Most Svalbard expeditions of 10 days or longer visit some part of Nordaustlandet. A particular point of interest is Kinnvika, a Swedish-Finnish research station dating back to 1957. Completely deserted now, there are a total of 10 wooden buildings which were previously used for scientific research. The main building is big enough to house 15 people, with electricity previously supplied by generators. The project was abandoned when funding ran out in 1959, and the buildings now have a slightly eerie feeling to them. Surrounded by a barren landscape with only a few small Arctic flowers growing at the base of the huts, Kinnvika makes for a dramatic photograph.
Another historical point of interest is Kross Island, with one of the few remaining Pomor crosses left in Svalbard standing at the top of the hill. The Pomors were hunters who came across from Arctic Russia to hunt on the island, and frequently built huts and little remote communities while they hunted. These were always temporary, as the hunters returned home after a good hunting season. The few crosses that remain were originally constructed for religious purposes and to make navigation easier, with their locations being prominent hilltops. There are very few still remaining these days, most destroyed by the harsh climate or used for firewood by stranded sailors. Kross Island is also a fantastic place to spot Arctic terns and their chicks.
Let’s not forget about the walrus that hang out on the beach of Torellneset, usually in huge numbers. These curious creatures will often take to the water when they see Zodiacs approaching, and will sit in the water watching curiously as you walk along.
An area of interest for a huge number of reasons; culture, research, and wildlife too.