Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Signal from Dark Side of Moon

Got a short, enigmatic text message from Janet. "Hey we. Cel reception because passing barentsberg. Elkhound well. Really Kline. Janet."

So the Elkhound is doing well. I'm guessing she isn't so good at texting in sub-freezing temperatures on a rocking boat.

These are pictures Janet shot last year in Barentsburg.
Barentsburg is a little lost bit of Soviet-era Russia, frozen in time. There is still mining going on. It probably isn't economically viable -- the population has dropped from over 2000 in 1990 to under 300. Unlike Longyearbyen, where there is a thriving post-mining economy, there are almost no tourist spots in Barentsburg except for a hotel and its bar.
The Russians probably keep it going in order to maintain mining and property rights.
Barentsburg is only 55km from Longyearbyen, but there are no roads. During the cold war, visitors from Barentsburg to Longyearbyen were required to have KGB chaperones. Now, they just need Kroners, which are just as difficult for the locals to acquire.

1 comment:

  1. Ha! What à beautiful text message ! Fun to read your blog posts Bob, thank you.