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
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!