polar bear mama and cub checking out its reflection

Travel Photo Challenge Day 7 – The Arctic

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I’ve been nominated by some fellow bloggers, Tony and Margie with Back Roads and Other Stories as well as Jyothi with Travel Explore Enjoy, to post one favorite travel picture a day for ten days without explanation, then to nominate someone else to participate.  That’s 10 days, 10 travel pictures, and 10 nominations.  It is my understanding that the idea behind the challenge is to expose audiences to new bloggers and vice versa.  I’m always up for helping fellow bloggers, so I have accepted the challenge. 

That said, my rule following self is going to follow Tony and Margie’s lead and break a handful of them.  First, while a picture paints a 1,000 words, I’m incapable of posting a photo without some explanation.  Sometimes the story makes the image that much more special.  Second, though not specified, I think the intent is to post 10 days in a row.  I’ll be lucky if I post 10 weeks in a row. I also may post more than one photo at times.

Almost five years ago, I took an expedition cruise to the Arctic.  We circumnavigated Svalbard, an archipelago owned by Norway.  During the expedition, we took zodiac cruises, hiked near historical relics, kayaked around exploding icebergs and watched avalanches, admired nesting birds in steep cliffs, delighted in magnificent glacier scenery, and of course looked for wildlife.  We spotted Arctic fox, reindeer, walruses, seals, a blue whale, and polar bears.

Polar Bears

We had many amazing experiences, but of course, being woken up in the middle of the night to see a mama bear and her cub by our ship was spectacular.  Still light, as the sun doesn’t set that far north in the summer, we stood on the deck watching the bear activity.

The mama rested and stretched as the cub played with pieces of ice and studied its reflection in the placid water.  They away briefly when a male entered the territory, but when the mama realized she was bigger than the young male, they returned.

polar bear cub checking out its reflection

The young cub swam after some birds and spun in circles when the mama finally came and retrieved it.  We enjoyed some other polar bear sightings as well, but the mama and cub were the most special.

Since my fellow blogger Travelling Han writes mostly about travel places on the other side of the pond from me, I’m nominating Hannah for the travel photo challenge. ETB


Check out the photographic note cards and key chains at my shop.  Each card has a travel story associated with it.  20% of proceeds are donated to charity.

photographic note card, iceberg in Antarctica
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Beth Bankhead

Former public finance professional turned award winning travel blogger and photographer sharing the earth's beauty one word and image at a time.

5 thoughts on “Travel Photo Challenge Day 7 – The Arctic

    1. Part of me felt like I should have included at least 10 photos because the glaciers were so pretty. But trying to keep it close to 1 when I can. I suppose people can see more beauty with the links if they want!

    1. The Arctic Seas are much better than the Drake Passage. Flying into Svalbard means there are no crossings. And I think they are starting flights to Antarctica to skip the Drake Passage so those seas wouldn’t be bad either. You can do it!

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