søndag 21. mars 2010
Yesterday was perfect for any kind of trip, and we managed to get 2 incredible ones! At noon, we started to drive from Nybyen to Bjørndalen on snowscooter. We wanted to drive far into Bjørndalen valley and see if we could make it up one of the plateaus above the valley. The weather was perfect! Sun, no clouds, no wind, not too cold, and even the ocean was calm! It was really cool driving along the shore, watching both impressive snow covered mountains and clear, never-ending sea! We carried on into the valley, driving carefully away from the grazing reindeers around us. The valley started out being very wide, but as we got further in it became more and more a narrow canyon! We followed some scooter tracks in the canyon to see where we ended up. It was an awesome ride! The canyon was really narrow, full of sharp turns, sideways slopes, and a lot of bumps, we really got to test our scooter skills in there! It was great! On one side of the canyon we had a slope totally covered with snow, and the other side was bare mountain with huge icesicles! We finally reached a dead end, an open area surrounded by steep slopes, so we turned back and headed for the student cabin in Bjørndalen to have lunch. Hehe, the trip out of the canyon was of course as tricky and challenging as the way in, but it was so much fun! So cool to see what I am able to do with the snowscooter! I had not been to the student cabin before, it was so nice inside! It really reminded me on the cabins home, so now I am definitely looking forward to spend some time there in the Easter Holiday! I was feeling just like home :-) All 6 of us had lunch, something warm to drink and chocolate,just relaxing inside a bit. The view form the cabin was very nice, we could see the open ocean and the other side of Isfjorden. I can only imagine how impressive it must have been for the students last semester that saw Belugawhales from the cabin!
After our lunch, we drove back to Longyearbyen. It was an incredible trip! After getting warm again, and getting some more food, we decided to continue the day with another trip. We drove to Coles Bay, visitting the Russian ruins there! These ruins is from the mining days of Russia, and a lot of the buildings are still standing. We went inside some of the buildings, finding a lot of leftover stuff from the Russians. All ruins on Svalbard is now Cultural Heritage, and it is pretty interesting to see all the things still being here =)
We headed back before it started to get dark, but closing up to Longyearbreen glacier my scooter suddenly refused to move! the variator belt was completely destroyed, but luckily I always have an extra one with me. And thanks to the scooter course we had at aschool, we knew what to do. Our first problem was to get the new variator belt warm enough to put it in place, it was so cold that it was totally stiff! Next, we had some problems moving the metal rings the belt is supposed to be between. Luckily, we had some friends not too far away from us, they where working on another scooter that stopped. So thanks to them, I got the belt properly on and could drive home without any more problems =) I can´t believe the luck I had on the trip! What if the variator belt quit on my far into Bjørndalen, or even in Coles Bay?! So I am grateful to my lucky star or guardian angel that it happened so close to town, and so close to help =)
A perfect start on the weekend is a quick trip to the other side of Adventdalen valley by scooter! After being finished with class quite early, one of my friends suggested a trip up to the radio station to enjoy some sunlight and the view of the ocean. Clear sky and no wind, a lot of sun and an absolutely stunning view! Sitting there with a cup of hot chocolate in sunlight and snow covered mountains reminded me of Easter Holidays in my cabin =) No wonder I feel home here! It was amazing =D
None of us wanted to go back, it would have been so nice to sit there and watch the sun going down into the ocean =) Hopefully I will do that later, before the sun stays up 24 hours a day! But all of us wanted to join the Friday Gathering at Unis, especially I wanted to do that because I just bought my own slack-line and wanted to test it out! Hehe, since I ought a long rope, we put up a really long slackline!
Now I am really looking forward for Easter Holiday, hopefully I will get on a lot of trips! And no, I am not going home for the vacation, no way am I leaving a place like this for a week home! What´s the point of going back to the mainland when I got snow, skiis, scooter, sun and a cabin booked for the Holiday? At least no point when my boyfriend is coming to visit me, and I get a chance to show him how amazing it is here! =D
søndag 14. mars 2010
My room feels so empty here now that all my visitors have left... But hey, it was awesome seeing them again! So fun to give them an impression of my life here in Svalbard, and it was great hanging with them! And now I really miss them!
Too bad my friends left in the beginning of the Solfestuka, which is a week dedicated to celebrate that the sun is coming back to Longyearbyen! The sun was supposed to come on Monday, but it was too cloudy for it to be seen... Also Tuesday was too cloudy, but this did not stop the celebration! There`s been a lot of concerts and happenings here, something new happening every day =) Even though I had a busy week at school ( for the first time this semester=P), I still managed to attend some of the concerts and parties! Yesterday (Saturday), was the last day of the Solfestuka, and that was spend outside Longyearbyen on the other side of Adventdalen valley. I´m pretty sure the whole town was out there! The reason why we went outside the town, was engage in and watch the Ta Sjangsen/ Take a Chance competition! It is a sledge-competition, where being creative is the aim =) This year a new record was set with 22 sledges! The UNis-students where doing most of the practical for this competition, but we also had some students joining the race. The ledges could win one of four categories, The Gold Medal, The Sillver Medal (for first and second place winning the race), The Coal Medal (most original sledge), and The Fossil Medal (the biggest fiasco). There was really a lot of creative sledges there! At the first half of the race I was standing far up in the mountainside above everyone, with a clear vision, being polar bear guard during the contest. Luckily I did not see any polar bears, and I had a good view of the sledge race too!
And I have never ever seen so many snowscooters in one place! It looked like there where more snowscooters present than people!
After the competition was over, me and a friend drove further in Adventdalen for a small scooter trip =) It is really cool, the valleys here really look like canyons, just covered in snow. We went to an area called Jernsenga (Iron bed), because right here in the middle of nowhere there is 2 iron beds standing outside! And an old oven. My friend told me that there are several stories for why the beds are there, no one really know why.
In the evening, the ending of the Solfest was held at Huset, 2 concerts and a big party. And a lot of people! Now the Solfest is over, and the sun is staying longer and longer in town. In not too long, the sun will stay here 24 hours a day! So I am getting ready to see the Midnight Sun!