Longyearbyen

Today I can safely say that we’re about to start the truly Arctic portion of our expedition. After a hearty breakfast we make our to the airport to board a charter flight to the world’s northernmost city: Longyearbyen. The town of Longyearbyen is on the island of Spitzbergen, the largest of the islands the make up the Svalbard archipelago.

Arriving in Svalbard

Arriving in Svalbard

Caution: Polar Bears

Caution: Polar Bears

Mining (particularly that of coal) remains an important industry in Longyearbyen. I found it ironic that although 99% of Norway’s electricity is renewably generated (mostly from hydroelectric facilities), the export of fossil fuels remains one Norway’s greatest sources of income. It’s a strange site to see

Coal mining remains an important industry in Svalbard.

Coal mining remains an important industry in Svalbard.

Due to the presence of coal dust, a common custom in Svalbard is remove your shoes before entering buildings.

Due to the presence of coal dust, a common custom in Svalbard is remove your shoes before entering buildings.

After spending some time touring Longyearbyen we finally begin to board our ship, The National Geographic Explorer!

From the ship you can clearly see the city of Longyearbyen. It's brightly colored building reflect the colors found in the landscape.

From the ship you can clearly see the city of Longyearbyen. It’s brightly colored building reflect the colors found in the landscape.

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