Finally we spot some of these iconic northern animals on our way up a hillside of Faksevågen, a fjord on the North-East side of Spitsbergen in the Hinlopen straight. A quick burst of pictures then the group is trying to get closer. As always the group is bigger than you would like and as always there are a few fellow travellers who cannot stop talking so these looks and these photos might be the last you can take. This type of group travel is quite difficult at times – in particular with or for photographers and I’m sure we get on some peoples’ nerves as well sometimes.
Nevertheless here are my top two favorite types of annoying photographing travellers:
- I only brought my mobile phone / shitty little camera so I’m just going to step in front of everybody else to take my pictures. And as I’m here already I might as well wander around a bit. As a bonus I will be featured in everybody’s photos.
- I need that perfect shot! So once I’m in front of that special flower the guide pointed out I’m here to stay! A bit closer for another shot and maybe a bit to the side for another. I shall not move away until the guide is calling the group to continue walking. I paid for this after all!
Where was I? Oh yes – on the hillside of Faksevågen.
We actually did get much closer to these beautiful reindeers today. We had small groups of animals on both sides of us, some males with impressive antlers, some mothers with teenage kids. I learned that the males loose their antlers every fall while the females actually grow theirs for the winter! This might increase their chances of finding food under the snow cover to get some extra portions when they are pregnant and it might also allow them to chase off males from these spots and from their young.
Which reminds me that it will be lunch time soon. Luckily there is always plenty of choice on the buffet of the ship so I don’t need antlers to get my share of food.
Here are a few more reindeer facts for you.