Svalbard

Today I’ll present the most special far-off place for me, Svalbard…

Svalbard on the map

Svalbard on the map

Svalbard is an archipelago situated at the Arctic Ocean, halfway between Norway and the North Pole. The only island inhabited is Spitzbergen with only two permanent settlements, Longyearbyen (the main town) and Barentsburg. And why is so special? Well, Svalbard is the northernmost human permanent settlement in the world. Due to their latitude, all the islands are covered by ice and snow all the year, except the coast line. Its inland are plenty of mountains forming a rough and steep relief, the paradise for mountain skiers, alpinists, ice climbers…

Longyearbyen with a population of 2,000 inhabitants is the main town, with all the services of a big community concentrated on a small town. Also is the site where is placed the Svalbard Global Seed Vault which contains over 20 million from approximately 1/3 of the world’s most important food crop seeds variety, and the UNIS (The University Centre in Svalbard), an important Scientific research point in biology, geophysics, geology and civil engineering.

The other settlement is Barentsburg, an extremely sad and lifeless town, with only 400 inhabitants which live in poor conditions working in mining. Despite of belonging to Norway, Barentsburg is a Russian town.

However, what stand out from these islands are their incredible flora, fauna and inland landscapes…

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Being honest, Svalbard is the first in my Far-off places Agenda so I’ll be there really soon! Enjoy the videos!

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