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The Antarctic Peninsula

As a result of both its remoteness and the connected expense in overcoming this isolation, Antarctica is the least known and least visited of the seven continents. And this maxim also applied to me because despite working for over 30 years as a Tour Operator and having travelled extensively since my teenage years I had never visited Antarctica. This all changed when my wife and I postponed a planned visit to Albuquerque and substituted Antarctica at very late notice and it provided us with a unique travel experience.

One of my abiding memories of Antarctica is of my wife Sharron coming into our cabin and urging me to stop editing images and to quickly come up on deck because as we sailed up a narrow channel we were passing through ‘the most spectacular scenery I have ever seen’.

The trouble was I had the very same thought the previous day, and indeed the day before that (!) which tells you everything about Antarctica. It is spectacular, indeed big time spectacular and even fully deserving of being described as ‘awesome’ , that overused description frequently utilised by our American cousins.

My wife and I have travelled all our lives and there are few parts of the world that we have not got to but we both agreed that Antarctica was the best travel experience we had ever undertaken – and provided us with the most spectacular scenery we had ever seen.

We have a home high in the Swiss Alps and I have made over a dozen trips to the magnificent Himalaya and I always thought that the scenery in the high Alps and around Everest took some beating but Antarctica is something completely different.

I think this is because a unique situation occurs where the spectacular mountain scenery that one normally only finds at high altitude, is as it were ‘brought down’ to sea level and then placed adjacent to a beautiful blue sea which in turn is patterned by ice bergs and ice floes. It is a unique and magical mix and when you add in the wildlife factors – whales and seals are frequent companions (see the images!) and penguins are everywhere, it does indeed provide a unique and indeed unbeatable combination. Day after day we were surrounded by majestic mountains and the most expansive glaciers disgorging into the sea.

It is equally difficult to describe the beauty of Antarctica  with words or the scale of the spectacular scenery with images but I hope you enjoy my images of the Antarctic Peninsula, and please allow me to bring these words to a close with one recommendation – if you have the opportunity and means then you should find a way to visit Antarctica yourself. I can assure you that you will not regret it.

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