Saturday 31 July 2010

Friday 30 July 2010

Stone Cross

"Steinkorset" on Kvitsøy has been standing for at least a thousand years. Some say it was put there by English missionaries in the 900s while others claim it was raised by Erling Skjalgsson and Olav Haraldsson, Viking chiefs, in 1016.

Thursday 29 July 2010

Antenna #2

Kvitsøy is the site of high power, short and medium wave transmitters of the Norwegian Broadcasting Company (NRK).

Wednesday 28 July 2010


The modern grey building next to the lighthouse is the Kvitsøy Trafikksentral or Ocean Traffic Centre, opened in 2000. The whole coast of south-west Norway is supervised by radar from this centre, and it also provides the naval pilots for the whole region.

Tuesday 27 July 2010

Church #6

Kvitsøy Church, built in 1620

Monday 26 July 2010

Lighthouse #6

The lighthouse on Kvitsøy was built in 1829, and is the oldest in Norway. Before its construction (from about 1700 onwards), locals used the "vippefyr", a replica of which is shown in this second photo. The basket was filled with burning coal and then raised 6m in the air. In the olden days, before modern street lighting, it would have been visible from quite a long way off.

Sunday 25 July 2010

Saturday 24 July 2010

Reflection #8

This particular photographer simply cannot walk past a mirrored window without taking the lens cap off and pressing the shutter release. Behind, you can see Longyearbyen housing and the disused wooden pylons of the old coal carrying cablecar.

Friday 23 July 2010

Thursday 22 July 2010


The University Centre in Svalbard, Longyearbyen
(NB this photo was taken at 1 o'clock in the morning)

Wednesday 21 July 2010


There is only about 50km of road in and around Longyearbyen. This one runs along Adventdalen and up to Breinosa where the University's Northern Lights research centre is located. You can see its two dishes at the snowline, pointing up at the sky.

Tuesday 20 July 2010

Graveyard #2

Although there is a graveyard, dying is not permitted in Longyearbyen!
In fact, this small settlement does not have enough facilities for the elderly or long-term sick. Anyone unfortunate enough to break the "no dying" rule will find that their remains have to be shipped back to the mainland (400 miles) for burial. This is because it was discovered that the permafrost on Svalbard does not allow for adequate decomposition of bodies. The crosses in this photo are marking graves that are all more than 70 years old.

Monday 19 July 2010

Sunday 18 July 2010

Church #5

The church had the feeling of being a community gathering place as well as a place of worship, and came complete with its own polar bear.

Saturday 17 July 2010

Longyearbyen #3

"Town centre"

Friday 16 July 2010

Thursday 15 July 2010


This is the abandoned coal mine 2b, known as "Julenissegruva" or "Santa Claus Mine", which is located on the mountainside above Longyearbyen. On Svalbard such cultural monuments are not restored or dismantled, but simply left to "die in beauty". Removing artefacts, or any other actions that may interfere with the natural decay of such sites, is strictly prohibited.

Wednesday 14 July 2010

The birdcliff

This lush green seems incongruous in the Arctic landscape but these cliffs are well fertilised by the nesting birds above.

Tuesday 13 July 2010

Barentsburg again

The coal mine in Barentsburg is still being worked, but only to provide coal for the small Rusian community here.

Monday 12 July 2010

Svalbard #2

Aerial view

Sunday 11 July 2010

Polar bears

Clearly, polar bears do live on Svalbard, and are taken quite seriously!

Saturday 10 July 2010

Polar Girl

Aboard the boat "Polar Girl" looking for polar bears, but there are none to be seen.

Friday 9 July 2010


Barentsburg is a now-mostly-abandoned Russian mining settlement on Svalbard. Only 450 people still live here, probably to maintain Russia's strategic presence in the Arctic.

Thursday 8 July 2010

Longyearbyen #2

Colourful housing in Longyearbyen

Wednesday 7 July 2010


Aerial view

Tuesday 6 July 2010

Monday 5 July 2010


Sunday 4 July 2010


If you look closely you may be able to see some seals lounging around on the ice floes in front of this glacier.

Saturday 3 July 2010


Hiorthfjellet (924m) stands opposite Longyearbyen in the Adventdalen.
If you look closely you can see two cabins built in the scree.

Friday 2 July 2010


Longyearbyen is the largest settlement on Svalbard with a population of 1,800.
It lies 78.13° north of the equator and is the most northerly, permanently inhabited place in the world.

Thursday 1 July 2010

Stavanger #8

Aerial view