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Daily Archives: 24. March 2015 − News & Stories


Breinosa & Hiorthhamn

You don’t have to go far away. Light and scenery, great views and some wildlife – it is all here, close to or even within Longyearbyen. No polar bears or walrusses, but those enduring winter dwellers who can’t escape: reindeer and ptarmigan. The latter are well camouflaged also in winter, with their white plumage, so you almost can’t see them in the snow when they put the head down to pick some seeds from the frozen tundra, which is exposed where the snow has been removed by reindeer on their eternal search for food. So great to watch this ever-lasting fight for survival in the arctic without being part of it.

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Hiorthhamn, just opposite Longyearbyen, has one of Spitsbergen’s most impressive bits of historical heritage: the old coal shipping crane from the early 20th century years of mining. Young ice floes are gently scratching the icy shore while the setting sun casts a blood-red light over the mountains on the north side of Isfjord. It is late afternoon, not even evening, but it is just over 2 weeks ago that the first sunrays in Longyearbyen were received with celebration after the polar night. Now the light is coming back quickly.

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