Why It Is Forbidden On Spitzbergen To Touch Lying Logs (Longyearbyen) | CruiseBe
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Why It Is Forbidden On Spitzbergen To Touch Lying Logs

Sergey Dolya • 6 minutes read • April 7th, 2016
Living conditions on the polar archipelago bring their own characteristics to the life of its inhabitants. For example, there is a ban on death in 

Longyearbyen

- this is a real legal law prohibiting the death of residents in the town (dying leads to penalties being placed of the family of the deceased, etc...). If someone catches a serious illness or an accident occurs, the patient is immediately airlifted or shipped to the mainland, to be either healed or die. If the resident does die in town, their body is sent to the mainland anyway. These measures are in place because the eternal permafrost preserves the body, attracting hungry polar bears. 
Another law, which is mirrored in 

Svalbard

, prohibits flipping, swapping, or destroying logs. Under the cut I'll tell you why...

To understand the reasons for the ban, let's leave 

Barentsburg

 and walk about a mile to the south side. To protect us from possible polar bear attacks, our guide took a gun with him:

Our goal is to make it to Cape Finneset. This Norwegian territory is on the southern outskirts of Barentsburg. Locals simply call it "The Norwegian":

At the beginning of the 20th century, Cape Finneset was the center of Norwegian, Swedish, American and Italian expeditions. In 1911, the Norwegian radio station, called "Gren-fjord radio", was built here. It connected the archipelago with the greater world and received signals from polar expeditions on their way to the North Pole. The station was of great importance for the development of navigation and shipping.
In addition, the people also built a whaling station, where they rendered fat from the whales caught in the surrounding waters. During these years, Svalbard was called "terra nulius" (No Man's Land), and numerous companies from different countries conducted mining explorations in the archipelago (the Norwegians at that time occupied a very modest position among the others):

This is a wooden lighthouse:

Here you can see the remains of the ship belonging to the Pomors:

Below you can see logs laying about in abundance on the coast of the Cape. Why can't they be removed? 
The fact is that all the debris, logs and remnants of structures older than half a century, represent historical value for scientists. Many artifacts have already been collected from the banks of Finneset, and those that still remain on land are just waiting for their turn. It's important for scientists to keep the present position of the logs, so no one is allowed to move them:

It's impossible to differentiate the unique and common logs - everything in the archipelago has value. Remember that there are no trees in Svalbard, all the logs here arrived from the mainland:

Here you can see the remains of a brick building:

And this is the Norwegian whaling station at Cape Finneset. The remains of the structure were where the whales were dragged from the shore:

More "details" of the whaling station. It would be great if we had met someone who was familiar with the craft so that they could explain the purpose of the circular contraption:


That's how the Norwegian looked like before the war: radio towers, houses, boats:

In conclusion, I want to add my reason for flying to Spitzbergen.
The Norwegians almost stopped coal developing on Svalbard. They abandoned production and instead developed the town into a tourist and scientific hotspot (hence the international university and numerous cruises that travel here). Russia had planned to do the same at the end of the last century, however, the collapse of the Union and the subsequent problems postponed those plans.
Now the situation has gradually stabilized and "Arcticugol" - the Russian state-owned company engaged in coal mining in Svalbard - began to steal time. They created the first-class team of fans of the Arctic, who work with tourists. They prepared a lot of programs and tours. I came to Svalbard after receiving an invitation from those people, detailing the tourism potential of the archipelago.
There are two seasons - summer and winter. Prices are very affordable, if not ridiculous. For example, a six-day tour with a rich program, accommodation, meals, all necessary equipment, transfers, boat rental and other vehicles costs only 75 thousand rubles (about $1100). For the Arctic it is just a penny, believe me. This is a very affordable option to explore a wonderful comer of the world with your family. In my group there were only women - a mother with her daughter and some students - all of them were delighted.
Soon I will show more interesting and beautiful details of Svalbard.
Author: Sergeydolya
Source: sergeydolya.livejournal.com

Translated by: Gian Luka

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