Norway, Longyearbyen Guide (B): Longyearbyen and Its Outskirts

Longyearbyen and Its Outskirts
We enjoyed a buffet breakfast at the hotel…mostly European style. We had to check out by 11, so we packed our bags and left them in the common area for Quark to pick up while we took a “taxi” tour with 13 others. It was more like a shuttle bus tour. I’m thankful we were able to find a short and relaxing activity before boarding the ship!

The driver took us on the main road through town. He pointed out the the old mining barracks, the elementary school, the theater center, the university, an indoor pool, and the old and new hospitals. Who knew there were so many other things to see! The old hospital is the only building in Longyearbyen with a basement and cooling system. All other buildings are lifted off the ground to keep from melting the permafrost (soil frozen for more than two years). The cooling system in the old hospital (now apartments) kept the permafrost from melting until it was turned off two years ago. Now the building is cracked and sinking and the residents were given only hours to leave and weren’t reimbursed by the insurance company for the foundation damage. Across from the old hospital was a building with missing a roof. Apparently, there was an avalanche this winter that destroyed 11 homes and killed 2 people.


The Town

After driving through town, we took the main highway away from the airport through the valley where we saw a nesting area for Eiders, large seaducks. Apparently, we were lucky to see a King Eider and a ...... (follow the instructions below for accessing the rest of this article).
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Sights Map

Guide Name: Longyearbyen and Its Outskirts
Guide Location: Svalbard » Longyearbyen
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Article (B))
Sight(s) featured in this guide: Svalbard Global Seed Vault   Kroa  
Author: Elizabeth Bankhead
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