Remembering Svalbard & Longyearbyen

Yesterday me and my husband sat down to watch a documentary called "Ice town" on TVNZ's On-Demand. A little into the second episode, he asked me, "Recognise any of these people?" - "No," I replied, "But I did live there over 10 years ago..."

I recognised the places though. Many of the coastal scenes were shot near the house where I lived, and I used to frequent the church late at night when no-one was in its rooms. I recognised the university hallways, the shop, had walked down the row of houses that were swept down by an avalanche in 2015. I know what it feels like to glimpse the very first rays of sunshine after a polar night and how to load a Mauser rifle.

I feel privileged to have lived and worked in Svalbard for a time. A little sad that I haven't been back since but... there's other life to have had.

Heading over a mountain pass on the way from Longyearbyen to Barentsburg

Taking some of our team out for a run

Eating lunch inside a glacier, on the floor of a frozen meltwater tunnel

The first time I saw sunshine that year

Dogs are excited, ready to go for a trip

One of our dogs curled up in her kennel

Enjoying a warm cuppa in the spring sunshine

Northern Lights across the sky near Bolterdalen

Warming up frostbitten cheeks in the cabin

The first glimpses of daylight when the polar night started to recede

Town centre in February

The last day of work

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