Fending off polar bears and freezing temperatures eclipse hunters flock North

Fending off polar bears and freezing temperatures eclipse hunters flock North
By Joanna Gill with Reuters
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Eclipse watchers are heading to the Faroe Islands and Svalbard, Norway which will be the only places to see the rare total solar eclipse, if the weather holds out.


Hotels and ferries have been booked for years in advance in the Faroe islands. With an expected 3,000 visitors for only 800 rooms, the town of Torshavn is full to the brim with eclipse hunters.

Nestled in the north sea between Iceland and Scotland, the Faroe Islands are one of the best places for astro tourists to catch a glimpse of Friday’s total solar eclipse.

That is, if they’ll get to see anything at all.

“There is a risk of not seeing anything just the shadow of the moon coming towards us from east to west at more than one-thousand kilometres per hour,” said Bernard Durand (70) from France, adding, “that might be the only thing we’ll see if it is as cloudy as it is today.”

Andy Keen, (49) from Britain, an aurora borealis hunter and eclipse enthusiast, is making sure he gets the best chance to catch the eclipse.

“There’s a 40 per cent chances of cloud cover tomorrow morning so we’re scouting out now the island to try and find the best location to photograph this amazing event,” he explained.

Over in Norway, eclipse hunters have become the hunted, as one Czech tourist was attacked by a polar bear, though he managed to fend off the animal escaping with minor injuries. Undeterred, the tourist said he would happily go out to the mountains again, and expected to be out of hospital in time to enjoy the eclipse.

Solar eclipse tourist mauled by polar bear in Svalbard tells @itvnews of terrifying ordeal http://t.co/qBZLnNW1xzpic.twitter.com/zqUQ5ztoWQ

— ITV News (@itvnews) March 19, 2015

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