The days are shorter now. The blue light is back. It is dark again during the night. In the darkness, the sky explodes in red, green, purple and blue. Bursts of colour in the north. Then in the south. The dance of the Northern Lights.
Following a trapper’s footprints
The trap is old. It hasn’t been used for years. It’s simple, yet deadly efficient. It was used for polar foxes. The beautiful furs were like gold for the trappers who caught them during the cold Arctic winter. Long days in blistering cold. Life as a trapper on Spitsbergen must’ve been hard. You look down. Small footprints. You look to where they’re headed. Let’s go.
“This is where Santa lives. This is where the sun first shines on March 8. And this is where I was stuck inside a building for two days during a blizzard two years ago. Snow, rain and winds of hurricane force. It came horizontal, vertical, upside down – you name it. That winter we got it all. What a great winter.”
Longyearbyen tells a lot of stories. And you’ll hear them all.
This is where they came. The coal miners. The bosses. Everyone who wanted to buy alcohol. They had to present a special permit to be allowed their quota. An attempt to regulate drinking on Svalbard. Now, the room is filled with exclusive wines and champagne gathered and brought here from all over the world. The glass in front you is perfectly shaped. Smooth and round. The champagne has a golden colour. Bubbles. You can’t wait to taste it.
Snow-shoeing through Svalbard’s wilderness
So quiet. The only sound you hear is from the crackling snow under your snowshoes. The lights from the city of Longyearbyen are long gone. You’re in the Arctic wilderness. It’s white everywhere, but you can discern contours and shapes in the terrain.