This completes our series of my travel blogs from my adventures around the world, and I believe I saved the best for last.
First of all, I think we need to talk about the size of Antarctica. At 5.4 million square miles, Antarctica is the world’s coldest, windiest and driest continent. It’s the most southerly continent as well, home to the South Pole. Although no country has colonised it yet, there are many research stations that are like little villages.
I have never seen such a beautiful shade of the colour blue. In some icebergs, there are blue cracks and crevices in the ice.. The colour is so beautiful set against the white. Blue also happens to be my favourite colour, and so I decided that the essence of the first Culem collection would be blue.
Extract from my book:
The continent of Antarctica has a magnificent beauty like nowhere else on the planet. It is the last continent, located at the bottom of the world, and it is a fantastic adventure just to get there. From Ushuaia, otherwise known as ‘al fin del mundo’ (‘the end of the world’) in Patagonia, Southern Argentina, I went on an a 9-day expedition cruise crossing the roughest sea in the world, the Drake Passage, until we reached the Antarctic Peninsula. After two days of life on the never ending ocean waves (which were up to 30 foot), I saw the serene beauty of Antarctica, and my first iceberg! Wow! And double wow! I could not believe I was there. It was but a dream and now a reality.
I didn’t see many humans apart from my fellow 90 passengers and researchers in different scientific base stations, but I saw hundreds of thousands of penguins. I love penguins. I watched them all the time and laughed constantly; in my opinion they are one of the funniest animals on the planet.
Of course, in Antarctica there is ice everywhere. Icebergs are beautiful, especially the ones that look like gigantic white modern sculptures floating in the tranquil waters of the so-called ‘iceberg graveyard’ en route south to Petermann Island. It was a magical vision to behold. Take me back there now!
One day one of our expedition leaders asked me if I would mind carrying a large piece of 3,000-year-old ice to the cruise ship bar for all of the passengers to enjoy in a drink. Of course, I said yes! It was incredible to think that I was carrying something so old. It was only ice, but it seemed precious and made me think about the importance of time.
Another day, I was the only passenger standing on the top deck of the ship and I was staring down into the mysterious grey waters around Danco Island, surrounded by ice everywhere, and I felt a strange sensation that the water was looking back at me. I actually wrote in my journal at the time that it felt like Antarctica knew everything about me. This may sound strange, and it was! Sometimes we cannot explain the meaning of our experiences, but this extraordinary feeling has given a lot of meaning to my life and it emphasised to me the power of our planet.
For years I dreamt of going to Antarctica, but I didn’t know if it was possible to go there, and I had never met anyone who had ever been. Luckily, it was easier than I thought! It was one of the best and most memorable trips of my life. I will definitely return to the Drake Passage and Antarctica for a longer expedition, because I need to see that magnificent, intoxicating beauty once again. I hope that you get to see it too in your lifetime!
End of extract
Antarctica is a magical place and I have never been anywhere more beautiful. Maybe after doing the Antarctica collection, a group of Culem collectors and I can go on a journey to Antarctica together.
I’m thinking about planning journeys for Culem collectors that love to travel, after I release each collection. For example after the Europe collection I will arrange a European trip. I have lots of ideas - how does it sound to you? Do you want to be part of the Culem community?