By Daniel de la Calle
This week marked the 100th Anniversary of Amundsen’s expedition to the South Pole. On December 14th Norwegians around the world commemorated the significant date in various ways and followed through the media the last few miles of a 57 day journey that has followed the famous 1911 route. If this is news to you, please read more on the SOUTH POLE 1911-2011 expedition HERE.
This is a photograph of a signed picture of the man himself, Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen. I took it at a library in Tromsø, not far I guess from where he disappeared and died back in 1928.
Various other countries have planned similar events. For example, a Spanish expedition will begin crossing the whole Antarctic continent this month, passing through the Pole, using only the force of the wind:
HERE is more info on the Acciona Antartica project.
It is not my intent here to sum up loads of information about this partially unknown continent, about the people that have visited it through the years and the scientific research some of them are carrying out inside containers, covered in ice. While browsing the internet it is clear that Antarctica is a source of inspiration for musicians (see below), filmmakers, writers, scientists, adventurers and dreamers. Just its name is deeply evocative. These few lines just want to serve as small tribute to the ultimate conquest of remoteness and the COLD within the surface of the planet, to victorious achievers, such as Amundsen, and brave losers like Scott. The defeated might not be so well remembered, but there is something even more romantic, idealistic and yet real in not quite making it.
I would like to make just one recommendation, though. If you have never heard about Lake Vostok please take the time to watch the following documentary on one of the largest lakes in the world; it happens to be under 11,000 feet of ice.
Plus two “Antarctica” songs for the upcoming holidays: