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Michael Lampert's picture

We spent the day getting hardware supplies and groceries for a month. Preparation for a trip is one of Mark's expert skills because he is field camp instructor. He is very precise about all his work and has thought out the details on a day to day basis. Mark had a long to-do list. So it was one check-off after another. First on the list was picking up the van, a Mercedes diesel (automatic) with a bench seat in the front and all cargo space in the back. We will drive down to Glomfjord on Friday to load the helicopter and lift the supplies to the tunnel entrance on the glacier. The plan is to leave the van there and start the glacier work then.

The Mercedes rental vanEnough room in this diesel for three up front and cargo only in the back.

I enjoy a Calvin and Hobbes (I think), it is in Norwegian and is titled Tommy and Tiger. If you study the words long enough you can kind of figure out what is said because many words have Latin or Germanic roots.

Tommy and TigerA Norwegian Calvin and Hobbs.

Our next stop is the hardware store, a rather clean looking store on the east side of town. We need a steel cable to replace the one that broke when a boulder fell on it. This hardware store sends us to another which has the cable but not the eyelets.. so we will hope they can get them to Glomfjord when we leave. The cables are cut from a large roll and then heat treated at the ends to prevent unraveling. Much of the cables are used on the sailing ships to rig the masts.

Mark negotiating a wire cableVery helpful service at this hardware store, people are genuinely interested in helping out and getting exactly what Mark needs.

A few more more items on the list and then the dreaded grocery shopping.... There is a large Walmart type store North of town, they have everything. I am given the list of canned goods and bread... it does not take long to fill a cart with forty Wasa bread packages and 32 loaves of bread... the bread here by the way is so good that I have no idea why no one has market this in the US, it just feels healthy eating it. We take over two hours to shop and check out. A rather spoiled and easy venture. I am sure the great Norwegian Polar explorer Roald Amundsen would laugh out load. He planned year long expeditions through the Polar passage, the North Pole and the South Pole. Each of these were incredible journeys, his race to the South Pole is legendary for its excellent planning. It is very different then Captain Scott who had to walk back from the South Pole from a lack of proper equipment. Scott never made it back, his journal accounts are stunning in there simplicity and disciplined emotion, I highly recommend them to read.

A typical Walmart type of store in NorwayLots of orange soda is sold over here, not sure why it is so popular.

One loaded cart 40 Wasa breads, 32 loaves of bread, some 100 cans of food and the list goes on.

The prices of things here are outrageous. They do not use the Euro here, instead everything is the Kroner. It is roughly five Kroner to a dollar, so a 50 Kroner bill is like holding onto a ten dollar bill. Look at the price of condensed milk (see if you can figure out any latin roots), and look at the price of one liter of gas. There are about four liters to a gallon, you might figure out the price per gallon as this is likely our future in the US, although even at this price we cannot stop our dependency on fossil fuels, an addictive behavior leading to global climate change, the whole reason to study the movement of these glaciers.

Condensed Milk priceAbout five Kroner make a dollar.

Gas Prices in NorwayThis is per liter of petrol in Kroner. Much more expensive than in the states.