"Longyearbyen, the smallest and northermost capital" Top 5 Page for this destination Longyearbyen by global_explorer

Longyearbyen Travel Guide: 87 reviews and 176 photos

Svalbard is probably one of the easiest places to reach in the arctic region. There is daily plains from the norwegian capital Oslo, and Tromso, the capital of Troms county in the north. In summertime it may be possible to get a lift with expeditionboats or coaltransportships, but donęt count on it. Also the retired coastal express ship Nordstjernen runs cruises to Svalbard in the summer. (For detailed and updated travelinfo i recomend www.svalbard.com, or www.svalbard.net. Those are written in norwegian and english-just press the british flag). Many call Norway a part of Norway, it is right and wrong at the same time. The svalbardtreaty gave Norway the overall command of the islands, but all countries who signed the treaty are entiteled to the same rights when it comes to buissness. If a russian company want to start something, and a norwegian wants to do the same ting, and both fills the requirements there is no rule who say that the norwegian company get the premisson.
I came here in the middle of march. It is still winter, but the sun has returned and the temperatures are comfortable. The fiordice was about to break up. I stayed in an old minersbarrack, now transformed into the towns cheapest yet more than decent hotel in the upper part of the settlement. Longyearbyen is the capital of the islands, and a mining town. Coalmining is the big buissness here, together with the tourism who has grown big. Earlier days it was nothing set up for outside visitors. This place was a companytown, run by ęstore norske Spitsbergen kulkompanię. The old comunityhouse, the miners barracks, the officebuildings and recidences of the clercs and bosses are still in use. In addition there is modern familyhouses, shops, eatingplaces, a small museum, library, swimingpool are added. There is a coalfueled powerplant and a small university where it is all about arctic science. Now this is a modern comunity in all ways. But its waterpipes and sewagesystems are above the ground, not buried. The reason is the permafrost. The town is named after its founder, John. M. Longyear, an american who started the very first miningoperations there.
From Longyearbyen, it is possible to take short or long trips by dogsledges, skiing or snowmobile. In summertime there is hiking and boattrips to other parts of the islands. It is also nice to hike around Longyear itself, but donęt forget to rent a rifle for polarbearprotection. They can be encountered everywhere and they regard us as prey. I must in shame admit that i havenęt seen a lot of Svalbard. I only spendt a week in the Longyear area just as a little recreation. But i have some small things to share with you.

  • Intro Written May 29, 2004
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