10 Unexpected Things To See & Do in Antarctica
Antarctica is a magical place. I know what you're thinking: It's cold, white, windy, and way too cold. Did I mention cold.
Well, you're right.
There are so many more things to do here, like scuba dive, go see the emperor penguins, ice climb, etc. but here are a few cool things you may or may not know are there that you can go visit or do:
Run the Marathon
You'll notice alot more "dirt/mud" than you might think. It is the dead of summer here (and still dropped to 8 degrees F at night and about 24-30F during the day) but on the marathon course, we spent a good deal of time actually climbing through some really decent-sized snowbanks and trudging though deep snow. I ran it in snowboots instead of my trail shoes instead to keep my feet dry, even though I knew I would hurt later. I was running in Antarctica, what the hell could possibly complain about? The shoes were a mere inconvenience.
go to the penguin colony
Go Inside a Russian mini church
This tiny church is adorable. It's intricate, it's amazing inside. It sits atop the hill so there's a beautiful view of the icy bay below.
go iceberg hunting
The icebergs that float around fall off (calve) are stunningly blue and beautiful Take a dinghy and drive around (the seasonal guys that work on the bases will take you around. They are usually excited to see new people and are really friendly). Get up close to these beauties and take some cool pictures!
Visit Alec at the Russian gift shop
Prices are insanely high on their little chotchkies, and Alec, the guy who ran in to introduce himself and show us around the TINY room, he asked us if we brought Vodka. I kinda wished I had. But they have some cool stuff and a bunch of Russian and Antarctic stamps that you can use. I had fun with this.
Check Out the giant Chinese bell on the Science Base
See Veggies Growing at A Chilean greenhouse
It's amazing to see a near tropical environment on stilts where the scientists grow their own food. How cool is that?
Walk By the cargo plane that landed and could never fly again
Someday this plane may be able to leave, but for now, it's stays on the edge of the small cliff, getting wind blown and snowed on.
take a flight - It's the best flight you'll ever take!
The view is second to none...on a clear day. You can see icebergs and blue water and snow and mountains...it's otherworldly. Antarctic Airways will take you from Punta Arenas, Chile and it's about a 2 hour flight to nearest point of Antarctica where the plane can land. The catch? You never know if you will be able to land until you do. You could be within 10 minutes of landing and the weather gets bad...fast. But the pilots are so experienced and the flights are so smooth, they'll get you there safely.
Yes! You can camp! Now, it's windy (like really windy at night), very cold, and super awesome. Um, I camped on Antarctica! Suck it up, buttercup! NOTE: Cold is relative. I'm from LA. It was up to 8 degrees F at night.
There you have it! Have you been there? Do you WANT to go?