My curiosity to the remote places on this globe brought me to Spitsbergen (Svalbard) last September. Mountains, ice, wildlife of the polar region and vegetation no higher than knee level (and I’m not that tall), I was looking forward to two weeks of wide landscapes and sailing around the fjords of Spitsbergen in this desolated land.
Welcome to Spitsbergen. The first glacier to be seen from (the right side!) of the plane.
With a bit more than 2000 inhabitants, Longyearbyen is different… Although everything you need is available, staying there, especially during the long polar nights in winter, requires a special kind of character; a tough one. Even if you would want to live there all your life, you can’t; no one is allowed to be born here or to die there. The latter has to do with moving soil caused by melting permafrost.
The capital of Spitsbergen
The recent history of Longyearbean is everywhere, the area used to be a coal mine company town. Due to coal not being profitable, all remains of the mining activities are now cultural heritage.
Even our hostel Gjestehuset 102 used to be a cabin for coal miners.
I guess you haven’t really been in Longyearbean, if you did not take a walk to the edge of the town to take a photo of this sign.
Or a selfie…
And last but not least for this blogpost; the local wildlife.
More photos of my trip to Spitsbergen can be found with this link http://bit.ly/2xwxhcx
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