mandag 31. mars 2008

Sunday skiing

Yesterday, William and I skied to the top of the local mountain Gruvefjellet - up through the valley Vannledningsdalen and down on the glacier Larsbreen. Without our darling kids, again. Great to just move without dragging reluctant offspring along, I must admit.

Going up through Vannledningsdalen.

Checking the map to avoid the avalanche-areas.

Weather station on top of Gruvefjellet.

Looking down from Larsbreen, Longyearbyen on the left, Gruvefjellet straight ahead.

The weather turned quite hazy during the hike, and after we came home and for the rest of the day, it was snowing thickly, and visibility was low. We were happy that we came down before the weather changed. It seems that the snowy weather also caused the tragic helicopter-accident in Barentzburg yesterday afternoon. There were 9 Russians/Ukrainians onboard, and three of them died. Very sad.

lørdag 29. mars 2008

Women In Art

This is not Svalbard-related, but as it´s done so well, I wanted to share it.
Also, it fits my mood really well, right now.
So, enjoy. And thank you, Charlie, for sending it to me.

Lunch at the cape

Thursday we had lunch at Kapp Linné, or Isfjord Radio, which is more than 80 km south of here. It took us nearly 3 hours to get there and 2 hours and a half going back - on snowmobiles. Temperature was around -20 when we started, and it was a little hazy, but the weather got better and better. By afternoon, we even imagined to feel some warmth from the sun.

Here´s pictures:

Isfjord Radio.

Nice lunch - from left Cathy, Alvar, me and William. You can frequently see polar bears walking past on the outside, but no such luck today.

I was surprised that the standard was so (relatively) high - I´d imagined the place to be a lot more primitive. Here´s from one of the guest rooms.

Looking back as we left. Isfjord Radio in the middle, on the left.

Looking across Grønnfjorden to Barentsburg.

A stop to have a look at this beautiful Russian cabin in Grønnfjorden. Which turned out to be open.

But not so nice inside...

Astronauts returning to their spacecrafts...!

Yes, you do feel like an astronaut sometimes, in all that heavy gear. This is me (notice my cheerful smile).

We have only one snowmobile these days, as the other one is at the garage, so William drove with me on the backseat. Just as well maybe - if I was the driver, it would have taken us ages to get there, I´m a sloow driver. But being passenger is not very comfortable, particularly not downhill.

Crossing Colesdalen. Kapp Laila is somewhere in the middle, a long way off.

It feels quite ridiculous to go all that way just to have a look at some isolated houses - not really my kind of thing. But that´s what many people here (and tourists) do - they drive for hours to some spot, then turn and go home. Of course, you get to see many beautiful areas on the way, but you seldom have time to stop and have a proper look.

Still, I´m glad I´ve tried it. Been there, done that. Wrote a blog entry to prove it.

torsdag 27. mars 2008

Revelations from William´s past

William and I (and Alvar and Cathy) went on a long snowmobile-trip today, and one of the places we stopped was in Semmeldalen.

Here´s the cabin Semmelbu where William stayed when he worked on his master project, while he and his girlfriend (not me), who was also his assistant, did field work in the surrounding mountainsides.

Oh, it´s not the one on the right - they stayed in the tiny one on the left. Let´s look inside.

Not particularly comfy - but romantic, I suppose, in a bizarre way.

William reminiscing. 1984 is a very long time ago.

We drove almost 170 km today, to Kapp Linné and back. Without kids - they had a relaxing, parent-free day in Longyearbyen. But I´ll tell more soon, when I´ve loaded the pictures off the camera.

tirsdag 25. mars 2008

Some more we did last week

Peter, William and I skiing to the top of mount Lusitania, 926 meter altitude.

Peter and William at the summit - Tempelfjorden in the background.

William and I.

Sing Star competition!

Emma and cousin Ask proudly posing after having tried out the snowmobiles.

Dinner at Huset.

Visiting the puppies at the nearest dog yard, Thomas and Sunniva.


Hege, Peter and their kids went on an organised trip with dog sleds, and they were thrilled about it. Here´s a couple of pictures that Peter took.

Sunniva with Gandalf (the white one) and some other huskies.

This has been the longest really cold period all winter, cold steam has risen from the sea for several days. Freezing but gorgeous.

Peter and the family left yesterday, after a very eventful holiday. We enjoyed having them, and I think they all felt that spending easter in Longyearbyen was a success.

And now, it´s turned rather quiet ...

mandag 24. mars 2008


Today we explored one of the glacier caves near Longyearbyen. This one is the easiest accessible - by the foot of Larsbreen (the Lars glacier). The two others that have been opened (one on Longyearbreen and the other in Bolterdalen) are larger, but we hadn´t time to go and find them, so we stuck to the small one.

Peter and Hege next to the narrow entrance.

Hege coming out.

More space inside, but not enough to stand up. Here´s me struggling with my claustrophobia.

But the kids were very relaxed. Here´s Isak and Emma.

Rocks and ice crystals in the "ceiling".

And, in case you wondered, this is what glaciospeleology means - exploration of glacier caves.

lørdag 22. mars 2008

One each day



A rough calculation show that I´ve baked at least 200 loaves of bread since we arrived. Ca 1 for each day.

It´s having 11 people at breakfast every day that has reminded me of this, because now - we´re up to at least 2 each day.

torsdag 20. mars 2008

A cold and bright Easter

... with a house full of adventurous guests, William´s brother Peter and his family.

7 kids, from left Emma, Sunniva, Johannes, Isak, Peter, Thomas and Ask.

Ever since they came, temperature´s been beneath minus 20, and weather´s been crisp and clear. That makes the scenery look spectacular, but it´s hard to move around on skis or foot, as you have to be constantly in motion.

But we´ve been out skiing anyway...!

Heading for the valley in the background, Mälardalen.

It was COLD.



And it was quite a distance, too, so we took turns being dragged by William on the snowmobile.

But mostly we skied - we had to, to keep warm. And therefore, we had the time to look around. This is a little of what we saw:

Moon over Operafjellet.

Looking in the opposite direction, sunset on Svalsat.

Looking across Isfjorden.

View towards Adventdalen.

And here´s the end of the trek, the tent William had put up in Mälardalen - heated by a kerosene-oven.

And, here, almost everyone stayed behind - except yours truly, and Emma. We returned to the comforts of our warm beds, while the other 9 stayed in the tent.

Here´s Sunniva in a pile of sleeping-bags.

-24 on the outside - just above nil on the inside.

Don´t worry, they survived the night - with no injuries (and no bear-encounters).