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 Post subject: Deathgrowl's pictures
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:42 pm 
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So I recently went to Svalbard along with my parents (my father is currently project leader for laying down some fiber cables in the sea from Longyearbyen (the biggest "town" with about 2500 inhabitants I think) to Ny Ålesund, which is a research/science "town". I promised some people to upload pictures, so I figured I'd post them here in the Gallery. They aren't particularly artistic, but Svalbard has a strange beauty nevertheless.

I took over 500 pictures over three days while there. I've condensed it down to 17 here for your pleasure.

The first picture here is from the airport, just having got off the plane. At 01.30. At night. And the sun was shining. It never dipped below the horizon while we were there.
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In the morning, I woke up to this view from the hotel room. This is down the main street of Longyearbyen. The mountains are on the other side of Adventfjorden, which one of the fjord arms of Isfjorden.
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This is one of the very strange beauties of Svalbard. This mountain is on the western side of Longyearbyen. Longyearbyen was first made as a coal mining town, and you can see along the mountainside an old cableway for coal transport. The wooden tower thing in front there is part of another coal transport cableway that goes several kilometers into the valley to other mines.
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I found this mounted polar bear inside a bar/restaurant! Quite amusing!
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Here, I am standing on the shores where Adventfjorden meets Isfjorden. Across Isfjorden you can see several enormous glaciers.
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On the mountainside next to the airport and into the mountain, they have built the Global Seed Vault. In here they store seeds of a staggering amount of various plants from all over the world. Because of how far north svalbard is, the ground is in permafrost, making the mountain halls very cold and thus useful for freezing and storing such seeds without the need for using lots of energy to cool it down. This is just the entrance.
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In this picture you can see a part of Longyearbyen and further in Adventdalen (the Advent Valley). On the right hand side of the picture, you can see the place where all the old cableways for the coal transport met. From here they were transported to the harbour and onto ships. You can also see the old cableway going out of the complex even having some wagons on it still. It's not in use anymore, of course.
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I needed a selfie, of course, when I found this road sign. Very appropriate! The sign says "applies to all of Svalbard".
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At the end of the road that goes into Adventdalen, there is Mine 7. This is the only mine still in use near Longyearbyen and probably the last mine to be made here. This is looking north-west towards Longyearbyen and you can see one of the large glaciers across Isfjorden in the distance. As you also may notice, there are not trees on Svalbard. And there is very little vegetation, especially when you get up more than few meters above sea level. Disregarding the water, the landscape as a somewhat Martian look about it. And indeed, scientists have tested Mars equiment on Svalbard.
On the right hand side of the picture, you can see one of two radio telescopes that are, from what I understand, used to monitor the Earth's magnetic field. Svalbard is also ideal for these kind of things due to low amounts of interference from man-made radio signals. These two dishes operate on frequenzy band that is usually occupied by television broadcasting.
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This picture is looking further into Adventdalen, where there are no roads, no buildings, nothing. In winter, you can go on snowmobile safaris and maybe encounter polar bears, but for the most part, this valley leads to a whole lot of entirely untouched wilderness. Beautiful.
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At the airport, when we were leaving again, I found this fascinating sign at the entrance.
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This is from the plane. As we had good weather that day, the captain decided to make a slow ascent out of Svalbard so people could get nice view. This is of course taken through the plane window, so it's a bit blurry. But that little town down there is Barentsburg, a Russian coal mining town.
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Just to give you an idea of how vast Svalbard's untouched wilderness is. This picture by no means gives it justice at all, as what you see here is but a tiny fraction of Svalbard. And everything you see in this picture is wilderness. In the bottom of the picture you can see clearly how the glaciers move. The black lines in the glacier I think actually is rock formed by the glaciers slow movement to make smooth lines.
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This is the southernmost tip of Svalbard.
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This is over mainland Norway, just north of the city of Tromsø where we landed, deplaned, went through passport control (because Svalbard is outside the Schengen area, despite being Norwegian), then got on the plane again. Svalbard is beautiful, but so is our mainland.
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And the last picture is of the city of Tromsø as we left the airport there.
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Last edited by Deathgrowl on Tue Oct 28, 2014 2:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: My recent trip to Svalbard
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:09 pm 
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I can't help but think of the movie, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, when I look at your pictures. Looks like it was a good holiday.

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 Post subject: Re: My recent trip to Svalbard
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:11 pm 
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Agreed, thanks for sharing DG


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 Post subject: Re: My recent trip to Svalbard
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 8:56 pm 
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SAS! Seen at the color on the engine :) A321/19, closest guess...Norway is great. I love to be there or fly over it. Great pictures!

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 Post subject: Re: My recent trip to Svalbard
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:07 pm 
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Solaris wrote:
SAS! Seen at the color on the engine :) A321, closest guess...Norway is great. I love to be there or fly over it. Great pictures!

Boeing 737, actually. I think it's a 737-600? Anyways. Yeah. Great trip. And only three days. Next time I'm staying much longer! And preferably late winter when the sun has come back but the snow is still there, so you can go on snowmobile safari and stuff.

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 Post subject: Re: My recent trip to Svalbard
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:16 pm 
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Really? Doh! 50% chance XD Maybe the picture changed the angle a bit. 737 engines flat out at the underside. *curses light effects*

They do the snowsafari? Always wanted to do one of those. Do they have the combo of husky- and snowmobile? I should look in to that. Area is amazing :)

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 Post subject: Re: My recent trip to Svalbard
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 9:46 pm 
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Solaris wrote:
Really? Doh! 50% chance XD Maybe the picture changed the angle a bit. 737 engines flat out at the underside. *curses light effects*

They do the snowsafari? Always wanted to do one of those. Do they have the combo of husky- and snowmobile? I should look in to that. Area is amazing :)

There are several husky... uh farms? I was on Svalbard once like 12 years ago in november. There wasn't actually enough snow at that time for the sleds to work, so the husky owners used an old wolksvagen beetle with it's engine removed and roof cut off as a "sled" for the huskies to pull. :P

I have a bunch of pictures of huskies actually. They just look a bit sad in their pens.

I'm not sure if there is any kind of combination. Basically, the snowmobile safari is where everyone gets their own snowmobile and a large group of people head out together. It does go a bit further than the huskies do, as it is somewhat safer (polar bears and stuff...).

http://www.spitsbergentravel.com/Start/ Has some info on this stuff. They organize all of this. You can also get to ride on a boat and see a lot of the coastline!

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 Post subject: Re: My recent trip to Svalbard
Unread postPosted: Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:55 pm 
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Lovely images. Really looks like an alien, desolate place! Thanks for sharing :)

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 Post subject: Re: My recent trip to Svalbard
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 8:18 am 
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Nomster wrote:
Lovely images. Really looks like an alien, desolate place! Thanks for sharing :)
Yes, this. ^^^^ :)

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 Post subject: Re: My recent trip to Svalbard
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:22 am 
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Some more pictures:

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On the top of this mountain which is right next to the airport, are a bunch of radars (I think). Those spherical things.
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Global warming?
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 Post subject: Re: My recent trip to Svalbard
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 9:58 am 
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Beautiful pictures! Svalbard has such open and desolate beauty. By the way, there was clearly a bear standing next to that polarbear warning sign! :D That, or a Norseman.

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 Post subject: Re: My recent trip to Svalbard
Unread postPosted: Sat Sep 13, 2014 10:32 am 
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This reminds me of what I imagine Mars looked like 500-M or 1-B years ago when it had oceans.

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 Post subject: Re: Deathgrowl's pictures
Unread postPosted: Tue Oct 28, 2014 3:05 pm 
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So. I went to Paris to visit my cousin who is studying there. She's the only cousin I have, so she's become sort of like a little sister to me and my actual sister.

Most of these pictures aren't really particularly unique, nor are they any good. But people want me to post pictures.


Here, the plane had just left Værnes, the airport of Trondheim in Norway. There's a morning mist on the Trondheim Fjord.
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Beer and nachos on the plane from Schipol (Amsterdam) to Charles de Gaulle (Paris)! Mmm. Beer. Could have been a better brand, though.
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Statue at Bastille in Paris, near the hotel.
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Eiffel Tower. The pictures don't do it justice. Standing beneath it is spectacular. It's not so much the height that impressed me, as it was width at the bottom. The thing is gargantuan.
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Here you see one of the four legs seen from almost between the two on the opposite side. Huge! Also, lots of people, long queue. My feet still hurt from standing so much.
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Picture taken from the top of the tower towards Ecole Militaire (the military school, I think?), where I later met Valefort! Just at the far end of the green field there.
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Beer! Me to the left, Valefort to the right! Hoorah!
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Some building. I don't know. Looked cool. Ask Valefort what it is/does.
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Arc de Triomphe. Looks pretty good, actually.
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Underneath, with French flag.
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Waiting for the plane home on Charles de Gaulle, terminal 2, which I hear is the best looking terminal. And I think it looks kind of cool. Very open space, and a glass roof!
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 Post subject: Re: Deathgrowl's pictures
Unread postPosted: Wed Oct 29, 2014 6:27 am 
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That's one amazing looking city. I can't help but think this is where they got the inspiration for from the whole failed assassination attempt/plot segment in Final Fantasy VIII. . .

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 Post subject: Re: Deathgrowl's pictures
Unread postPosted: Tue Mar 17, 2015 4:36 pm 
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This was going on in the sky above me about an hour ago! Aurora borealis - northern lights. Pictures taken by my father, because my own camera was out of battery. So they are a bit blurry. I'll see if I can take some more pictures another evening if there are auroras to be seen.

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This one looks like a dragon or a bird or something! Almost.
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