In 2006, in the case of a man-made disaster (nuclear war, asteroid, etc.), mankind created a special "ark" with seeds. In the 393 foot (120-meter) deep (underground) ark there are 4.5 million samples of crops from all over the world. The project, valued at $9 million, was made for Norway and can be found on its territory. Storage is situated in the village of
in the Svalbard archipelago, in the Arctic Ocean. It is the northernmost settlement in the world with a population of over a thousand people.
In August, I visited Svalbard and the first place that I started my journey from was this village . . .
is the capital of Spitsbergen. The village is home to approximately 2.000 people. Near the town is the Svalbard Airport - the world's northernmost airport with regular flights:
The village is located in the valley:
Part of the village is spread over the sea, another part goes deep into the mainland:
There is no term "first sea line" here and only economic and warehouse buildings are situated near the water.
About 70,000 tourists visit Longyearbyen each year. There are two seasons - summer (now) and winter, when people ride snowmobiles. Cruise liners often come here during the summer:
Paved street with shops stretches from the port:
Pedestrian street 984 feet (300 meters) long is parallel to it. I cannot say that it is clean and well groomed like other Norwegian streets, but the houses are in very good condition:
In the middle of the street there is a monument to a geologist/miner: in fact, the development of the archipelago began due to the coal industry. Coal mines operate here even today:
All the people in this picture are tourists:
In the distance there are houses of Norwegians, who live on the island:
There are several cafes on the street:
There are also shops with everything you need to travel around Spitsbergen. The most chic is a clothing store from the Swedish company "Fjall Raven". I bought some pants here - very comfortable and advanced:
This is the North Pole Expedition Museum. I went inside and there was nothing particularly interesting - just newspaper clippings and old photos without any explanation:
Several years ago, a Chinese woman from Hong Kong visited Longyearbyen and began to develop Chinese tourism in Svalbard. The Norwegians' reaction to this idea was frosty and they didn't give the young lady the chance to rise up significantly. Nevertheless, she has already established a huge red Santa Claus box and registered this fantastic hero in Svalbard (although, as we know, his place of residence is in Lapland):
This is the local hospital. First aid is given here, and if you need to any major surgery, you are sent to the mainland:
The University Centre in Svalbard is located in Longyearbyen. It was founded in 1993, and there are lessons on Arctic biology, geology, geophysics, and anything related to the Arctic. The school session is long, with seminars lasting three months. People here don't study 5 years in a row:
And there are the remains of the first coal mine, from which the town began. Today another still works, far from Longyearbyen. People go there to work in shifts for two weeks:
This is another abandoned mine. For some reason all the mines that I saw in Svalbard were set high in the mountains.
In general, it is strange, after all, coal is another form of wood, and it is unclear where it came from in such large amounts. There is a theory that Svalbard is a "breakaway" piece of Africa:
Here's a view of the town. In the foreground you can see a sundial with a bear:
And here is a view of the town's port:
Multicolored houses are an impossible beauty. To be honest, it's hard to imagine even more organic coloring that would be so seamless with the island:
While walking along the residential districts, I crossed the line of the town and decided to climb the hill. And suddenly I saw a deer!
It turned out that there are 10,000 deer on the island. A special breed: they are smaller than ordinary deer and approach goats in size. There are absolutely no tame animals, nobody is engaged in animal breeding. Thus they graze without any fear of man:
If you look at the building in the middle, you can see a lot of white spots. They are snowmobiles:
They have 3000 snowmobiles for the 2000 residents. However, a third of them are for tourists:
Here you can see insanely beautiful clouds.
And in the next article I'll tell you how the Norwegians live in this town.