Saturday, 9 May 2009

Ny Ålesund and the adventure of the Norge
- part I

Ny Ålesund is situated on the NW coast of the Svalbard island Spitzberg.

Ny Ålesund station is probably the most northern inhabited place on Earth. It has some 30 permanent residents, although all of them are scientist or research related personnel.

It is located almost at 79º N, inside a beautiful fiord called Kongsfjord (King's fiord). It started as a coal mining site and lasted until 1962 reaching some 400 residents. After a tagic mining accident, coal mines where shut and some years later Ny Ålesund became a scientific station.

Being so northern, the place has some absolute records, like having the most northern train, hotel and post office. It also has a souvenir store and a museum, also records themselves, as well as the most northern statue - of Roald Amundsen, the norwegian explorer .

Ny Ålesund is becoming increasingly popular as a base for polar research. The latest newcomer from the far east, after China and Korea, is India, which opened a station in early 2008. Now there are 11 participating countries in several projects.

The main historic event connected with Ny Ålesund is the flight of the airship "Norge", the first expedition to reach the North Pole ... by air! This will be Ultima Thule 's next story...