhabitable in the truest sense of the word. No human can survive it naturally. So what is it that draws us in, makes us want to visit, explore, push the boundaries, and place it on the bucket list?

Open up the panorama below from Detaille Island, just south of the Antarctic Circle, for a clue. Take a good, long look at the glaciers — their color, how they seem to glow from within. For a place so devoid of light much of the year, that light should seem to emanate from within frozen blocks of ice is remarkable.

While we were giddy frolicking with penguins on our trip, but it’s that otherworldliness of raw openscape where beauty meets brutality that always brings us back.

Just a few meters from where where we took this photo lies an abandoned British Antarctic Survey (BAS) research center — a sort of three-dimensional snapshot to man’s fallibility. The story goes that the center’s inhabitants left in a hurry — food still in the cupboards, sweaters still draped over chairs — when faced with a decision to either meet a ship beyond a glacier just a few kilometers away or to stay put for another season with existing supplies. The scientists decided to leave — to flee, really — in 1959 and the place looks today just as they left it then. It’s frozen in time, in a way, like Antartica itself.

We’re still prone to shivers, less because of Antarctic temperatures than Antarctic temperament, when we recall our journey south of the Antarctic Circle.

Panorama: Antarctica Landscapes at Detaille Island

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G Adventures tours to Antarctica

The Antarctica tour we took with G Adventures was paid for by us and went south of the Antarctic Circle. We highlight this feature as most tours to Antarctica do not go this far south. If you plan to book this or another tour with G Adventures, please consider starting the process by clicking on the ad to the left. The price stays the same to you and we earn a small commission. Thank you!

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  1. says

    @TheTuscan: That’s the thing that’s so wild with Antarctica – it’s frozen and feels static, yet as you mentioned so much is living underneath the sea that we can’t see. That was one of the great things of having scientists aboard our trip – they were able to explain what was happening that we couldn’t see with plain eyes.

    @Andi: Thank you!!

    @April: Antarctica was also on our wish list for a long time, but when we were traveling in Argentina we found a last minute deal and decided to take the plunge. So glad we did. Look forward to hearing about your trip when you do decide to go!

  2. says

    Fantastic images. Antarctica is such an evocative destination. Nothing can prepare you for the majestic sight of giant chunks of ice breaking free from the glaciers and crashing into the icy water.

  3. says

    I ‘did’ Antarctica in 1986 as part of a Naval tour of duty with the British Royal Navy. From all my travels since, both military and private, I have yet to see anything so wondrous and immense in scope and nature. From the King penguin to the Elephant seal, from the Sperm whale to the Albatross, I saw them all in their natural habitat. Add to that, awe inspiring icebergs (one of which we actually ‘pushed’ with the ships bow)and glaciers so huge they point to the heavens. I have some epic images of the region and if travel is meant to inspire, inform and enlighten…the South Atlantic should be on your ‘to do’ list.

  4. says

    @Dean: Give us a shout when you do!

    @Andy: Wondrous and immense, great choice of words. That’s Antarctica. Overwhelming, too. Glad you had a chance to experience it. Thanks for your comment.

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