Being so close to nature, watching her at her glorious best has inspired this very special feature of “What Women Want”. I mean who better suited than Mother Nature herself showing off her Favorite Child – Longyearbyen.
Longyearbyen pronounced as Long Year Bean is the northern most island off Norway. Though politically a territory of Norway, it enjoys certain autonomy of sorts with its own immigration process and laws. It’s heavily protected with tonnes of dos and donts. It’s a completely demilitarized zone with no local surveillance either! And surprisingly one of the most safe places on earth with less than 1% crime rate.
So before the 1920s it was said to be a “no mans land”. People just found their way in to the island, lived on it, hunted for food and started small businesses. It caught the attention of the Russians, who started the coal mining industry, their only source of income for years. The coal was (and is still) used for local consumption and for exports. The industry has also faced slow down with 6 out of the 7 inoperable at the moment. The structures however remain intact for historical reasons.
Being so close to the North Pole, this place is truly unique and special. There are over 90 days of continuous sunshine followed by over 100 days of completely darkness. It is during this time that the Diva makes an appearance. The Northern Light chasers love Longyearbean for its location, though some think it maybe a bit way off too north! Then again, she is the Diva, so one can never tell.
The nature, the fauna and the wild animals like the Polar Bears are all protected. Hunting without a license and permit carries heavy penalties while there is zero tolerance to hunting the once endangered Polar Bears.
There are islands close to Longyearbyen, which belonged to the USSR and currently under the Russian government that are the mine town. Pyramiden with a total population of 8 was abandoned in 1999 after the collapse of the USSR. It’s building structures consisting of houses, schools, community centers and mines are still preserved and is open to tourists.
Enjoy Longyearbyen through my lens, from the time of decent from the plane. All images are by me (and hence copyrighted) taken on my iPhone 6S Plus (I think), with most requiring no edits and all needing no filters! Cheers!
This is the first of the two blogs, find the second one here.