Svalbard is that island that when one sees in the world map is at the top, just before the north pole. And Pyramiden are the ruins of a Soviet coal mining settlement abandoned since 1998, among glaciers, polar bears and white foxes that is there
A trip I had always wanted to do, but totally unexpected and fixed at the last moment. It was the month of July and the situation in my country was very complicated, I was not working and I was scheduled to go to Europe in August, so I decided to advance my trip and spend 15 days in Norway.
This is the month of high season, the period of visits is between June to September, then the weather is very extreme, I was very lucky to find airline ticket and hotel l at the last minute
Whenever I reach an extreme or special place I feel a different emotion, landing in Longyear which is a capital means that you are landing at the is the northernmost airport in the world, I think like me many passengers were excited.
At the entrance to the airport there is a sign with the distances and directions to the different cities of the world. with a polar bear signal and the top the coordinates of where you are standing, at 78 degrees latitude, only 12 to reach the north pole. Of course almost all of us took a picture in the emblematic sign. there are some vans to take you to the respective hotels.
In the morning time (there were 22 hours with sunlight and only 2 hours without sun, but they were not really dark) I took a Catamaran that took me to Pyramiden, the navigation is beautiful, crossing the archipelago inside surrounded by the spectacular Arctic beauty.
Before arriving the catamaran stops for a while in front of a beautiful glacier that is right next to it, I saw a polar bear but it was quite distant and then we finally docked the Pyramiden.
It is literally a ghost town with square and tall buildings typical of Soviet architecture, we were greeted by a young Russian guide who spoke perfect English, who was a student from Moscow who worked as a guide in the summer.
Here is the bust of Lenin to the north of the world, and a sign where you can see that you are already 79 degrees of altitude, now I only have 11 degrees to reach the pole.
The buildings are closed and abandoned, the guide takes you to an open one where you can see the typical furniture and abandoned Soviet style things, he explains very well how mining worked.
There is also a small hotel.
I went to take something there, it is an old and ugly decorated building where some people stay to sleep (especially backpackers) as it is very cheap but they told me that there was no place to shower.
It was time to say goodbye and leave, the abandoned buildings around the hotel were all seagull nests, when I left I was surrounded by them, like Hitchcock’s movie, the last pictures and back to the Catamaran.
Happy to visit something so extreme and different and next time to the north pole. Would you like to go to the north pole?