Birdwatching
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The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:04 am

So, we're back from the Arctic Ocean! I'm back in Germany and... it's dark outside! That is sooo scary! I haven't seen darkness for 5 days. And it's warm again. But I'm already missing the solitude of 78° North. What an unforgettable A.net meet. What a great time we had!

But let me start from the beginning. We were 4 people who dared to leave civilization for a couple of days: From left to right, me, Dan (PlymSpotter), Rune (DYFlyer) and Frederik (AirPacific747).



We all came in on a wide variety of flights, Dan had about 9 inbound flights carefully scheduled, and in the end we all met at the tiny airport of Longyearbyen, surrounded by barren tundra mountains and endless glaciers. And abandoned industrial buildings and mines.



We spent most of the time hiking around this very strange and unique place. At one point, on a 10+ hour walk, we entered an abandoned mine. Very creepy.



This is our "base camp". My tent was so small that I couldn't even sit up in it, while Frederik's tent was like a B737 hangar.



One highlight was a roundtrip flight on a Do228 to the mine Svea, which was completely free, after I told the mechanic that we're A.netters and Rune talked to somebody on the phone, and somehow we ended up on the passenger list.



Since I only had a point-and-shoot and the others had huge cameras (along with the C vs. N wars), I'm now going to leave it to the others to post pictures. Rune shot all of the rare airplanes, down to the last Soviet helicopter, Dan has the complete catalog of arctic flora, and Frederik has all of the wildlife covered (after he realized that running behind a polar fox and wildly waving with his arms is not a good way to get a decent picture).

Well, in the end we did a lot of interesting things, and didn't sleep a lot. Well, how are you going to sleep when the sun is up 24/7? Here we can see Dan, tired after a couple of nights without any sleep.



I'm sure the others will post a bunch of pics, Dan will probably add them to his web album. We'll also see some trip reports in the next days, as well as the first A.net uploads on Svalbard... that's right, there are no pictures of that place in the database yet!

Again, I'd like to thank the 3 others for the unforgettable trip we had. Without any doubt we'll do something similar next year... but to a warmer place this time!

Greetings!
Soren  santahat 
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aloges
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:15 am

So you twit went even further north than I've ever been!  Wink

After you had posted that thread inviting people to the meet, I started thinking about going since LYR shares a place on my "where to go" list with KEF, but after seeing the fares and hearing the howl of the wind in the emptiness of my bank account I decided against it... good to see you had fun! Big grin
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AirPacific747
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:44 am

Hey Søren!!! I just got back! What an AWESOME TRIP! Something that I'll never forget, just like I wont forget the russians that started blowing up buildings behind us and the coal mine we visited.

Quoting Birdwatching (Thread starter):
This is our "base camp". My tent was so small that I couldn't even sit up in it, while Frederik's tent was like a B737 hangar.



Just to put things into perspective: Svalbard is WAY higher up north than any part of Alaska. As far as I know, the northern most point in Alaska is at 71 degrees north. Longyearbyen is located at 78 degrees north.

The windchill made the place sooo friggin cold during the "night" and I was freezing every nighet except for the last night where I decided to sleep with 3 layers of clothes plus my jacket on and two layers of pants  Wink

[Edited 2006-08-10 23:49:46]
 
BMIFlyer
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 7:18 am

Excellent. Big grin

One phrase for you all.....

"Bunch of crazy fools"  silly 



Lee
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Matt27
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 7:23 am

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 3):
"Bunch of crazy fools"

 checkmark   checkmark   checkmark 
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KaiGywer
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 7:31 am

Good to hear you guys had a great time. Like I've mentioned before, I won't make it quite that far north, but I'll be at 71° north sometime next week  Smile

Oh, did any of you see ANCFlyer's polar bear?
“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, an
 
Daleaholic
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 7:33 am

Anybody care to point out who's tent is who's?

Looks like you guys had a great trip!

Thanks for sharing!
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aerobalance
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 7:36 am

Would this be the wackiest location for an A.net meet ever held? If not, which meet was it?

Glad to see you pulled it off - good job!
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AirPacific747
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 7:49 am

Some more pics out of a few hundred that I took:

Sunrise in the north western direction after an hours flight from Oslo. The sun had just set about two hours earlier. Very weird!


On approach to Longyear. The mountains suddenly become visible in the haze.


I then turned on my GPS navigator and here's the proof


What is an arctic island without a limo service?


The main street of Longyear


A supermarket which we were all very surprised about. It was way more civilized than we had expected.


Sören, Dan and Rune (Birdwatching, Plymspotter and Dyflyer) chilling


The abandoned choal minde just next to Longyear. It reminds Sören and I of the adventure game called "Myst"


Sören running away from birds that started attacking us. (no joke)


A picture from a trip I was on the next day to the abandoned russian choal mine town called "Pyramiden"


Some french people being dropped off. They were apparently going Kayaking for a few days.


The water full of ice


A sign from "Pyramiden" in Russian


A statue of "you-know-who" (Lenin)


Another cool sign. Don't ask me what the text means


And then the Russians started blowing up buildings behind us. The following day, this sightseeing trip was suspended due to the explosions


[Edited 2006-08-11 01:08:14]
 
BMIFlyer
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 7:52 am

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 8):

Great pics Big grin

Looks like you all had a blast  Wink


Lee
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LO231
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 7:56 am

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 8):
Another cool sign. Don't ask me what the text means

It says "Gagarin's sport complex"

You're welcome.  praise 

Ant the head was Lenin, not Stalin, but I assume you knew  Wink

Regards,
LO231

PS. Great pics, keep them coming!
Got both LO 788 frames already, next LO E95 and 734 BRU-WAW-BRU
 
aloges
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:01 am

Quoting LO231 (Reply 10):
Ant the head was Lenin, not Stalin, but I assume you knew

That makes sense, considering the few cyrillic letters I know.  Silly
Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.
 
LO231
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:04 am

Quoting Aloges (Reply 11):
Quoting LO231 (Reply 10):
Ant the head was Lenin, not Stalin, but I assume you knew

That makes sense, considering the few cyrillic letters I know.

I know them all, Russian was taught in Poland from the early years of education ;

I'm glad now actually, it used to be a nuasance, now it becomes handy in the Western World.. Hehe

Regards,
LO231
Got both LO 788 frames already, next LO E95 and 734 BRU-WAW-BRU
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:08 am

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 9):
Looks like you all had a blast

Hehehe  Wink

Quoting LO231 (Reply 10):

It says "Gagarin's sport complex"

You're welcome. praise

Ant the head was Lenin, not Stalin, but I assume you knew

Thanks for translating and I just corrected it. Thankyou  Smile
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:16 am

Some of the Russians mentioned earlier... see what I mean with looking suspicious?  Smile
Big version: Width: 1504 Height: 1000 File size: 275kb


Norwegian coast guard doing an exercise with the boat I was on
Big version: Width: 1504 Height: 1000 File size: 125kb

Big version: Width: 1504 Height: 1000 File size: 132kb
 
BMIFlyer
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:19 am

Great pics again Big grin


Next time you guys wanna meet up there, i'm in Big grin



Lee
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
 
LO231
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:22 am

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 15):
Great pics again


Next time you guys wanna meet up there, i'm in

Ditto!

If I can speak some Russian, do I get a discount?  Wink

Regards,
LO231

PS. And find me that formula Dan uses to get me there cheaply!!
Got both LO 788 frames already, next LO E95 and 734 BRU-WAW-BRU
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:31 am

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 15):
Great pics again

Thanks! I will probably post some more tomorrow but I am going to bed now
Weird to think that there is still daylight up in Longyear right now

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 15):
Next time you guys wanna meet up there, i'm in



Quoting LO231 (Reply 16):
Ditto!

Sounds great

Quoting LO231 (Reply 16):
If I can speak some Russian, do I get a discount?

Depends on where we're going next year
But we are planning to make odd location meetings an annual tradition of a.net

[Edited 2006-08-11 01:40:35]
 
LO231
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:36 am

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 17):
Depends on where we're going next year
But we are planning to make odd location meetings an annually tradition of a.net

Pleeease make it known to the public way ahead. So we can start saving/planning/etc.

Regards,
LO231

PS. I'd say there wasn't an Iceland meet before. Would make a nice stopover to BOS, which I want to visit.  Wink
Got both LO 788 frames already, next LO E95 and 734 BRU-WAW-BRU
 
aloges
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:43 am

Quoting LO231 (Reply 18):
I'd say there wasn't an Iceland meet before.

And I say there is Iceland Express! Big grin
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AirPacific747
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:50 am

Quoting LO231 (Reply 18):
PS. I'd say there wasn't an Iceland meet before.

We were thinking about another location but I will let Sören reveal the plan as it was another crazy idea of his (which I fully support)

Here's a map of where Svalbard is to anyone who doesn't already know where it is:

What's Alaska doing that far south? Big grin

Goodnight folks! Will post again tomorrow

[Edited 2006-08-11 01:53:38]
 
LO231
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 8:54 am

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 20):
We were thinking about another location

Hmm, Greenland.....

Regards,
LO231
Got both LO 788 frames already, next LO E95 and 734 BRU-WAW-BRU
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:01 am

Quoting LO231 (Reply 21):
Hmm, Greenland.....

wrong... but goodnight.. im serious this time Big grin
 
Thom@s
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:25 pm

Quoting Birdwatching (Thread starter):

Is that a camera or is he having a pleasant dream?  Wink

Looks like a fun trip. Thanks for the report.

Thom@s
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VHVXB
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RE: The Phenomenal 78?North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 1:41 pm

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 8):



Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 14):

Some great pics there Airpacific  thumbsup 
 
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AirPacific747
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 5:28 pm

Quoting VHVXB (Reply 24):
Some great pics there Airpacific

Thanks!

Can someone please help me identifying that helicopter model as I am planning to give it a try on a.net..

[Edited 2006-08-11 10:33:27]
 
Thom@s
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 5:42 pm

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 25):
Can someone please help me identifying that helicopter model as I am planning to give it a try on a.net..

Its a Eurocopter AS.332 Super Puma, reg LN-OMX belonging to the company Airlift.

I know because most of their fleet is based here at work.  Smile

Thom@s
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DeltaWings
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 5:49 pm

Wow, cool trip!

I see I need to go there too one day  hyper 
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AirPacific747
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 5:52 pm

Quoting Thom@s (Reply 26):
Its a Eurocopter AS.332 Super Puma, reg LN-OMX belonging to the company Airlift.

I know because most of their fleet is based here at work.

Thanks!  Smile
 
skidmarks
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:07 pm

Well, you lucky buggers! Looks like a good trip and I am exceedingly jealous. I would loved to have come along.

So, whens the next one? Big grin

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HT
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:26 pm

Good to hear that you made the trip up there and back safely and had a great time !
Still a shame that I couldn't attend.

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 20):
We were thinking about another location but I will let Sören reveal the plan as it was another crazy idea of his (which I fully support)

Let me speculate ...:

Well, LYR was the northernmost one can get commercially ...
The opposite would be ... Tierra del Fuego (USH) ?!
Or is the intention to go even further south ?
-HT
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AirPacific747
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:27 pm

Quoting HT (Reply 30):

Well, LYR was the northernmost one can get commercially ...
The opposite would be ... Tierra del Fuego (USH) ?!
Or is the intention to go even further south ?

Good suggestion, but that's not it either

Just uploaded it.. hope it'll have a chance:
http://www.airliners.net/addphotos/big/ready/DSC_333777.JPG

Here's the second one:
http://www.airliners.net/addphotos/big/ready/DSC_3362.JPG

[Edited 2006-08-11 11:41:03]
 
HT
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 6:56 pm

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 31):
Good suggestion, but that's not it either

Next guess: ... too many possibilities to post here ... I'll wait for Sören's announcement  Wink

Stunning pic's !
-HT
Carpe diem ! Life is too short to waste your time ! Keep in mind, that today is the first day of the rest of your life !
 
Birdwatching
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 7:00 pm

Good morning everybody, I just had the sleep of a lifetime. No permafrost cooling my back from below. Frederik I'm sure the first picture will make the database. The second, I don't know, the heli is very far away, but still it might be ok because it's a rare shot. I'm going to give it a try with some pics in a couple of minutes.

By the way, Frederik, post some more of that funny pictures we got. Like when Dan and Rune were hit in the head by the birds, and also "Dan's snack".

Soren  santahat 
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AirPacific747
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 7:26 pm

Quoting Birdwatching (Reply 33):

By the way, Frederik, post some more of that funny pictures we got. Like when Dan and Rune were hit in the head by the birds, and also "Dan's snack".

You got it:
Dan getting owned by a bird


Us having fun outside the Longyearbyen school


Dan getting owned again...


...and again:


We found a Jap in the supermarket


Dan owning Jap..


Søren, Dan and Rune taking off while I had to stay on Svalbard for another 9 hours..

Did you guys see me waving? Your plane made an impressive runway cleaning upon the takeoff roll


BTW Søren: My plane landed in the other direction of the usual landings. I had to land in Tromsø on my way home.

[Edited 2006-08-11 12:31:31]
 
Birdwatching
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 7:47 pm

No comments



Soren  santahat 
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BMIFlyer
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:18 pm

Quoting LO231 (Reply 21):
Hmm, Greenland.....

Yes please, or maybe we can have a meek in Iceland.

I hear KEF is nice  Wink



Lee
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KaiGywer
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:23 pm

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 36):
I hear KEF is nice

KEF would definately be a good idea. Easy to get to from MSP Big grin
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AirPacific747
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:24 pm

Søren, this is for you:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Phil Broad



 Smile
 
HT
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:27 pm

Quoting KaiGywer (Reply 37):
Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 36):
I hear KEF is nice

KEF would definately be a good idea. Easy to get to from MSP

Call that potential meeting in KEF "Europe and America meeting midway" (okay, this might be somehow misleading - in that case replace "midway" by "mid-point" ?) !
-HT
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Doona
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:38 pm

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 8):
Another cool sign. Don't ask me what the text means

As far as I can tell, it says "Gagarina Sportkompleks"... was there an ex-Soviet sports arena nearby?  silly 

Cheers
Mats
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AirPacific747
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:41 pm

Quoting Doona (Reply 40):
As far as I can tell, it says "Gagarina Sportkompleks"... was there an ex-Soviet sports arena nearby?



Quoting LO231 (Reply 10):

It says "Gagarin's sport complex"

Seems like you're right, both of you then  Smile

And yeah there was an old sports complex. Very old crap. I have lots of more pictures from the russian mining towns that I will upload to a website sometime soon.

Where did you learn Russian btw?
 
Doona
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:50 pm

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 41):
Where did you learn Russian btw?

I took a course of Russian in high school. For some reason I can only remember the alphabet. And "Nazdarovye", of course!

Cheers
Mats
Sure, we're concerned for our lives. Just not as concerned as saving 9 bucks on a roundtrip to Ft. Myers.
 
LO231
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 9:59 pm

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 41):
Where did you learn Russian btw?

I grew up in Poland, where from the age of 11, you had Russian at school as a second language, you know, a gift from our Soviet friends....

Forgot a lot, still can read and write it though...

Regards,
LO231
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AirPacific747
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 10:01 pm

Quoting Doona (Reply 42):

I took a course of Russian in high school. For some reason I can only remember the alphabet. And "Nazdarovye", of course!



Quoting LO231 (Reply 43):
I grew up in Poland, where from the age of 11, you had Russian at school as a second language, you know, a gift from our Soviet friends....

Awesome! I wish I was able to understand it. It looks very cool!
 
BMIFlyer
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Fri Aug 11, 2006 10:03 pm

Quoting HT (Reply 39):
Call that potential meeting in KEF "Europe and America meeting midway" (okay, this might be somehow misleading - in that case replace "midway" by "mid-point" ?) !

The Spring 2007 KEF (Iceland) A.Net Meet. (by BMIFlyer Aug 11 2006 in Non Aviation)

Hehe  



Lee

[Edited 2006-08-11 15:19:36]
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AirPacific747
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Sat Aug 12, 2006 7:31 am

Two shots that I am really proud of. Nikon all the way  Wink

Big version: Width: 1504 Height: 1000 File size: 245kb
Big version: Width: 1504 Height: 1000 File size: 229kb
 
BMIFlyer
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Sat Aug 12, 2006 7:33 am

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 46):

Fantastic shots, both of em Big grin


Lee
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AirPacific747
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Sat Aug 12, 2006 7:38 am

Quoting BMIFlyer (Reply 47):
Fantastic shots, both of em

Thankyou!  Smile
 
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RE: The Phenomenal 78° North Svalbard A.net Meet

Sat Aug 12, 2006 7:40 am

Quoting AirPacific747 (Reply 48):
Thankyou!

Now get on the trip to KEF with us and take more like that Big grin


Lee
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