To Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Arctic

This video is about a plane landing at LYR airport, Longyearbyen, Svalbard, in May 2007.

2 June 2013.

I have been to the Antarctic.

But I had never been to the high Arctic so far. The closest I came were the Lofoten islands of Norway, and Iceland, both near the Arctic circle.

Now, however, to Svalbard. This Arctic archipelago is about halfway between northern Norway and the North Pole. Outside Norway, the islands are often called Spitsbergen; in Norwegian, the name of the largest island.

First, our plane went to Oslo, the capital of Norway.

After some hours waiting, we transferred to a smaller plane.

At 10pm, it passed the Arctic circle, flying near Bodø in northern Norway.

23:05: we pass Bear Island, about half way between Svalbard and continental Norway. Officially, Bear Island is the southernmost island of the Svalbard archipelago. It is uninhabited now, except for a meteorological station.

South western Spitsbergen from the air, 2 June 2013

Then, the plane reached the mountains of the west coast of Spitsbergen island.

South western Spitsbergen mountains from the air, 2 June 2013

This video is called Landing at Longyearbyen / Svalbard lufthavn (LYR) on 8 April 2009 on a flight from Ny-Ålesund.

Almost at midnight of 2 June, we landed at the airport of Longyearbyen, the capital (basically: the only sizable village) of Svalbard.

We drove from the airport to Longyearbyen village.

It is Arctic summer. So, the sun never sets now.

Svalbard is one of not so many countries where there has never been a visit to Dear Kitty. Some blog yet. Not that surprising: only 2,500 people live there, not all of them fanatical Internauts.

During the next days, there were will be photos of birds, other wildlife of Svalbard and other sides of Svalbard on this blog.

About Svalbard prehistory:

Bryozoans from the Lower Permian Treskelodden and Wordiekammen formations of southern and central Spitsbergen respectively, Svalbard, have been studied. Twenty species are identified, including one new genus, Toulapora gen. nov., with Toulapora svalbardense as type species and one new species, Ascopora birkenmajeri sp. nov. The taxonomic composition is typical Lower Permian, with species in common with Timan−Pechora and the Urals (Russia) and Ellesmere Island (the Canadian Arctic). Growth habits reflect a moderately to deeper shelf environment.


58 thoughts on “To Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Arctic

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  44. If you believe that healthcare is a human right, then show your support, right here and right now, for someone who agrees with you – Senate candidate Alan Grayson >>

    I went to the North Pole a few years ago. I’ll save that story for another time.

    The staging point for trips to the North Pole is Longyearbyen, in Norway. At 78° North, it is the northernmost permanent settlement. Two thousand people live there. There aren’t a lot of flights to and from Longyearbyen, so I ended up spending a few days there. I particularly enjoyed the snowmobile tour to the ship frozen in ice.

    But I certainly didn’t enjoy it when I got hurt.

    There is a long, deep ice cave underneath the glacier outside of town. I went on a tour of the ice cave. This involves climbing up and down the side of underground ice cliffs, hanging onto a rope.

    I lost my footing, and fell five feet flat on my back, on the ice. Enormously painful.

    I barely made it out of the cave to the long tracked vehicle that took us back to town. And I kept thinking that the next flight that I could take back to the mainland was several days away. Plus, Norway has “socialized medicine.” Oy.

    When we got back to town, the tour guide took me straight to the hospital. Yes, a town of only 2000 people in Norway has a hospital.

    The doctor gave me a very thorough physical examination. He took X-rays, to see whether I had broken any bones. He took blood and urine tests, looking for signs of internal bleeding. He rubbed something into the bruised area. He gave me a large supply of aspirin-codeine tablets. After seeing all the test results, he told me that nothing was broken, nothing was bleeding, and I would be miserable for a week or two.

    At the check-out desk, I asked how much I owed. Answer: $47. Forty-seven dollars.

    Oooooooooooh, “socialized medicine.” Doesn’t it sound just awful?? Not. I support Medicare for All, and I hope that you’ll show your support for that right here and right now >>

    We spend 50% more of our national income on healthcare than Norway does. We have 30 million uninsured people; they have none. They live 2.4 years longer than we do, despite all that darn snow-shoveling.

    How can we spend so much, and get so little in return?

    We can do better. And if I’m elected to the U.S. Senate, we will.

    Help our campaign for universal healthcare with your contribution of $10 today.


    Rep. Alan Grayson


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