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Find your island

Yoga has been „my island“ for a long time. It’s where I find to myself, take the time to work with my body and leave my mind behind.

Today, after a long yoga break I had this moment. At the beginning of the lesson, I closed my eyes and was completely inside myself. Yes, yes it sounds strange, and it was. I felt the time suddenly stopped running and I got calm, something I had not felt in a long time.

A not to the future myself, please go to yoga regularly!

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Kingscreek

Kingscreek makes handmade water colour paint boxes out of recycled French oak wine barrels. The boxes are beautiful and have the perfect size for travelling.

When I first saw these cases, I knew immediately that I wanted one. I bought the Sketcher’s Case and am very happy with my choice. Looking forward to my next travels.

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Platåfjellet

Today is our last day in Longyearbyen, well actually the last three weeks have been one long day. The sun does not set here at this time of the year.

We’ve had blue sky and sun the whole day. We hiked to Platåfjellet and back to Longyearbyen via Tverrdalen.

Thank you Svalbard for a wonderful time. I want to come back!

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Boat trip, glacier and Pyramiden

Last Sunday we went on a boat trip to see wild life, a glacier and the ghost town Pyramiden. We saw birds, reindeer, polar foxes, unfortunately now polar bear.

Pyramiden is a coal mining Russian settlement on Svalbard that was abandoned in 1998. 10 years later they came back and tourists can visit the town. Pyramiden is now inhabited by 12 people in summer and 2 in winter.

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Bird cliffs

Yesterday, we went to a bird cliff, where we will put up a few sites to collect leaves for measuring traits, carbon flux and hopefully fly with drones. The bird cliffs, or the area below the cliffs are nutrient rich because of the bird droppings. We want to compare the plants growing under the bird cliffs to control plots that are not under a bird cliff.

So, far we do not see a large change in species composition, but the plants by the bird cliff were taller.

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Longyearbyen, Svalbard

We arrived at 3 am in Longyearbyen this morning. It was difficult to tell if it was day or night. It’s always light at this time of the year. We are here to teach a plant functional trait course, the same we did in China and Peru. It’s the first time for me to be in the arctic, and it is exciting, a bit grey, cold and windy.

Today, we first went to UNIS (the university in Longyearbyen) to organize a few practical detail for the course next week. And then we had a look at the ITEX site in Endalen. There is not much vegetation, but if you look closer there is a diverse plant community growing in these challenging conditions. I’m looking forward to see more places and look more closely at the plants, vegetation and traits.

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Trolltunga

The weather in southern Norway has been great lately, a never ending summer it seems. So, I decided to visit Trolltunga last Friday. I took my tent, some food and started to walk… with a  million other people. It’s a long, but very nice walk if you do not want to be alone in the mountains.

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Handmade knife

„Life with metal and fire“ is the moto of the blacksmith Lampert-Guarda. They are situated in the Eastern Swiss Alps, in a small village in the Engadin.

One of their products are beautiful handmade knifes. I recently bought a ham knife, with a 12cm blade and a wooden handle.

The knife was delivered in a black box on a alpine meadow bed :-)