Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Girly girl on visit from mainland Norway

Disclaimer: This post involves a girl.

So, yeah. Where to start? This weekend I had a visit from a special friend of mine. Kristine and I meet in 2008 when we were both studying psychology at the University of Bergen (UiB). We didn't really hang around, but we would always read together and share candy. And yeah. Drink together (Because that is what proper psychcology students do). Anyway. After a year of psychology she moved to Oslo to become a teacher and I stayed back in Bergen. Since then we have not seen eachother.

It was really weird seing her again as I picked her up at Longyearbyen Airport (LYR) in the early afternoon on friday. Althought her hair was not as blonde as before she looked pretty much like the girl I remember from earlier. AND She had brought me fruit, vegetables, and writing pads from the mainland (Which are incredibly expensive here). JOY!

So. After I got her settled into my room we went for a trip up to Sarkofagen. Weather was good with temperatures just below freezing and fresh snow. The trip went fine, althought I had some problems with slowing down (as always) - I really did try thought! As always, I did not spot any grouses, but we did see quite a lot of reindeers over at Platåfjellet. At the top of Sarkofagen, we took some pictures and just enjoyed the view.

View from Sarkofagen (Photo: Alexander Hovland)

Kristine in the arctic (Photo: Alexander Hovland)

Me and Kristine (Photo: Alexander Hovland)
On our way back, we meet Knut Ola which lives in the kitchen next to me. Kristine immideatly recognized him since he also went in our psychology class. Small world and me having a bad memory since I did not remember him.

Later that evening we went to Kroa and had a pizza and a couple of beers. I think we stayed there for some hours just talking and catching up on everything. As always I displayed my lack of drinkning skills and got a bit buzzed. Plan was to to go to Friday night gathering, but since it got quite late before we left Kroa we went directly back to our barracks.

Party, party! As always there was a party going on in our kitchen. I can't really remember if anything happenend between us arriving and us playing "flip-cup" (a drinking game) and that might be indicative of how the party went. So. We got drunk and went to Huset in the blistering cold of the arctic and woke up quite late on saturday. Yes, there is something missing in between there!

After getting out of bed we went down to Longyearbyen to do some shopping. Kristine bought a heapload of alcohol, chocolate and cigaretes. On our way back to the barracks we visitied Svalbard Galleri which is located along the road in the lower parts of Nybyen. They have got a lot of nice pictures and artwork from Svalbard and the arctic. Their collection also include a really interesting series of old maps which sort of reflect the early exploration of the artic areas.

My original plan for saturday was to bring Kristine to Nordenskiöldtoppen, but weather was not the best with some snow coming in and poor visibility. Instead we went with a couple of others to explore Nye Gruve II (The new mine # II). Locally it is known as the mine of Santa Claus. The mining started in 1937 and ran until second world war when it was hit by a grenade from the german battleship Scharnhorst and the coal started to burn. Althought the fire did not go out until 1962, mining continued after the second world war until it was closed down in 1968. In 1954 a coal dust explosion killed 6 miners. Today the mine is open, but the old mine shafts are sealed.

On our way after bombing Alice with snowballs (Photo: Alexander Hovland)

Nye Gruve 2 / Gruve 2B / Julenissegruva (Photo: Alexander Hovland)

Kristine "loves" the snow (Photo: Alexander Hovland)

Insert cool caption here :P (Photo: Alexander Hovland)

A wall of ice is building up within the mine (Photo: Alexander Hovland)

Me and Mike posing as miners (Photo: Alexander Hovland)

Cans of "fire extinguisher foam"(?) (Photo: Alexander Hovland)

Some kind of working room within the mine (Photo: Alexander Hovland)
So we explored the mine. And yes. It would be a great place for a horror movie. Althought most of the equipment is gone, there are still a lot of neat stuff laying around. It also started to snow quite heavily and it was really cozy just sitting inside and looking out at the valley.
Cozy in the mine (Photo: Alexander Hovland)

On our way to the top with a view down the valley (Photo: Alexander Hovland)
After a couple of hours me and Kristine went back home to make dinner. We had taco (WITH VEGETABLES!) and watched Mr. Poppers Penguins which WE thought was great (So HAH! Kristian!).

Next morning we just stayed up here in the barracks, watching some movies and just talking, before Kristine had to leave. :( Sadly, the taxi driver turned up earlier then planned, so yeah. It was a quick goodbye before she left. Back. To the mainland...

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