On my first day Longyear i went to the icecaves. Just outside the town is Longyearbreen, a small glacier. Here you can safely, together with a guide, explore the tunels innside the glacier. In winter they are just tubes, in summer they are angry rivers of melted icewater. Therefore those tunnels are different for every season. When i was there, the tunel first went down to the ground itself. On the floor there was rocks with plantfossiles. Reminders of Svalbards tropical past. Here it was swampland. Above us it is ice. Rocks are embedded in the ice, and stonedust creates nice patterns on the walls. Soon the tunel goes through ice only, it is a marblewhite world who shines in the beam of our lights. There are stalagmites and stalakites, just as in an ordinary cave, but here they are made of ice. The place is no less than magic. Try to switch of all lights and hold your breath. Now you will experience a compact wall of darkness and silence. This glacier donýt move in winter, and therefore keeps quiet.
it all depends on the season...
go to svalbard.net for all info on activities, expeditions, tour operators, news, ....
even if you go completely disorganized you can still join the several activities that are organized every day! like dog sledging, ice caving, mine exploring, ...
I went at the wrong time... not much to choose from! so I joined a snowmobile tour to Barentsburg, the russian settlement... SEE MY BARENTSBURG little PAGES!
(here we had to cross a little river of melted snow... one of us got stuck in it! what an adventure!)
but sooo much fun!
croozin in the middle if nowhere !
but I'll never do it again! I promise!
YOU DO NOT NEED ANY SPECIAL CLOTHING or anything 'polar' ... when you go for a tour they always give you all the necessary things to keep you warm and safe: boots, gloves, goggles, balaclava, helmet and, most importantly, big black warm overalls that make you all look like a boyband like the New Kids On The Block ...
well, without a gun you aren't allowed to do anything else! (unless you join a trip/activity...)
yes! the biggest polar bear colony of the world resides on these islands....
just remember that if you see one you SHOULD NOT approach it to take pictures (like some silly tourists did the week before I went... they had to shoot the bear because of them! grrr!)
All these photos of animals are taken after midnight.
Hey I did not use Flash guns. it was a great plus point for me because I did not carry a flash gun.
Natural light at Midnight.
I just had the most incredible times of my life.
Middle Photo Arctic Fox.
Bottom Photo Arctic Raindeer. with short legs to keep him warm during the heavy winter seasons.
When ever you get the chance to visit Longyearbyen during the summer months, you will never miss this opportunity.
It is hard to ignor, because you will not be able to sleep at midnight when the sun is blasting in through your room windows.
Every visitor will just go for a beautiful walk in the near by wilderness.