A walk through one of the northernmost cities in the world, Longyearbyen

Longyearbyen was originally established and named by John Munro Longyear, an American entrepreneur whose Arctic Coal Company started coal mining operations in 1906.

Landing in Longyearbyen, which is located in Svalbard, just over 800 miles from the North Pole, the daylight was still bright at 2 a.m. M. And the temperature was below 10 degrees Celsius, despite being the summer.

I had ventured into the small metropolis, which is home to around 2,200 residents, from Oslo, before a boat trip through the Arctic with the adventures company G Adventures.

For two days it was fascinating to learn about its history as a center for coal mining, with remnants of the past rusting in the freezing weather.

Longyearbyen was originally established and named by John Munro Longyear, an American entrepreneur whose Arctic Coal Company started coal mining operations in 1906.

Longyearbyen was originally established and named by John Munro Longyear, an American entrepreneur whose Arctic Coal Company started coal mining operations in 1906.

Longyearbyen is a city in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard and is just over 800 miles from the North Pole.

Longyearbyen is a city in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard and is just over 800 miles from the North Pole.

Longyearbyen is a city in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard and is just over 800 miles from the North Pole.

It was also interesting to observe the local life, with many residents roaming with rifles to protect themselves from the polar bears that frequent the area.

I saw posters stuck in several stores, including the supermarket and the post office, telling customers to leave their guns outside or to keep them in secure lockers next to the cashiers' desks.

Meanwhile, there were warnings scattered on the outside that indicated where the dogs could park.

In the winter months with the appearance of snow, the locals in Longyearbyen move on sleds pulled by dogs, skis or snowmobiles.

The local fauna definitely bites: a sign warns visitors that polar bears can be found throughout Svalbard

The local fauna definitely bites: a sign warns visitors that polar bears can be found throughout Svalbard

The local fauna definitely bites: a sign warns visitors that polar bears can be found throughout Svalbard

A sign in a shop specialized in skins instructs clients to leave their weapons with personnel

A sign in a shop specialized in skins instructs clients to leave their weapons with personnel

A sign in a shop specialized in skins instructs clients to leave their weapons with personnel

The signs around Longyearbyen instruct people where to leave their dogs. The locals move on sleds pulled by dogs in the winter months

The signs around Longyearbyen instruct people where to leave their dogs. The locals move on sleds pulled by dogs in the winter months

The signs around Longyearbyen instruct people where to leave their dogs. The locals move on sleds pulled by dogs in the winter months

A sign displayed at the main Longyearbyen supermarket

A sign displayed at the main Longyearbyen supermarket

A sign outside the post office in Longbearyen indicates that firearms are prohibited (left), while a similar notice is displayed at the main supermarket (right)

There are few settlements in the world farther north than Longyearbyen, as this chart shows

There are few settlements in the world farther north than Longyearbyen, as this chart shows

There are few settlements in the world farther north than Longyearbyen, as this chart shows

While I did not see many husky dogs when I visited at the end of July, there were snowmobiles parked outside almost every house.

As I walked down the main street of the city, which has souvenir shops and decorative items for tourists, I decided to continue towards the valley from where I could see a glacier in the distance.

After passing dozens of colorful houses in burnt orange and moss green (the city employs a color consultant to ensure that all buildings are painted in tones combined), the landscape began to get a little wilder.

On the dark slopes I saw several abandoned coal mines, with wooden huts forming deformed shapes.

Longyearbyen was originally established and named by John Munro Longyear, an American entrepreneur whose Arctic Coal Company started coal mining operations in 1906.

Coal mining has ceased in the Longyearbyen area, with the old buildings out of reach of tourists unless they are on a special tour

Coal mining has ceased in the Longyearbyen area, with the old buildings out of reach of tourists unless they are on a special tour

Coal mining has ceased in the Longyearbyen area, with the old buildings out of reach of tourists unless they are on a special tour

The population records for the settlement are not as complete, but we know that in 1917 there were 180 male workers along with 34 women and children.

In 1920, the figures had increased to 289 men and 37 women and children.

In the middle of the 20th century, the authorities strove to turn the industrial city into a more familiar community.

The opening of the airport in 1975 helped Longyearbyen to be accessible to the outside world and today, with the decline of coal mining, it is best known as a boarding point for tourist boats.

Many travelers leave the city to sail around the shores of Svalbard, observing polar bears and other animals as they go.

After taking a look from the road at some of the coal mines that were rising above me, I wondered back to the city, seeing a small cemetery on the way.

Dying now is illegal in Longyearbyen (as is unemployment and homelessness), since the bodies do not decompose in the frozen ground, but the small cemetery that exists in the city dates from 1918, when seven Norwegian miners died in the worldwide epidemic of the Spanish flu. .

The opening of the airport in 1975 helped Longyearbyen to be accessible to the outside world and today, with the decline of coal mining, it is better known as a boarding point for tourist boats.

The opening of the airport in 1975 helped Longyearbyen to be accessible to the outside world and today, with the decline of coal mining, it is better known as a boarding point for tourist boats.

The opening of the airport in 1975 helped Longyearbyen to be accessible to the outside world and today, with the decline of coal mining, it is better known as a boarding point for tourist boats.

A colorful representation of a polar bear can be seen in one of the buildings in Longyearbyen

A colorful representation of a polar bear can be seen in one of the buildings in Longyearbyen

A colorful representation of a polar bear can be seen in one of the buildings in Longyearbyen

After walking through the city, I returned to the Radisson Blu hotel.

The 95-room inn is a very comfortable base, with views of the coast and a hot tub outside.

Darkening blinds were also an advantage with 24-hour sunlight.

A friend told me that there is also a hostel in the city, but it is a bit more expensive than the standard place for backpackers, with stays of around £ 70 per night.

In fact, in the true Norwegian style, things in Longyearbyen are much loved, with a small cappuccino in a coffee shop in the center of the city for just under £ 4 ($ 5).

Along with the coal mines, the local museum and the Karlsberger pub which has one of the largest whiskey collections in Norway, other points of interest in Longyearbyen include the Svalbard Global Seed Vault, which houses the largest collection of seeds of the world.

Oh, and there's Svalbard Bryggeri, the northernmost brewery in the world, which helps residents get through the cold winter months, when there is no natural light for up to four months. Fortunately during my visit, I did not need a head torch to get around.

Longyearbyen is also home to Svalbard Bryggeri, the northernmost brewery in the world, which helps residents overcome the cold winter months when there is no natural light for up to four months.

Longyearbyen is also home to Svalbard Bryggeri, the northernmost brewery in the world, which helps residents overcome the cold winter months when there is no natural light for up to four months.

Longyearbyen is also home to Svalbard Bryggeri, the northernmost brewery in the world, which helps residents overcome the cold winter months when there is no natural light for up to four months.

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