Longyearbyen (Spitsbergen), NorwayJune 27 in Svalbard and Jan Mayen
We arrived in Spitsbergen, also known as Longyearbyen. It is the largest island in Norway but only has a population of 2700. Spitsbergen is part of the Svalbard Archipelago and is located only 90 miles from the Polar Cap at the top of the world. It is the northernmost inhabited place on the globe. This chain of windy islands gave us incredible views of glacier topped mountains. Sixty percent of Svalbard is covered in Glaciers.
It began as a whaling village ultimately developing as a center for coal mining and tourism.
There are only 4 mammals that inhabit the island of Spitsbergen: Arctic fox, reindeer, southern vole and polar bears. Polar bears are the iconic symbol of Spitsbergen and one of the main tourist attractions. People going outside settlements are required to carry a rifle. We hope that our tour guide is prepared.
With the wind the real feel temperature was 27 degrees making this our coldest port. Randy wore six layers of clothing, not including his long johns, thermal socks, hat and gloves.Read more