NWS Client Hywel Journeys Through Icy Svalbard Aboard the M/S Expedition
We caught a late flight from Manchester to Oslo and walked for five minutes to spend the night in the Radisson at the airport.
We took a morning flight to Longyearbyen. There were wonderful views of the icecap over Svalbard and much excitement at the prospect of the adventure starting! There was a stuffed polar bear in the arrivals hall which was both unexpected and off putting! It was easy to catch the bus from the airport into town and we soon settled into the Polfareren Hotel. A very comfortable room with a large polar bear picture on the wall. We spent the afternoon exploring Longyearbyen – it has a somewhat rough, industrial feel to it with snow on a dead glacier visible above the town and the remains of old coal mining on the slopes above. The more modern houses are brightly coloured and as we walked along the road out of town, we passed two husky kennels and saw a polar bear warning sign. We also saw barnacle geese and a reindeer on the outskirts.