ARCTIC SURFERS RIDE GLACIAL WAVES
Unstad (Norway) (AFP) - "You come up from the ocean and you're just freaking cold," says Unn Holgersen, who surfs almost every day in the frigid waves off the coast of Norwegian islands above the Arctic Circle.
It's deep winter in this land of the spectacular Northern Lights, flashing green on the horizon, and the water is just four degrees Celsius (39 Fahrenheit).
"You have to put your feet in a bowl of hot water and you have to change really quickly," the 32-year-old veterinarian advises.
It may be cold and isolated, but Holgersen has chosen to live on the Lofoten islands because she is addicted to the thrill of winter surfing.
On its snow-covered beaches, she and other dedicated surfers brave the freezing weather -- outside air temperature is a chilly minus 15 Celsius -- and the ferocity of the ocean.
"I love the feeling," says one surfer after riding the waves.
That exhilaration is shared by all those who visit the tiny town of Unstad on the islands.
Among them are two students, Christina Kolbu and Solmoy Austbo, who travelled three days in a mini-van to reach the frosty shores.
They quickly change out of their hippy garb, put on thick winter wetsuits and grab their boards to head out into the waiting surf.Read More...