19th June – New species for a new season

It’s started. The big cruise ships have arrived in Longyearbyen, bringing more visitors than the normal population here in one go, for a few hours.  Yesterday there were  over 3000 plus hundreds of crew, today over 2000 plus 800 crew. Everyone seems to know when they will arrive and how many people are coming. This… Read More

14-16th June – Photography in Pyramiden

  ‘Pyramiden has captured a part of my heart – so many secrets, stories, such beauty… Diolch yn fawr!’ Samantha Saville, Aberystwyth, Wales, UK.   The guest book at The Tulip Hotel, Pyramiden, in which I attempted to sum up the impossible, has entries from 1987 up to 2000 (I guess some tourists found it… Read More

12th June – Into the mountain

We log in via the visitors book, pass the security guy, don hard hats with the Statsbygg logo (the state construction arm of the Norwegian government) and file into the dank corridor (which must be the bit outside the mountain) and through the second metal door that has been unlocked for us. We descend as… Read More

31st May – Trying and research

I’ve had a day focussed on tourism today, one way or another. It’s actually ‘low season’ at the moment, between the busy snow-scooter, skiing – filled March and April and the summer season proper, although there are still visitors about here and there. So, like the tourist operators and service providers, I have been gearing… Read More

28th May – Everything’s political

(For anyone not of the right age and taste in music to get the Skunk Anansie reference, this blog title needs screaming loudly and with passion!) As mentioned last week, Environmental Protection is a big talking point in Svalbard, as is the future of coal mining here. The ‘paradox’ between the two, is perhaps no… Read More