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Home* News and Stories → Dark sea­son in Lon­gye­ar­by­en: cul­tu­re, polar bears, storm and icy adven­tures

Dark sea­son in Lon­gye­ar­by­en: cul­tu­re, polar bears, storm and icy adven­tures

The dark sea­son (polar night) began in Spits­ber­gen more than a mon­ths ago. Last sunday, the Advent sea­son was ope­ned fol­lowing good tra­di­ti­on: the child­ren went to the post­box under mine 3 (near Nyby­en, the “father Christ­mas mine”) and left let­ters with their Christ­mas wis­hes. Then the ligh­t­ing on the Christ­mas tree in Lon­gye­ar­by­en cen­trum was tur­ned on, of cour­se accom­pa­nied with a hap­py litt­le cere­mo­ny whe­re many peop­le join.

Christmas tree, Longyearbyen

The Christ­mas tree Lon­gye­ar­by­en.

The dark sea­son is tra­di­tio­nal­ly often a calm peri­od – final­ly, you have some time to enjoy cul­tu­re, such as the “Kunst­pau­se” with various events wit­hin arts and lite­ra­tu­re over a cou­p­le of days in Lon­gye­ar­by­en.

Kunstpause: Literatur in Longyearbyen

Lite­ra­tu­re event in the old coal cable­way sta­ti­on in Lon­gye­ar­by­en as part of the Kunst­pau­se:
Elke Mor­g­ner reads in Ger­man and Nor­we­gi­an from “The Ter­rors of Ice and Darkness” by Chris­toph Rans­mayr.

The Polish sta­ti­on in Horn­sund had a rather aggres­si­ve polar bear around for a while. Des­pi­te of various attempts with noi­se etc., the bear just did not want to lea­ve. It actual­ly atta­cked a dog that was so severely inju­red that it had to be eutha­nis­ed later. Altog­e­ther obvious­ly a pret­ty tough expe­ri­ence for the Horn­sund crew.

Yes­ter­day (05 Decem­ber) a win­ter storm moved through Spits­ber­gen, brin­ging days of poor wea­ther with a lot of wind and rain also to main­land Nor­way. The­re was enough snow and wind in Lon­gye­ar­by­en to make houses shake and push the avalan­che warnings up the sca­le. But not­hing worth men­tio­ning hap­pen­ed in the end. Win­ter wea­ther.

The adven­tu­rers Bør­ge Ous­land and Mike Horn are about to return from an expe­di­ti­on of several mon­ths across the sea ice in the Arc­tic Oce­an. The have achie­ved a posi­ti­on north of Spits­ber­gen whe­re they are about to be picked up soon, accord­ing to the plan. The expe­di­ti­on sai­ling boat that had drop­ped them off north of Rus­sia does not seem to be invol­ved in the pick­up, but the Lan­ce is in the area to get Ous­land and Horn on board – they are keen on the term “res­cue” NOT to be used. Well. Any­way, the Sysselmannen’s heli­co­p­ter is always rea­dy when it is nee­ded. The adven­tu­rers can be sure to recei­ve a lot of public atten­ti­on, not the least in the local news­pa­per Sval­bard­pos­ten which has cove­r­ed the sto­ry alrea­dy a cou­p­le of times.

It is most­ly office sea­son in the spitsbergen-svalbard.com publi­shing house. What I am doing the­se days while I am not tra­vel­ling? Well, last week I had my annu­al short run of public pre­sen­ta­ti­ons, which was good fun – thanks to all who came!

The­re is often the ques­ti­on why I don’t publish my books, at least the Spits­ber­gen gui­de­books, as ebooks. Well, this is actual­ly an idea that I have been going around with for several years now. And I have alrea­dy spent qui­te some time with the tech­ni­ca­li­ties that are con­nec­ted to such a pro­ject. It does requi­re some work and know-how if you want it to be good in the end, and obvious­ly, not­hing else would be accep­ta­ble. I am not going to bother you with any fur­ther tech­ni­cal details. Just one: if you want to publish an ebook on the lar­ge plat­forms, some­thing that is cri­ti­cal for any such pro­ject, then you need a US tax num­ber. In theo­ry that should not be too much of a pro­blem. In rea­li­ty, I just got my second app­li­ca­ti­on tur­ned down, altough I even had a spe­cia­li­sed lawy­er to help me. That is also a way to was­te time, money and moti­va­ti­on …

So I rather spent some time to deve­lop ano­t­her cou­p­le of polar pan­ora­mas. Start here if you want to dis­co­ver some new pla­ces in Sval­bard:

  • Andrée­ne­set on Kvi­tøya. The place beca­me famous when the remains of the Andrée expe­di­ti­on were found the­re in 1930. In 2018, I final­ly mana­ged to shoot a pan­ora­ma here. It is not a place whe­re you get too often, and then the­re is usual­ly a polar bear han­ging out the­re some­whe­re …
  • Brat­lie­kol­len and Irgensfjel­let on Blom­strand­hal­vøya. Gre­at views over Kongsfjord!
  • Seli­ger­breen (next to Mona­co­breen) in Lief­defjord. New land “thanks” to retrea­ting gla­ciers and thus due to cli­ma­te chan­ge.
  • Ham­burg­buk­ta on the nort­hern west coast. A beau­ti­ful bay and obvious­ly not unknown to the ear­ly wha­lers.
  • Kve­dfjor­dbuk­ta south of Ham­burg­buk­ta. A rare­ly visi­ted but beau­ti­ful part of Spitsbergen’s west coast.
  • Dun­øya­ne and Isøya­ne are litt­le arc­tic para­di­se islands on Spitsbergen’s west coast, north of Horn­sund .
  • Die­sets­let­ta is a lovely, wide-open coas­tal plain north of Kongsfjord. It takes a bit of luck with the wea­ther to get to such pla­ces.
  • Have a look at Fin­nes­et if you are inte­res­ted in the histo­ry of Spits­ber­gen. This place had a wha­ling sta­ti­on and Spitsbergen’s first wha­ling sta­ti­on in the ear­ly 20th cen­tu­ry.
  • Some more histo­ry, this time from dar­ker peri­ods: the wreck of a Ger­man figh­ter pla­ne at Kapp Bort­hen.
  • Does anyo­ne feels like joi­ning me on a long tour with gre­at views of arc­tic win­ter land­s­capes on the moun­tain Ope­raf­jel­let?
Panorama Isøyane

Pan­ora­ma (Screen­shot) of Nord­re Isøya, on the west coast north of Horn­sund. Click here to find the real pan­ora­ma that you can turn around.

And the­re is of cour­se alway work going on with new books, updates of exis­ting books, trans­la­ti­ons and so on.

Soon I will have more Lon­gye­ar­by­en kit­chen slats and Spits­ber­gen drift­wood pic­tu­re frames in the online shop! It does take some time for things to arri­ve, espe­cial­ly stuff that does not fit easi­ly in the pocket … the new pic­tu­re frames are not yet avail­ab­le in the shop, but they will soon be the­re.

Longyearbyen kitchen slat

What is the bear­ded seal doing in Lon­gye­ar­by­en? 🙂

By the way, my new book is in print and it can now be orde­red 🙂 it is a pho­to book with the tit­le “Nor­we­gens ark­ti­scher Nor­den (1): Spitz­ber­gen – vom Polar­licht bis zur Mit­ter­nachts­son­ne”, with Ger­man text Click here for fur­ther details!

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last modification: 2019-12-07 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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