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Daily Archives: 29. March 2015 − News & Stories


Barents­burg, Coles­buk­ta

The trip to Barents­burg takes about 3 hours. We make use of the fine wea­ther by doing a bit of pho­to shoo­ting.

The times, they are a chan­gin’ … cle­ar­ly and visi­bly also here in Barents­burg, whe­re coal is still being mined, but the past has brought dif­fi­cul­ties and acci­dents in the mines and the future may be some­whe­re more sun­ny. Many of the hou­ses have got new fronts, ruins have been remo­ved. The­re is a new bre­wery with a restau­rant, and new, nice rooms in the hotel. A new hotel and a guest­house have been announ­ced. Barents­burg is attrac­ting curious visi­tors in num­bers alre­a­dy the­se days. Not only tou­rists who come with gui­ded tours, but also locals from Lon­gye­ar­by­en, who app­re­cia­te the oppor­tu­ni­ty of a short holi­day over the weekend. Food, rooms and ser­vice recei­ve regu­lar prai­se. The mining com­pa­ny Trust Ark­ti­ku­gol has alre­a­dy been cal­led Turist Ark­ti­ku­gol by the local Nor­we­gi­an news­pa­per Sval­bard­pos­ten …

We are also enjoy­ing lunch in Barents­burg. The­re is not too much time to look around today. We have a pho­to­gra­phic mis­si­on tog­e­ther with the group we are tra­ve­ling with, so we have to stick with their time sche­du­le. Some­thing that we usual­ly don’t have.

But then we are done with that mis­si­on and we can spend a long evening in Coles­buk­ta. Weird buil­dings of a Rus­si­an mining sett­le­ment aban­do­ned more than half a cen­tu­ry ago. To be pre­cise, this was the har­bour whe­re the coal was ship­ped that was mined in Gru­mant­by­en, ano­ther aban­do­ned place at the foot of a steep cliff fur­ther east, so they could not build a har­bour the­re. Inte­res­t­ing impres­si­ons in nice evening light. We stroll around, curious­ly inves­ti­ga­ting old buil­dings, mar­vel­ling at old, hea­vy machi­nery, geo­lo­gi­cal samples and silent wit­nesses of dai­ly life that was vibrant here until 1962. Pure pho­to­gra­phic plea­su­re! Glau­cous gulls are our com­pa­ny as we enjoy an end­less sun­set over Isfjord.

Click on thumb­nail to open an enlar­ged ver­si­on of the spe­ci­fic pho­to.

Mean­while, the wind has star­ted to pick up and it is time for the last leg of today’s trip, back to Lon­gye­ar­by­en. Visi­bi­li­ty is quite poor on the pass abo­ve the gla­cier Lon­gye­ar­breen, a good 700 m high, and alt­hough we are only fol­lo­wing well-known and fre­quent­ly tra­vel­led rou­tes, we are quite hap­py to be back in town soon. On the same evening, as we hear later, a young local snow mobi­le dri­ver recei­ves serious inju­ries as he dri­ves into a deep wind hole in the snow. It is so bad that, once he is found, he is imme­dia­te­ly evacua­ted to the uni­ver­si­ty hos­pi­tal in Trom­sø with the ambu­lan­ce place, whe­re the doc­tors have to put him into arti­fi­ci­al coma …

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