A Woman in the Polar Night

Each time we have a group of Germans on board, and we enter or exit Woodfjord we pay particular attention to a small hut. In this cabin, the Austrian Christiane Ritter wintered in 1934-35, together with her husband and another trapper. The hut is built at a flat, barren, empty tundra area called Gråhuken (Grey Corner), but was probably located well for hunting Polar Bears. After her return, she wrote a book about her experiences, A Woman in the Polar Night. Apparently, this book is still quite popular in Germany, and many German guests know about it or have read it. So when we pass it, we always try to point it out to those interested. Not that easy, a tiny hut in a vast landscape. This season, for me for the first time, we finally landed there. After dinner, just a short visit to the hut to have a look and read a fragment of the book. As it was late in the season, the sun was almost setting, giving a beautiful warm light. Moments like this must have been very special to Christiane. I can imagine the dark period was more difficult in such a small hut…

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Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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