Arrival to Longyearbyen

Walking around the settlement

Since the settlement is small, I could reach anywhere on foot. (There were bicycles for rent at Nybyen, and the size of the settlement is ca.1.6km x 3.3km.) However, a whole day was insufficient for visiting whole points.
[Map of Longyearbyen] [Settlement viewing from BU463]

Left = Map of Longyearbyen
Right = Settlement viewing from the airplane just before the landing to Longyearbyen (17kbytes)
  1. Svalbard Polar Hotel (Radison SAS Polar Hotel)
  2. Sentrum
  3. Haugen (Funken Hotell)
  4. Mine 2b
  5. Nybyen
  6. Sverdrupbyen (Huset, theater)
  7. Svalbard Museum
  8. Wharf, airport, Mine 3
Longyearbyen, a Norwegian mining settlement, is the administrative centre of Svalbard, and has an airport opening throughout the year.
I stayed here from 2nd to 6th July, '99, and enjoyed visiting the coal mine 3 and the museum, walking around the settlement, and shopping.

1. Svalbard Polar Hotel

The name of the hotel is now "Radison SAS Polar Hotel".
I stayed here for 4 nights and felt comfortable. The guest room had a bath, toilet, television, and telephone.
The hotel opened 4th Mar., 1995 near the shore. The hotel building hosted sponsors of the American winter Olympic national team at Lillehammer 1994, and transported from Lillehammer to Longyearbyen, room by room. The service building was new-built in Longyearbyen and contained a restaurant, a pub, a conference room, and a library.

2a. Svalbardbutikken

Svalbardbutikken is a super-market and stocks a variety of articles including groceries, clothing, shoes, electrical appliances, cosmetics, jewellery, gifts, souvenirs, confectionery, wines and spirits.
Svalbard is a duty and tax-free region, therefore, I could purchase wines at a low price. (Cigarettes and cosmetics also had good prices.)
To my surprise, there were many computer-game machines and books to solve them, though it is no strange in Japan. DVD-RAM, which had begun to be sold two months before, was also displayed.

2b. Lompen

Lompen is the miners' bathhouse and they are transported to the mine by bus. The building also contains shops such as clothing, hairdresser, photography, etc.

3. Haugen

"Haugen" means hill.
FUNKEN HOTELL stood at the hill.

4. Mine 2b

The entrance of the mine at the flank of the mountain and a row of the wooden trestles of the ropeway, which had transported coal from the mine to the strage area until 1968, were impressive.

5. Nybyen

Nybyen is situated at the bottom of the valley. It opened in 1946, and has developed as the place of residence for miners.
"Nybyen guesthouse" and "youth hostel" are the former houses of theirs.
The building of Galleri Svalbard was former Svalbardbutikken.

6. Sverdrupbyen

It is named after Einar Sverdrup (1895 - 1942), former managing director of SNSK A/S, and there was a memorial stone for him near Huset.
Huset contained cafe, pub, kiosk and bar. The cinema is located on the second floor.

7. Svalbard Museum

The two-story building was former piggery dating from 1950.
In the first floor, the exhibits covered geology, fossils, plants, and animals in Svalbard, the period of the early trappers, various expedition, the days in WWII, etc. In the second floor, history of SNSK A/S was exhibited. Working conditions in the mines were also shown. I had interests in the exhibitions about coal mining. I was very glad to see the commissary notes issued by the mining company.
Official page of Svalbard Museum

Wharf, airport, Mine 3

These facilities are situated the west of the settlement.
The new wharf is apart from the town center by 0.5km, and the airport and the mine No. 3 are by 4km.
Coal mine 3
In the coal mine 3, I walked down the tunnel with miner's outfit. At an old mining place where coal was hewn using just musle power, I crawled holding a heavy drill. I could experienced a unique atmosphere of the mining environment. After the return from the mine, my nostril was filled with black powder :-p.

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Last Modified : 18th July, 2011