Land of the Midnight Sun: My Arctic Adventures Land of the Midnight Sun: My Arctic Adventures by Alexander Armstrong
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Arctic lands and ocean that sit on top of our world are harsh and unforgiving in the summer. One mistake can literally cost you your life, so unless you really know what you are doing, it is not best advised to visit in the winter. Alexander Armstrong obviously missed this piece of advice, because he is persuaded that this is going to be the optimum time to visit, in particular, if he wants to witness the end of the winter night and see the sun rise over the frozen north. But before he goes he needs to learn about Arctic survival. This is done in the most British of ways; learning from an ex-marine, in a conference room with tea and biscuits, yes biscuits.

Dusting the crumbs off and suitably equipped for his cold trip into the Arctic, Alexander heads to Scandinavia to see the sun rise for the first time is quite a while. His journey will take him around the some of the countries around the Arctic ocean. After a night in the famous Ice Hotel, he travels to Iceland where he is humiliated by a Viking style wrestler called Eva, with have a few heart stopping moments with the ice truckers as they trek back and forth along frozen rivers delivering the items that people need to survive. Foolishly he decided to try ice swimming where the water is a tropical -1 deg C, but made a better choice with pools that are warmed by the geological faults. He sees sights that will stay with him for the rest of his life and meets people who are generous with their time and hospitality.

Alexander throws himself into the various activities that they have chosen for him, which makes for entertaining reading (and viewing too). This is not a landmark book in travel writing, rather a reasonable tie-in to the TV series. It is written with Alexander’s subtle humour and wit, with the odd laugh out loud moment and it is a light hearted and easy read.

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