Well, it was about time to call at a port..and we did, on the island of Spitsbergen, in the Svalbard Archipelago...at Longyearbyen.
Maison Cou Rouge may be "The Middle-Of-Nowhere comma Georgia" ™..... but Longyearbyen is the Middle of Nowhere. Period. Truly the Wild Wild North.
Longyearbyen has 1500 year-round residents, half of whom still work the underground coal mines. Various research stations are located here, as well as support facilities for residents.
We tendered over...
Main Street looking one way
and the other.
Yeap- pretty barren.
Not everything is touristy in summer...the hardware store
is a hardware store.
The local church....
And of COURSE I found the local yarn nook!!!
This was the only polar bear we saw...they usually summer on the OTHER side of the island, where the snow is better.
But the signs are still funny all the same. Most residents walk around armed...because you just NEVER know..........
There's a memorial to the miners
Symphony looks lovely from the shuttle bus
Polar bear warning signs mark the edge of "town"
(actually I think it translates as "applies to all of Svalbard")
But it's cool, nonetheless...
I'm not the only one who likes to watch the tenders being loaded back on board
As we sailed away, I looked around the landscape, wondering what these homes must be like in the wintertime- if you can see them at all...
I wonder who lives here.....and how quiet it must be.....
And the Captain pointed out the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, where seeds from around the world are stored in order to protect biological diversity.
And before we knew it, we said goodbye to land
and were headed back to sea.