December 5, 2010 § Leave a comment
Imagine never seeing the sun during the winter months. This is exactly what one northern Norwegian island experiences every year. Svalbard, about the size of West Virginia and located close to the Arctic Pole, has been a part of Norway since 1920. Its rugged terrain brings coal miners, hunters and bird watchers alike, to experience the desolate north.
Several tour operators exist in Svalbard, and people come from all around for work and for exploration, but normally only stay a small determined period of time. Svalbard, known for its northernmost town, Longyearbyen, which literally translates to ‘Long year town’, has one of the most extended dark periods. Since it is to close to the arctic cap, the webcams on the northern Svalbard website indicate darkness for a good chunk of the year.
During the summer, Svalbard offers many activities for residents and tourists including hiking, boating, kayaking, and dog sledding. A university in the town offers majors in arctic technology, geology, biology, and geophysics.
Svalbard also has a large polar bear population. People living in rural towns must beware the cuddly-looking creatures, as they are quite territorial and have been known to drag off innocent people from a town when hungry. One travelers safety manual for Svalbard strongly suggests bringing a powerful weapon at all times when leaving a city.
Sound like a good honeymoon spot?
——-most info from here