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The Northernmost A.netter? To Svalbard And Beyond.  
User currently offlineThule From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 100 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 7 months 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 7064 times:

http://i.imgur.com/bRbt9.jpg

Hi everyone! This summer I was lucky enough to take part in a research expedition on Svalbard, in the Arctic, above 78 degrees north latitude. Our project was to investigate some of the geological and oceanographic processes occuring in front of a large set of glaciers called Kronebreen/Kongsvegen.

From an A.net perspective, I'm excited to post what may be the northernmost trip report yet. A few other members have gone to Svalbard before, and FLIEGER67 made a TR of his trip to Longyearbyen, the largest settlement on Svalbard, a few years ago:

My Arctic Experience: SAS To Svalbard/Longyearbyen (by FLIEGER67 Jul 12 2009 in Trip Reports)

However, our work was 110 kilometers north-west, in the town of Ny-Ålesund, with a variable population that averages about 120 in the summer and 20 in the winter.

A brief synopsis from the Wikipedia page on the Ny-Ålesund Airport, at 78°55'39 North latitude:

Quote:
Flights are offered two to three days a week to Svalbard Airport, Longyear by Lufttransport with Dornier 228 aircraft. The airport is operated by the former mining company Kings Bay AS, owned by the Norwegian government. The flights are not regular public flights, but are considered charter flights. Passengers must have permission by the Kings Bay, which is not usually done for tourists.

Our trip starts back in the USA. Flights on SK, especially around Norway, seem to come up nearly every week on A.net, so I'll try to refrain from showing too much of what you've probably already seen from other TRs.

I hope many of my pictures can speak for themselves, but I'd love to answer your questions and provide any additional photos if there's interest. The only reason I'm not writing an encyclopedia here is that, thanks to our work this summer, there's more science to work on here at home!

July 10th, 2011
EWR-OSL
Flight SK 908
Airbus A330-300
19:00-8:20

http://i.imgur.com/8J2oP.jpg
Our A330 at EWR

http://i.imgur.com/yo28i.jpg
The cabin. I would say that Norwegians were in the majority on this flight.

http://i.imgur.com/04NeC.jpg
Leaving NYC. The last urban center I would see for weeks...

http://i.imgur.com/CD842.jpg
I can't speak much Norwegian, but whenever I'm flying to Europe I try to fool the FAs into thinking I'm from the country in question. When they gave us our meals (beef patty with potatoes here) I asked "Carlsberg?" figuring I couldn't go wrong. The two FAs then chatted amongst themselves, something like "Does he have to pay for this?" "Nahhh, it's dinner time!". Then they asked me something that probably meant "We don't have any Carlsberg at the moment, but would you like a Mariestads?" to which I nodded and replied "Ja, takk." It's that simple!

http://i.imgur.com/n9eiI.jpg
First sight of Norway

http://i.imgur.com/MszwU.jpg
Watching the IFE, lined up to land at OSL on a mild, foggy morning.

Our flight was the only one at that time that had to go through passport control. There was a TG 777 at our end of the terminal too but it had already finished unloading pax. I made sure to wish the yawning policeman a good morning.

http://i.imgur.com/MlZU5.jpg
OSL Terminal

From there it was a hectic walk all the way to the middle of the terminal (in a sterile transfer hallway) for our flight up to LYR. In our jet-lagged daze, we picked up our luggage and scientific instruments from the baggage claim, and went to the main check-in area which was a zoo. Thanks to some quick thinking on our professors' part, we went over to the corner for Special Baggage, where there was no queue and they were more than happy to take care of our group. Then just a few gates into the domestic terminal, and there was our flight!

http://i.imgur.com/fSezR.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/QmO2v.jpg
Our 738

Boarding started on-time within 30 minutes of our arrival there at the gate.

July 11th, 2011
OSL-TOS-LYR
Flight SK 4414
Boeing 737-800
9:55-14:00

http://i.imgur.com/kzREh.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/xY8ny.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/CzuJM.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/rakic.jpg
Goodbye, OSL! Someday I'll return and visit you like a proper tourist.

The next hour and a half was spent alternately drifting off to sleep and taking infusions of coffee. Just get me to the Arctic already! But then we landed in Tromso. The temperature had dropped 10 degrees C and things seemed a little different already.

http://i.imgur.com/En71V.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/WtcmJ.jpg
Tromso terminal on a brilliant summer midday in Norway

What followed was slightly bizzare. Everyone continuing to LYR had to exit the plane, go to an adjacent gate, and go through another passport control where we received a stamp that we were leaving Norway. Or, at least, the sort of Norway that's a Schengen member. Svalbard is a unique free economic zone, where anyone of any nationality can live without a visa, as long as they have proof of employment.

http://i.imgur.com/OiwEF.jpg
Weird, interim gate for Svalbard flights.

http://i.imgur.com/3hARA.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/S2WW4.jpg

TOS airport has signage in Norwegian, English, and Russian.

http://i.imgur.com/GIuSV.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/zIiao.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/fX5p5.jpg

During the middle of our next 2-hour leg, hunger punctuated my mix of exhaustion and caffeination. I got a BOB sandwich for 50 kroner. I don't even like tomatoes and mayo, but who knows what I'd be having for dinner...

http://i.imgur.com/H6Lsh.jpg

First sight of Svalbard! It didn't really get any less cloudy.

http://i.imgur.com/pIKC9.jpg
Breaking through the ceiling

http://i.imgur.com/Mkc1K.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/W13MD.jpg
One of the gleaming harbors of Longyearbyen

http://i.imgur.com/fEgCw.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/ghiom.jpg
Every single passenger was trying to take plenty of pictures at this point. The airport staff just wanted to get everyone inside the terminal.

We spent the next two or three days in Longyearbyen, getting acclimated to Svalbard, going through some lectures on the material at UNIS (the university there), and of course the mandatory safety/rifle training.

http://i.imgur.com/3zbDV.jpg
Just in case...


Sadly I only got second place in the target shooting. Second place in a polar bear encounter, however, is unacceptable.

http://i.imgur.com/fHsbm.jpg
Our student barrack. Pretty nice accomodation inside though!

http://i.imgur.com/j5VxA.jpg
What an honor, to withdraw from this monolith of human achievement.

http://i.imgur.com/Qu5t9.jpg
Smoked Minke Whale with beets. No problem that most of my friends hated it... more for me!

http://i.imgur.com/9F8WF.jpg
Kind of an everyday dietary requirement in Longyearbyen. It was good, and relatively cheap, too!

http://i.imgur.com/LKF0k.jpg
Hey there, reindeer!

http://i.imgur.com/SK8LC.jpg
View from our barrack at midnight

On the 14th it was finally time to fly up to the world's northernmost permanently inhabited settlement. For some reason, our group of 9 couldn't fly up on the same flight, or we'd have to pay charter pricing. Flights to Ny-Ålesund during the summer are twice a day, Monday and Thursday, at 11:00 and 15:30. Lufttransport runs the service on their Dornier 228s. In the case of Ny-Ålesund, the government-operated Kings Bay company manages the flights and schedule.

http://i.imgur.com/UWaaq.jpg
Entrance at LYR to what I'll call the "domestic terminal"

http://i.imgur.com/ZAAsf.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/lvjB2.jpg

Our baggage was weighed and... there was the plane, too. It looks like the Coast Guard shares this one.

http://i.imgur.com/GGpoy.jpg
The Lufttransport lounge, for VIP Prestige Plus members only.

http://i.imgur.com/tpt1W.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/ibEdW.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/ndTqy.jpg

Boarding consisted of one of the pilots walking into the lounge and telling us, "OK, well, it's time to board now." I wouldn't have it any other way.

July 14th, 2011
LYR- Ny-Ålesund
"The Afternoon flight"
Dornier Do 228

http://i.imgur.com/CIj0p.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/p9Rol.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/Exzf3.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/NMoww.jpg
The Russian helicopter takes miners to the Russian settlement, Barentsburg.

Takeoff was fun (and probably one of the shortest I've ever had) but the skies were cloudy. Luckily, things cleared up a little bit during the 20-minute flight, which I have to say is one of the most amazing I've ever had in my life.

http://i.imgur.com/WsKMy.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/nM1zA.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/epA3k.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/oFvm4.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/cdVV1.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/M5u9M.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/HOwIr.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/z8Z3K.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/wwBap.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/lRWxA.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/7NJij.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/72FHo.jpg
Ny-Ålesund and the airstrip in sight!

http://i.imgur.com/5cXKp.jpg
My home for the next month

http://i.imgur.com/ZEfXE.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/wa6XU.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/Mfco0.jpg

After loading everyone in their baggage into a shuttle van, the driver told us that we needed to turn off all mobile phones and wireless equipment. There's a geodetic station in Ny-Ålesund which apparently uses the 2.4ghz frequencies to make some very precise measurements.

Due to the 24-hour daylight and the disorganization of all the photos on my hard drive, the following photos might not be in chronological order. But who cares, because it's all the same day, technically!

After a day of settling in, we went on a few boat trips to scout out our research area.
http://i.imgur.com/MfPGA.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/454se.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/xMEta.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/kq76S.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/tHFO9.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/lyXDv.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/SgelS.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/KR16i.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/hdCaH.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/bXYIC.jpg
Reindeer and swiss sandwich

Eventually, the real work began.

http://i.imgur.com/TEbrp.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/NCIsN.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/KiDIV.jpg
Hauling a sediment core out of the water

http://i.imgur.com/kJBub.jpg
Hoping for a good result

http://i.imgur.com/Fsaod.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/4QVoM.jpg
Ny-Ålesund at 1 AM

After a month of research and daylight, we were ready to return home with our sunburns. A surprise awaited on our last day, August 11th, when we woke up to see:

http://i.imgur.com/y2UC5.jpg

"Oh yeah," one perennial inhabitant told us, "it's right on time, usually the second week of August!"

http://i.imgur.com/WJk0E.jpg

The Kings Bay reception area and waiting room for the shuttle van

The weather outside was windy and rainy and nobody was really sure whether the flights would run. But they finally loaded us into the shuttle, and I was comforted to see the runway lights were on.

http://i.imgur.com/G8Ybp.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/UFcIJ.jpg
Good to see our plane on the ground

http://i.imgur.com/6JuyK.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/nGDRE.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/Ai5jt.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/pFzpp.jpg
Approaching through Isfjorden, near Longyearbyen

http://i.imgur.com/pHEMY.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/U1DF2.jpg
Quite an arrival gate

http://i.imgur.com/ivTni.jpg

We spent a few more days in Longyearbyen, presenting some of our initial results but also relaxing and adjusting to the shock of being in a city almost 20 times as populous as Ny-Ålesund. But we had farther yet to go.

http://i.imgur.com/vCMhB.jpg
Longyearbyen at 5 AM

http://i.imgur.com/3p7Xd.jpg

Checkin was effortless that morning.

http://i.imgur.com/V3K7w.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/WJJt7.jpg
Our 736, direct back to OSL

http://i.imgur.com/ov6SH.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/XPSWW.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/r5pkR.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/HS0yF.jpg

August 14th, 2011
LYR-OSL
Flight SK 4499
Boeing 737-600
8:00-10:55

http://i.imgur.com/wJtyq.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/NibLv.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/Lgvzm.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/WvJFC.jpg

Needless to say, it was an emotional departure. The pilot gave a good photo tour though!

http://i.imgur.com/lK1Hk.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/x65jV.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/lmvcv.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/r1vBp.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/kdngt.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/TPnuW.jpg
Mainland Norway. Does anyone know what city this is?

http://i.imgur.com/oiKeh.jpg
Landing back in OSL


Tusen takk for reading!

http://i.imgur.com/08mJA.jpg

26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineCXfirst From Norway, joined Jan 2007, 2930 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (2 years 7 months 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 6924 times:

Amazing report. Have always wanted to go to Svalbard. We have been talking about going up there for a week each summer in the last 5 years, we just haven't done it.

Quoting Thule (Thread starter):
Smoked Minke Whale with beets. No problem that most of my friends hated it... more for me!

Doesn't get better than that!

My uncle's girlfriend used to live in Ny-Aalesund for about 2 and a half years (full time), so she was one of the small number of winter residents. However, she doesn't anymore (although she does go up for research once in a while).

Also, you got to love that midnight sun! One of the things I love about going home to Norway each summer (Harstad area, so we have 24-hour sunlight as well).

-CXfirst



From Norway, live in Australia
User currently offlineSQA350 From Thailand, joined Apr 2007, 180 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 7 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6815 times:

Excellent trip report! Great pictures. I can feel the cold and fresh air.

Quoting Thule (Thread starter):
Mainland Norway. Does anyone know what city this is?

It's Trondheim



"No more window seats in business class, sir!" "Any in economy? Yes? Then downgrade me!"
User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1581 posts, RR: 30
Reply 3, posted (2 years 7 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 6788 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi Thule,

What an enjoyable report with lots of great pics! To answer you title question: I think you are  
You were very lucky to be able to come to Norway for this research thing, my guess is you are a PhD student in geology or sort of (just guessing)? And obviously SAS was the carrier of choice here (apart from Wideroe maybe). Glad you got to score a nice Dornier228 as well   

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineBurj From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 900 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (2 years 7 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 6683 times:

Wow what awesome photos! Thanks for sharing since most of us will never get to see/visit this area in person!

So how does reindeer meat taste?


User currently offlineaerdingus From Ireland, joined Dec 2006, 2760 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (2 years 7 months 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 6621 times:

Wow you must have been so exhausted, but yet you still delivered a brilliant trip report for a.net! Thanks, truly fascinating.


Cabin crew blog http://dolefuldolegirl.blogspot.ie/
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 6, posted (2 years 7 months 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 6424 times:

Hi Thule!

Great report of your very interesting trip.

Lots of great pictures of Svalbard, a place I considered visiting this summer, but it didn't materialize. Maybe next year. I'm sure I will visit some time, it sure looks stunning.

Quoting Thule (Thread starter):
The cabin. I would say that Norwegians were in the majority on this flight.

How was the load? I'm flying EWR-OSL in November.

Martin


User currently offlineBAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (2 years 7 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6416 times:

Excellent report! Count me in as being one of the a.nutters who has been to Svalbard, although I didn't bother with a trip report, and the furthest I got from Longyearbyen was a boat trip to Barentsburg!

It seems as though only SK fly there from mainland Norway these days though, is that correct? When I went there about five or six years ago I flew with Norwegian from Tromso, then the direct flight back to Oslo on Braathens (although I appreciate that Braathens is no more).

It is a fascinating part of the world to visit though, although I will admit to being glad that I had splashed out on a bit of luxury by staying in what was then the Radisson SAS...the only airport I've ever stayed in where they make you take your shoes off at the door!!

Thanks for a great report and some amazing photos.

Cheers.

Andy.



Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 611 posts, RR: 17
Reply 8, posted (2 years 7 months 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 6368 times:

What an interesting TR. One of the best I've read recently. Loved the photos. When I was a kid, it was a dream of mine to make it to Svaldbard/Spitsbergen one day. I just love the remoteness of it.

Quoting Thule (Thread starter):
Kind of an everyday dietary requirement in Longyearbyen. It was good, and relatively cheap, too!

Cheap booze in a remote area of Norway? By relatively cheap you mean that it was not as expensive as one would expect for a place like that? Is there any local brand of beer?

Quoting Thule (Thread starter):
Boarding consisted of one of the pilots walking into the lounge and telling us, "OK, well, it's time to board now." I wouldn't have it any other way.

That's awesome. It reminds me of the boarding procedures in domestic flights within the Bahamas. It kinda threw me off.

Thanks for sharing this with us. I'm also glad that you got some good data on this trip. It's been awhile since I got any decent data on my experiments, so I feel twice as jealous 

WBodyroga



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently offlinePalmjet From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2001, 1194 posts, RR: 17
Reply 9, posted (2 years 7 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 6170 times:

Thule

Stunning ! I read your report twice as I enjoyed it so much. Thanks for posting this. Some amazing landscapes up there.

I really enjoyed experiencing your short D228 flight as well. I am very interested in these types of flights to more remote places which are not run of the mill flights. Fantastic.

I was in Tromso in May on my way to the far north of Norway to experience some Wideroe Dash 8 action: see

Arctic "Dash" With Wideroe: 2 Days, 7 Stops (pics (by Palmjet Jun 22 2011 in Trip Reports)

and I remember seeing the departure board in TOS showing flights to LYR. I was most intrigued to see what aircraft would be operating these flights as the flight time from "mainland" Norway seems quite long.

Thanks again. P/jet



Eastern - Number One To The Sun
User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 677 posts, RR: 21
Reply 10, posted (2 years 7 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 6116 times:

Hi Thule,

what an awesome report with some very stunning picture. Great to get to fly on a Do228. Thanks for sharing this adventure with us. Must have been great to visit such a remote place, hope your research went well.

CaptainRed


User currently offlineBAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (2 years 7 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5946 times:

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 7):
It is a fascinating part of the world to visit though, although I will admit to being glad that I had splashed out on a bit of luxury by staying in what was then the Radisson SAS...the only airport I've ever stayed in where they make you take your shoes off at the door!!

Sorry for jumping in again but I just reread my response, it should of course have said "hotel", not "airport"...they do not make you take your shoes off before entering the terminal at LYR!! 



Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
User currently offlinejustbala From India, joined Feb 2006, 159 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (2 years 7 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5919 times:

Wow!! Simply Marvelous!! Great TR!! Thanks a lot for sharing!!

It almost sounded like the movie Avatar!!  



Flown IC , 9W , SQ , SV , GF , S2 , LX , IT , LH , OS , DN , AC , MH , 6E , MI , AA , TG , EK , QR , SG , TK , KW, UA ,
User currently offlinelychemsa From United States of America, joined Oct 2009, 1070 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (2 years 7 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 5890 times:

A British student was killed by a bear who attacked his tent. It was also in Norway.

User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3046 posts, RR: 12
Reply 14, posted (2 years 7 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 5825 times:

Wow, great report. I've wanted to go to Svalbard for years - maybe one day soon! Fantastic photos.

Quoting Thule (Thread starter):
Everyone continuing to LYR had to exit the plane, go to an adjacent gate, and go through another passport control where we received a stamp that we were leaving Norway. Or, at least, the sort of Norway that's a Schengen member. Svalbard is a unique free economic zone, where anyone of any nationality can live without a visa, as long as they have proof of employment.

Never knew that, very interesting

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 13):
A British student was killed by a bear who attacked his tent. It was also in Norway.

A friend of a friend was the one that shot the bear - got mauled a bit too.



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: LHR-JMK,JTR-LHR-WAW,MSQ-FRA-EZE,IGR-EZE-CUN,MEX-FRA-LCY,LHR-TXL-LHR
User currently onlineCrimsonNL From Netherlands, joined Dec 2007, 1804 posts, RR: 42
Reply 15, posted (2 years 7 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5668 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CHAT OPERATOR

Hey Thule, fantastic report! That's really far up North! The pictures look fantastic. I'd love to go there some time. (which reminds me, I still need to finish on my GL reports!)

Best regards,

Martijn



Fly DC-Jets!
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6412 posts, RR: 55
Reply 16, posted (2 years 7 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 5654 times:

Hi Thule !

Thanks for a very nice report with amazing pictures ! Beautiful landscape up there and nice to get on the Do228 as well! Very cool that you have been to such a remote place as Ny-Alesund! I also have a flight with LN-RPU, your aircraft on the return but only between ARN-CPH.

Thanks again for sharing such a special place.

The777Man

[Edited 2011-09-22 00:33:34]


Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly...T5, CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1425 posts, RR: 33
Reply 17, posted (2 years 7 months 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 5586 times:

Great stuff! What fantastic photos of a breathtakingly beautiful landscape! You must feel very lucky to have had such an opportunity.

How did you cope with 24hr daylight for so long? Did you have trouble sleeping?

Happy flying
Infodesk



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineYYZatcboy From Canada, joined Apr 2005, 1003 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 7 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 5503 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
CUSTOMER SERVICE & SUPPORT

Great TR! I'm for sure adding Svalbard to my list of places to go!

Quoting Thule (Thread starter):
On the 14th it was finally time to fly up to the world's northernmost permanently inhabited settlement

I think the Canadian Military might challenge that one... :P
http://www.airforce.forces.gc.ca/8w-8e/alert/index-eng.asp
http://jproc.ca/rrp/alert.html

Thanks for Sharing! Good luck with your studies!



DHC1/3/4 MD88 L1011 A319/20/21/30 B727 735/6/7/8/9 762/3 E175/90 CRJ/700/705 CC150. J/S DH8D 736/7/8
User currently offlineLXM83 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 607 posts, RR: 5
Reply 19, posted (2 years 7 months 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 5433 times:

Hi Thule

Fantastic report! Great photos, great flights and great landscapes!

Quoting Thule (Thread starter):
Tusen takk for reading!

Well, thanks for posting!
LXM83


User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1249 posts, RR: 5
Reply 20, posted (2 years 7 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 5390 times:

What an amazing report!

Thank you so much for shearing that beautiful part of the world with us, your photos were just breathtaking.

You were very lucky to take part in such a thing, good for you - I don't think I could survive a month over there (i use to warmer climate    )

Thx again,

Jonathan



"In our country, those who do not believe in miracles are irrational" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently offlineLGWflyer From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2011, 2348 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (2 years 7 months 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5307 times:

Wow what a fantastic looking place to go! I have been to Norway before and can't wait to return again. I enjoyed your trip report, you got quite a few different aircraft    Glad you had a great time, I would someday like to go to Svalbard.


3 words... I Love Aviation!!!
User currently offlineThule From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 100 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (2 years 7 months 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 5111 times:

Thanks everyone for your comments!

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 1):
My uncle's girlfriend used to live in Ny-Aalesund for about 2 and a half years (full time), so she was one of the small number of winter residents. However, she doesn't anymore (although she does go up for research once in a while).

Cool! I'm sure I've met at least 10 people who knew her.

Quoting Burj (Reply 4):
So how does reindeer meat taste?

Hmm... beef, but more wild? It's definitely one of the best things to eat during or after a long trek.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 6):
How was the load? I'm flying EWR-OSL in November.

I'm never good at estimating loads, but "mostly full" is my answer. I've read from other threads that the route is a huge success and they'll be maintaining year-round flights.

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 7):
the furthest I got from Longyearbyen was a boat trip to Barentsburg!

One of my professors after we asked her what Barentsburg is like: "It's like Soviet Russia. I'm not even kidding."

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 7):
It seems as though only SK fly there from mainland Norway these days though, is that correct?

Right, a flight from TOS almost every day, with a few direct flights from Oslo in the summer.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 8):
Cheap booze in a remote area of Norway? By relatively cheap you mean that it was not as expensive as one would expect for a place like that? Is there any local brand of beer?

You're right, I expected all the prices to be high. Mack was about 40 kroner per pint in a bar, but only about 10-15 for a large can in the supermarket. No local brand of beer yet, though I hear some individuals are trying to get the government to allow a brewery there.

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 7):
the Radisson SAS...the only hotel I've ever stayed in where they make you take your shoes off at the door!!

It gets to be second nature to do this in Svalbard. I had a good night in the pub there too (good thing I wasn't the one buying the drinks!)

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 13):
A British student was killed by a bear who attacked his tent.

We were all a little shocked when we heard about that. Apparently one of the emergency flares at their tripwire perimeter failed to detonate, so they didn't get any warning.

We did have a bear visit the town, but almost everybody was asleep. Someone at the Chinese Station spotted it and took pictures from the roof though:

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 15):
(which reminds me, I still need to finish on my GL reports!)

Yeah you do! Those are my favorites.

Quoting infodesk (Reply 17):
How did you cope with 24hr daylight for so long? Did you have trouble sleeping?

There were some curtains but they didn't do much. I just made sure to be completely exhausted by the time I went to bed. Half of our group slept really well (myself included) and the other half slept only a few hours a night and had nightmares all the time.

Quoting YYZatcboy (Reply 18):
I think the Canadian Military might challenge that one...

Not sure whether civilians can go to Alert or not. Looks like I'll have to join the Canadian Air Force somehow!

Quoting EL-AL (Reply 20):
I don't think I could survive a month over there

I completely understand. I don't think I could survive the Middle Eastern weather for even a week!


User currently offlineBAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (2 years 7 months 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 5065 times:

Quoting Thule (Reply 22):
Quoting BAViscount (Reply 7):
the furthest I got from Longyearbyen was a boat trip to Barentsburg!

One of my professors after we asked her what Barentsburg is like: "It's like Soviet Russia. I'm not even kidding."

She was right! I've never actually been to Soviet Russia, but Barentsburg is exactly how I imagined it would have been - bleak, depressing but fascinating at the same time! There's a large statue of Lenin in the town square (although when I say "town square", please don't form some romantic notion of St. Petersburg-esque architecture!) and large functional public buildings, including a very large indoor swimming pool. Our tour group was followed around by a miner who was obviously on a day off, had filled it by helping the town rid itself of its vodka supply and was slurring loudly at us in Russian, much to the frustration and anger of our Russian tour guide. All of that coupled with a VERY rough ride on a VERY small boat to actually get there made for quite an interesting day out...consequently I had my very own Vodkafest (thanks to the duty free shop in Longyearbyen) when I got back to the Radisson that evening! 



Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
User currently offlineMadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 10742 posts, RR: 38
Reply 24, posted (2 years 7 months 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 4903 times:

This is some of the best I have seen on this A.net trip report forum.

Breath taking images... not many of us will get that lucky to see such amazing sceneries in real life.

Thank you for sharing.



There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
25 FLIEGER67 : Hi, Thule, pretty good to follow you´re story and also that you remember my visit up to close to the northernmost A.netters point!. Superb pictures,
26 MSS658 : Hi Nice and cool trip report. I am amazed by the scenery. Thanks for sharing it (and the nice SAS flights as well) Greetings Marc
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