Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Aug. 11, 2015

NilsEngen

Say, aren’t you that rock star? Why are you driving my cab?  
If you think Rod Stewart is now a taxi driver in Longyearbyen, you’re excused. Nils Engen, 65, has only been living in Longyearbyen for a month, but he’s already become a celebrity in town. “It is thing with tourists who ask if I will sing in the taxi and they often come with suggestions for a tune,” Engen said. “But it is difficult to imitate the voice of Rod Stewart. I have to take some nips of whiskey to do it.” He said his look originated 20 years ago when a female barber wanted to try something new with his hair, but nobody at the time mistook him for the now 70-year-old singer. But he said it’s common now and he’s acted the part at times while on vacation. “When a waiter comes over and wants an autograph, I play along. Then I get extra good service with drinks and everything.”

SAS flight arrives without half of the passengers’ baggage
A Scandinavian Airlines flight from Oslo landed in Longyearbyen without nearly half of the baggage checked by passengers Wednesday (Aug. 12), according to an airline spokeswoman who attributed to mixup to human error. “My impression is baggage sometimes gets delayed, but this magnitude is rare,” said Cathrine Myhren. The 90 missing items are scheduled to be flown on an extra flight by SAS arriving at 1:55 p.m. Thursday.

37K hike of ten peaks around Longyearbyen starts Saturday  
A hike summiting ten peaks around Longyearbyen is scheduled to  start at 10 a.m. Saturday at Taubanesentralen. The goal is to complete the 37-kilometer hike in less than 24 hours, according to Kjetil Dahl Knutsen, who is helping organize the event. Participants are responsible for their own safety precautions, including weapons and GPS devices, since all participants may not end up hiking at the same pace. As of mid-week, about 80 people are planning to participate.

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