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Spitzbergen - Anybody Been?  
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 9 hours ago) and read 1205 times:

I ask because, thanks to the advent of LCC in the Norwegian market, I can finally afford to go there - and, best of all, Norwegian Air Shuttle is doing flights from Tromso to Longyearbyen (Spitzbergen) for EUR100.00 roundtrip - it used to be at least 300 on BU (still is). FABE-ulous. So I have booked a very quick add-on to my trip, going to LYR for about 5 hours (arrive 2245, depart 0400) - it is the last week of August (and the last week of the Midnight Sun up there), so I was wondering - what is there to do in LYR on a LOOONNGG summer evening ? I know its a very small place, and it wouldn't surprise me at all to arrive and find everything closed, leaving me for 5 hours outside in the perishing cold, but at least I will have seen the Midnight sun, AND flown to the northernmost scheduled destination (78 degrees N) - cccoooollllll !

So does anybody have any suggestions ?

9 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineAlessandro From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (11 years 5 months 1 week 6 hours ago) and read 1191 times:

Look up Svalbard (the name of the group of islands, Spitzbergen is only the main island) on the net.
Best of luck, never been there...

User currently offlineGKirk From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2000, 25324 posts, RR: 55
Reply 2, posted (11 years 5 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 1175 times:

I heard it's full of Barnacle Geese  Big grin  Laugh out loud

When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
User currently offlineBen From Switzerland, joined Aug 1999, 1391 posts, RR: 48
Reply 3, posted (11 years 5 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1176 times:

I am still kicking myself for not going there when I was in northern Norway recently.

I was on one of my mad trips, that time to fly on as many types/airlines as far as possible in 3 days, so I'd been airport-hopping all day, and I ended up in Tromso at about 1930 local time.

That in itself is pretty far, but after arriving there I looked at the departures board and was very happy to see that in 1 hour or so, a Braathens 737-700 was boarding, bound for LYR.

I had wanted to go there for years, so I asked at the ticket desk - they had free seats!! - but the cost was something like 150 pounds. Just a tiny bit more than I wanted to spend. In Norway, air travel is very cheap so I was shocked at the relatively high price.

Instead I took a Wideroe Dash 8 to Sorkjossen and Hammerfest. They were great - probably better than LYR but.. the reality is, they weren't LYR! I should have gone there. By the way, the times you mentioned were exactly the same as the ones I was going to fly... just a few hours in LYR for the experience.

I don't know if there's much to do in the place. Get a Lonely Planet, they're great. The one for Norway has a Spitzbergen section but the general guide for Scandinavia and the Baltics misses it out completely.

Northern Norway is amazing, you'll like it wherever you end up going.

Hope you have fun - and make sure you write a trip report.

[Edited 2004-06-25 12:27:35]

User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (11 years 5 months 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 1161 times:

Yes, this trip turned into one of those mental anorak jobs, as many flights on as many airlines as possible - 8 flights in 1 week (+ 2 ferries). I even booked a 3 leg connection TOS-MAN over a quicker 2 leg connection, because they were the same price, and 3 flights is always better than 2, right ? Its all 737's though (boring !), but really good value (thank you LCC !)

I have always wanted to go to LYR, its always been a major item on the Big Giant List of Things To Do, I'm so glad I can now - ra ra Norwegian Air Shuttle.

Dunno about Lonely Planets - their target audience seems to be the scabby backpacker brigade, of which I am NOT a member (to me, roughing it means a 3* hotel with no room service !). It's probably a good idea though, they do have good tips on what to do, even if their accomodation guide is a bit lower end.

User currently offlineBen From Switzerland, joined Aug 1999, 1391 posts, RR: 48
Reply 5, posted (11 years 5 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1155 times:

I'm not a member of the scabby backpackers brigade either. Lonely planet does seem to have moved a bit more up-market as a lot of the scabby Aussies and NZers and poms have real money these days.

The worst backpackers I've noticed on my trips lately are 'finance professionals' (Merchant Bankers) and their type who are on a 'career break' or simply got fired when the economy started going down and they have taken their opportunity to 'see the world'.

Just as scabby as before but now have money too. LP books always have the expensive options in them now - lucky becuase the cheap places fill up quickly and when I do those sort of trips, there is never any time to book somewhere in advance. Very often it's only 45 minutes before boarding that I even know where I'm going.

I'm not sure of the exact mechanics of it, but if you turn up on the day, you can get some extremely cheap flights in Norway. It might work differently now with the political changes involving SAS, Braathens and Wideroe.

User currently offlineBestWestern From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2000, 8188 posts, RR: 57
Reply 6, posted (11 years 5 months 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1153 times:

JPGH - I also researched the exact same trip for this August - havent booked anything yet - I've just come back from taking the car to Austria and France.... (1.8k miles round trip) - so the august week looks like a week in the sun on a non-activity holiday. Looks like BA to either NCE or Bastia (they have great club europe offers at the moment)

Theres a radisson in Longyearben - expensive though.

Perhaps next year for me - last year was Denver, Tetons, and Rapid City - only one activity holiday a year.

The world is really getting smaller these days
User currently offlineJGPH1A From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (11 years 5 months 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 1142 times:

Ben - I wish I had the guts to do that kind of seat-of-your-pants trip - I don't think I am genetically capable of going travelling without planning it first (planning, like anticipation, is half the fun !) - also I have this primal fear of being stuck in the middle of nowhere and running out of money ! I did a lot of non-rev travel back in my dim and distant youth, which was pretty precarious (South African credit cards being notorious for maxing out quickly when abroad owing to the hideous Rand exchange rate), but even then there was usually a broad outline plan. I will look out for the LP Norway book, sounds like it might be helpful. I've been looking on the Fodors website as well, their suggestions are pretty much always top notch, but more in the line of where to stay/eat, than what to do.

BW - sounds like we've been mirroring each other's trips - I went to Wyoming and South Dakota in April (only a short trip, but also from Denver, I went with friends of mine who live there) - didn't go to the Large Boobs though, but I hear they are spectacular. I will do a trip report on my Excursion To The Top Of The World, let you know what I discover.

User currently offlineBestWestern From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2000, 8188 posts, RR: 57
Reply 8, posted (11 years 5 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1133 times:

JPGH - the large boobs were truly superb - well worth the journey from London. We stayed in a cabin for five days, and had such great fun.

However the letdown of the trip was Rapid City - kind of 'we drove all this way, and thats it' Mount Rushmore was such a let down

The world is really getting smaller these days
User currently offlineVafi88 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 3116 posts, RR: 15
Reply 9, posted (11 years 5 months 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 1129 times:

Nah, I prefer chicks from Swallowzbergen instead, it's more convenient for me.

I'd like to elect a president that has a Higher IQ than a retarted ant.
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