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Home* Triplogs with photo galleriesArctic blog: Jan Mayen, Spitsbergen → Walk in the forest near Pyra­mi­den

Walk in the forest near Pyra­mi­den

Back to Spitsbergen’s beau­ti­ful aspects, which seem even remo­ter this year. It took several attempts to get to Pyra­mi­den this time. In Spits­ber­gen, ever­ything – well, almost – depends on the wea­ther. The trip to Pyra­mi­den by boat is more than 50 kilo­me­tres, and our boat wasn’t exact­ly Anti­gua or anything big­ger. So, the wea­ther should be ok. But we got our chan­ce and arri­ved in Bill­efjord after a lunch break in Skans­buk­ta.

Pyra­mi­den

In Pyra­mi­den, we could rely on a friend­ly wel­co­me at Hotel Tuli­pan. A lot has hap­pen­ed the­re in recent years, the stan­dard is impro­ved – the bar is lovely and the food is good. The old, Soviet-style rooms are not avail­ab­le any­mo­re, to my per­so­nal reg­ret, but I guess that’s the walk of time. Some life has also retur­ned to the Cul­tu­re House. And they keep working here and the­re.

Pyramiden: Canteen

Things are hap­pe­ning in Pyra­mi­den. Here, the old can­te­en is being reno­va­ted.

The devo­ni­an forest in Mun­inda­len

But we wan­ted a walk in the forest. Well, in the Pyra­mi­den area, you can not walk in a forest, but you can actual­ly walk to a forest. In Mun­inda­len, to be more accu­ra­te. This forest grew in the Devo­ni­an, more than 350 mil­li­on years ago, pro­bab­ly in a river plain. Then, the trees were buried by sand and mud during a flood … and they beca­me fos­si­li­sed. Just as they were, in a ver­ti­cal posi­ti­on, or “in situ”, as geo­lo­gists say. One of the oldest forests in the world.

Tree fossil, Devonian, Munindalen

Imprint of a fos­si­li­sed tree in Devo­ni­an rocks, Mun­inda­len.

The­re were no trees befo­re the Devo­ni­an. (And if you hap­pen to find simi­lar fos­sils in Pyra­mi­den its­elf: they date to the Car­bo­ni­fe­rous, just as the coal, so they are a good bit youn­ger than the Devo­ni­an trees in Mun­inda­len). So it is worth get­ting wet and very cold feet as you have to step into the icy meltwa­ter river becau­se the out­crop is a litt­le rock­wall right next to it (or just bring your rub­ber boots, which we for­got …).

Pyramiden: Mimerdalen, horses

Even the rein­de­er were big­ger than else­whe­re in Pyra­mi­den back then 😉
Serious­ly: they had hor­ses.

Then, the fog came and sett­led in for several days, cut­ting Spits­ber­gen phy­si­call off from the out­side world (pla­nes don’t land in Lon­gye­ar­by­en in den­se fog). I spent most of the time on the return trip to Lon­gye­ar­by­en hol­ding on to the GPS 🙂

If you would like to take a vir­tu­al trip to Pyra­mi­den while it is hard to get the­re in real life – check the Pyra­mi­den pan­ora­ma pages, the­re is ple­nty of stuff the­re!

Gal­le­ry: Pyra­mi­den and Mun­inda­len

Some impres­si­ons from the trip from Lon­gye­ar­by­en via Skans­buk­ta to Pyra­mi­den and Mun­inda­len.

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

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last modification: 2020-09-22 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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