Unless you are a polar bear (or an upside-down penguin), there is really no reason to go the Arctic Circle. “What is there?” my friends asked, because that is what you are supposed to ask. I didn’t have a reason.
I want to see the midnight of midsommar in the middle of the Arctic Ocean. I wanted to be in a place more northerer than Barrow, Alaska. “Northerer” is actually a word in Svalbard, because they speak walrus there. You may know that walrus are apt to use words like northerer. They say the Eskimos have a hundred words for snow (which is not exactly unique, but it sounds good), and the walruses have many for “north”. They don’t even have a word for south. If you don’t believe me, try to get a walrus to say “south.” You will fail.
I tried to show someone where Svalbard was on a map of Europe, but it wasn’t there. Thankfully, there is a globe in my office. To see Svalbard, you need to take a godlike perspective, from above the earth.
I have read about Svalbard now. They have an art museum. The northernmost in the world. And the world’s northernmost Thai restaurant. I will fly on the northernmost 737 to the northernmost commercial airport. I will take the northernmost taxi. I will eat at the northernmost Thai restaurant. Maybe I will interview a walrus. And I will tell you about the North.