N78.20316°, E015.59476°

June 25th, 2009

View from my room in a "guesthouse" a few long kilometers south of Longyearbyen.

View from my room in a "guesthouse" a few long kilometers south of Longyearbyen.

LONGYEARBYEN, SVALBARD, NORWAY–The sun makes a crazy circle in the sky. Polar bear warnings. Houses on stilts. Muck for soil. (“Don’t worry. You can only sink three feet.”) Russian coal miners. International scientists. Cruise ship tourists. Stunning vistas of rock, ice and snow. This is certainly one of the most dramatic places I’ve been lately! As you can see from the images, geology is one of the main attractions here, from glaciers (one is just up the road from my guesthouse) to the massive rock exposures from every time period and much of the Precambrian. Tomorrow I take a trip out into it with faculty and students from the University of Norway.

Abandoned coal mine outside of Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway.

Abandoned coal mine outside of Longyearbyen, Svalbard, Norway. This mine was destroyed by the Germans in World War II (I've heard those words a lot lately) and then rebuilt in the 1950s.

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