A few months ago, I promised you more on my impromptu Arctic road trip this summer. Well, I’d better get on with it, hadn’t I? Today, I wanted to tell you about the Vega Archipelago – or Vegaøyan, as it’s locally known. Now, Vegaøyan is a bit off the beaten track. But I promise you, [...]
This summer, I’ve been roaming about in Norway, with both kids, with one kid, with friends – and on my own. Last week, Cat decided all she wanted for her 12th birthday was to go to yet another horse riding camp. And so I found myself with an unexpected four days of complete freedom, which [...]
At 68° north, a fair distance above the Arctic Circle, is Sortland, Norway’s Blue Town. Sortland is the capital of the Vesterålen Archipelago; less famous, perhaps, than its neighbour to the south, the Lofoten Islands, yet just as stunning. But why is Sortland blue?
High above Sigerfjord village, outside Sortland, Norway’s Blue Town, is Lihallen Kulturgård, a fab Arctic Art Gallery and meeting location.
Walking along the paths, you’ll see moose, reindeer, bears, wolves and fish, boats and hunters; in short, the kind of things our Stone Age forefathers were concerned with up here in the northern world.
I’m in Pyramiden, once a showcase of the Soviet Union, a perfect mining community, set between mountains, glaciers and fjords in the Svalbard archipelago. Today, it’s an Arctic ghost town. The decision to abandon the settlement was sudden, its implementation even more so. The inhabitants were given just hours to pack their bags and leave. [...]
Barentsburg, you say? Where on earth… ? The Svalbard archipelago has four settlements of significant size, one of them is Russian. Norway has sovereignty over the archipelago, but the Treaty of Svalbard ensures all parties equal access to scientific and economic activities in the islands. Enter the Soviet Union. Since 1932, Russian company Trust Arktikugol [...]