During the night we arrived in Longyearbyen. Boarding would be in the afternoon and so we used the time to learn the city in guided tours.
At 16:00 MV FRAM opened its doors for us and we recognized directly – we are on an expedition vessel. Our first afternoon and evening was fully packed with a dense program. But we are here only for one week and of course we want to see as most as possible – so let’s do it.
Directly after the check in we got our blue expedition jackets. With this nice new staff we moved directly to the mandatory safety drill. After the drill we heard already the announcement for our first dinner buffet. There was even no time for a longer Captains welcome. We have been so busy that even the Captain had to use the very unusual opportunity to welcome us over the P.A. system. So there is a huge question standing in the room: Will we have really holidays?
At 20:00 FRAM reached the Russian mining town Barentsburg. Here we had our first landing of the cruise. The sun was gone and the clouds were hanging greyish over the typical Russian settlement. We could see all the old coal mining equipment, something of it was laying as iron and steel garbage directly in the harbor next to our lovely FRAM. But for sure we have not been in a tourist center anywhere in the Caribbean. We have been here to see the real life so far in the high Arctic; we wanted to see the real way of life in this very special Archipelago of Spitsbergen; and we got to see it.
Like in Longyearbyen the morning we had guided tours through the settlement in Barentsburg. We have been very surprised about all the new reinstatement of the buildings and constructions. We tested the “Homemade” beer and vodka and enjoyed at the end a fantastic folklore show.
Oh what a first day. Soon after the landing we went to bed, more than tiered. What will bring the next day for us