Friday, 27 July 2012

Times of changes

Today Fram’s climate pilgrimage tour came to an end in the harbour of Longyearbyen. The passengers had left with rich memories, and longlasting impressions and newly acquired knowledge on the most recent climate change.
Last but not least many waved farewell to newly made friends.
The ‘house keeping’ team of the MV Fram deserve a fair share of respect for their tremendous job of cleaning to guarantee a tidy ship for the new arriving passengers.
Eventually, in the afternoon, new passengers arrived to embark on new adventures along the coast of Svalbard. Yipee…Fram’s Svalbard season 2012 has thereby started.
Again, Svalbard showed its erratic weather. In the face of predicted sunshine, we encountered only a change in the degree of overcast: the clouds in the Isfjord (Svalbard biggest fjord) were even more low-hanging, than the days before.
The MV FRAM headed in westward direction into new adventures. This time our first stop was Barentsburg, the Russian coalmining settlement in Grønfjorden. After climbing the steep 244 steps of the staircase from the pier to the town centre , local employees of the Russian settlement guided us with stories about the history, mining and general life of Barentsburg.
Barentsburg is changing its appearance. Several buildings are being renovated. Even the hotel received a thorough overhaul. The guided tour ended in the cultural center where local people performed a folklore show with both traditional and modern music and dances.
We left this remote Russian enclave with a melancholic heart and while leaving the Grønfjorden behind in the wake of the MV FRAM we look forward to our future adventures along the southern coast of Svalbard.