saving the world in the dark

Franz Josef Travel Blog

 › entry 13 of 56 › view all entries
the Franz Josef glacier from below

At 3 I set off in smelly wet boots to climb the Franz Josef glacier. After tramping through the woods for a short while we came to a clearing of A LOT of rocks and up in front is the intimidating glacier. Maori legend tells is that the glacier formed from the tears shed by a Maori woman (forgot her name) who cried over the death of her lover (forgot his name as well). It was far dirtier than I imagined...a little like the after a snow in NYC. But still amazing in its own right. Sandwhiched between two mountains the top layer was covered in a light dusting of dirt, but as you got higher and could look down into the ice it was an amazing freezing blue. Walking up you have to stomp your feet into the ice for the picks on the bottom of the boots to hold.

probably about halfway up the glacier
My legs were so sore after, but it was well worth it. Coming down you have to sandwhich between to walls of ice just thick enough for you to fit through side ways...it's so surreal. I think the walk took about 3 hours total and the higher you got the colder it got. You really do walk up into the clouds. Down on the ground it was beautiful and sunny, at the bottom of the glacier it was drizzling, but up top just grey and cloudy.

Back at the hostel they celebrated "earth hour" by cutting the power off from 8:30-9:30 and had a FREE vegetarian BBQ by candle light. How romantic. Afterwards we played an "eco-quiz." Me and two other girls from London were on a team. I sure as hell know NOTHING about our impact on the world...the questions were so hard.

and the trek continues
..like statistics on the effects of landfills, CO2 emissions (I put the US down as having the highest), how much energy certain things use up...  I have a lot to learn.

Speaking of learning... I realize how ignorant of foreign policies and governments I am. Sometimes at the end of conversations with people from all over the world I realize I was just talking to them about the US government (it usually starts with an apology) as if I was talking to another American and they could absolutely follow the conversation and interject with rational well-informed comments. And if the situation were reversed I would be absolutely stumped. Queen who? The girls I met from CA and I were talking to this guy from Holland about health care. Everyone from civilized countries finds it fascinating that we don't have comprehensive, universal healthcare... AND that school is so ridiculously expensive. I feel jealous a lot. Makes me feel even more than going to grad school internationally is the way to go... it would cost just as much to be an international student as to go to school at home...but it would sure make it easier to move from the US... It would be awesome to go to school in "OZ" and then live/work in London...dream come true! I'm working on it. I need to educate myself so much more... So many people know about the US and I have no idea about anyone else... I am a true American, how sad.

djc81 says:
Kool photo's :-)
Posted on: Aug 13, 2009
marksreynolds says:
I too had no idea how screwed up our health care and school system was until I met my wife and spent some time in Sweden. Seems like most of the rest of the world definitely has their shit together!
Posted on: Jun 10, 2009
talllady6 says:
We from the American culture truly do have bags over our heads. How fortunate to open your life and your mind to travel and find out how ignorant we truly are. Good news is, as far as we know, you've got time to educate yourself properly. I'm so moved to hear you say these thoughts!
Posted on: Apr 01, 2009
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
the Franz Josef glacier from below
the Franz Josef glacier from below
probably about halfway up the glac…
probably about halfway up the gla…
and the trek continues
and the trek continues
foggy franz
foggy franz
the Fox glacier, just a bit south …
the Fox glacier, just a bit south…
Fox glacier
Fox glacier
fox glacier
fox glacier
Fox glacier
Fox glacier
a cow eating! just incase you didn…
a cow eating! just incase you did…
Fox glacier
Fox glacier
Franz Josef
photo by: Vikram