waiting for the winter
this fellow blocks mainstreet
most housing in Longyearbyen are company owned
an areal tramway once transported the coal to Longyearbyen
Longyearbyen on Svalbard
Spitsbergen is Svalbard's largest island and the only one which has permanent settlements.
Longyearbyen is the largest and forms the port of entry to the Svalbard archipelago.
Its local government is elected but the  
governor is appointed by Norway.
 
The Russians have their own community at Barendsburg and there are a couple of smaller settlements.
 
Coal mining was the number one industry, but tourism and research are picking up pace.
 
The Svalbard Global Seed Vault is  located near Longyearbyen and serves as a secure backup for plant seeds.
 
Polar Bears, Svalbard Reindeer and Arctic Foxes roam freely on the islands.
Contrary to the claims of global warming scaremongers  polar bears are thriving and outside the settlements rifles are mandatory as protection against bear attacks.
 
In June 2013 we visited Longyearbyen and explored its surroundings on a quad safari.
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in the Isfjorden we get a first impression of the scenery that awaits us
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Longyearbyen is not your typical capital
All dressed-up for the quad expedition
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a dogsled on wheels?
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we see the first reindeers just outside town
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stocking up for the winter
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the Svalbard Satelite Station on a foggy Platåberget mountain is covered in clouds
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the views are spectacular
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Mainstreet
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the seals are hung out to dry, out of reach of hungry polar bears