This isn’t the Russia you’ve heard about on cable news. You can't fake the beauty of this place a few hundred miles fr om the North Pole. I watched as the rays of the midnight sun caught a giant white bear curled up on an ice floe. A tiny fur ball playfully licked its mom’s snout. The mother bear, waking up grumpy, splashed into the frigid water as the 297-foot ship on which I was a passenger zigzagged through the Barents Sea.
This is Franz Josef Land, the northernmost point in Russia where neither people nor politics exists. Besides the handful of park rangers stationed on these islands, you’ll find no permanent inhabitants and few structures. This is true wilderness.
I was aboard Poseidon Expeditions’ 114-passenger Sea Spirit for 15 days in the high Arctic, a place I’ve long been curious about. As I stared at a gray sky that seemed to melt into an equally opaque sea, I saw all manner of floating ice forms that looked like sculptures calved from ancient glaciers. Read more on www.latimes.com