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Austervåg can be translated with „East bay“. Framed in by small, but vertical cliff coasts, it is the only place on Bear Island’s northeastern coast where you can land and get somewhere inland. The landing is, however, quite rocky and not exactly comfortable; forget about it in bad weather or swell. The terrain inland is very stony and walking is accordingly quite tough.

But the area is nevertheless interesting. The landscape is so rocky and barren that it is impressive in itself. And it is only a short walk to the old coal mining settlement of Tunheim. On the way there, you have to cross the river Engelskelva, but this should normally not be much of a problem provided you have got rubber boots and some good terrain hiking skills. You pass Siloodden, where small ships went alongside the cliff coast in the mining days to offload cargo and load coal. Following the old railway track, you pass one of the most solid huts in the whole Spitsbergen archipelago. This is called Bjørnehiet („Bear cave“) and belongs to the weather station. Little auks are breeding under the rocks and are often sitting on the old railway track, which is quite pittoresque. Then you get to the old mining place Tunheim.

The old coal mining settlement Tunheim dedicated to the next panorama page.


last modification: 2017-12-23 · copyright: Rolf Stange