Dermott took a two-hour flight from Oslo, Norway's capital, to the little town of Kirkenes with a population of just 3300.
Kirkenes is in the extreme north of Norway and offers many experiences. Mountains, fjords, forests, lakes, the northern lights and the midnight sun.
Dermott admits to not being much of a fisherman, but for this very unusual story, he put that behind him and headed by boat 25 kilometres east to the Jarfiorden. He was on a Bentours expedition to see if he could land one of the red king crabs crawling over the bottom of the fjord.
The trip is interesting as you travel alongside the Russian border and make a brief stop at the Storskog border station. Warm clothing is provided and depending on the season, snowmobiles are used on the fjord ice or a boat. You could see reindeer, white-tailed sea eagles and seals.
King crabs can measure two metres between the claws and weigh around 15 kilograms! One snap of a claw can cause you losing one of yours! It is said to be one of the most outstanding and impressive crab meats there is. The white leg and claw meat is particularly juicy and sweetish. The meat's open structure allows it to take on other ingredients and seasonings, but connoisseurs prefer it au natural. One leg is sufficient for a man's meal.
The crabs were deliberately introduced to the Barents Sea in the 1960s by Soviet scientists and it's the only place in the world to find them. The species is now in abundance and increasing.
Dermott took the lead from a specially trained diver who knew just where and how to catch them. The surrounding waters were below zero and air temperature around minus 14 degrees celsius. It's the best time to bag a few of the crabs, as in summer they live around 500 metres below the surface.
Divers take you out through the mist in a boat and cut through the ice to make a hole and dive in to catch the crabs. Dermott donned the appropriate garb and joined the diver and while nothing could keep the freezing feeling out, he described it as being kind of cool, and he was describing the experience, not the water temperature!
It was all worthwhile when their catch was served with a simple homemade dressing.
Bentours offers many exciting adventures. Check them out on www.bentours.com.au.
The far east of Norway.
Bentours Winter Lapland: Ultimate Arctic Adventure seven-day tours from Ivalo cost $2478 per person twin share. Five nights in four-star hotels, one night in a Glass Igloo, daily breakfast and one dinner, coach touring, tour escort, transfers, Sampo Ice Breaker cruise and a visit to Santa's Village are included. 2012 tours are scheduled for departure on January 15, February 12, March 11 and April 1. King Crab 10-hour safaris are $495 per person.
Emirates has flights to Prague and 26 other European destinations, via Dubai, with connections to Norway. They depart Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. For an exclusive Getaway viewer's discount, log on to www.emirates.com/getaway.
Prices correct at September 10, 2011.
For further information
Ph: 1300 303 777
1/7-9 Kent Road
Ph: 1800 221 712
Fax: 02 9700 7447
Visa: A valid passport but no visa is required.
Electricity: 230 volts 50hz using round plugs with two round pins.
Time zone: GMT +1 hour.
Telephone code: +47.
It is recommended travellers see their doctor at least six weeks before departure as there may be specific vaccinations recommended for areas you will be visiting. Other health precautions and preventions may also be recommended. For further information log on to www.smartraveller.gov.au and www.welltogo.com.au.