Monday 6 August 2012

During the night the captain had brought us past the Prins Karl´s Forland and into Kongsfjorden, Ny London. Situated on an island, and not on a peninsular as the name suggest.(Blomstrandhalvøya). Earlier the Blomstrand breen covered part of the island, it was just when it retreated that it was discovered to be an island. Another discovery done by Mansfield in the 1920th led to optimistic establishment of a marble mine. It turned out to be a poorly investment, as when the marble arrived the continent the quality was so pore that the marble fell apart.
We beached the area in sunshine and no wind, remains’ of the machinery and houses where still situated on the beach. Fore those of us that climbed up the hill, we where rewarded with a grand view across to Ny Ålesund. A few hours later filled with impressions and another tasty lunch onboard MV. Fram we docked at Ny Ålesund.
Ny Ålesund formerly named Kings Bay by the British, was re named by the Norwegians in the spirit of Nationalism that governed in these days after the independency of the young nation. This part of Spitsbergen is at it’s most alpine in resemblance with the west coast of Norway. This is probably the reason of the choice of name. Roald Amundsen, started 2 of his famous expeditions from this area. We spent a couple of hours in one of the most northerly cities in the world. As we entered land a large flock of belugas passed us at 30-40 m. They where twisting and rolling as they gave us an excellent view fore a long time. We could even hear them breath and smell the cod breath from their resperation. Right outside town we sah an old steam train, located right down by the beach. Used fore transport of coal in former days when mining was the only activity in town. The activity was shut down in 1962 when a terrible accident killed 21 miners.
Now days all activity is concentrated on science, environmental studies, glacier, birds etc. All performed by international scientist from all over the world. The location of Ny Ålesund is unique fore this kind of since. At the end of the tour we went out to the mast where the airship Norge with Roald Amundsen started it’s successfully maiden voyage across the North Pole.
Leaving Ny Ålesund we now follow the same course as Amundsen, northwards fore new astonishing impressions of this grand landscape close up to the North Pole.