Tag Archives: Pyramiden

PYRAMIDEN.NET: Russian ghost town famed for lone tiny phone ‘hotspot’ sets aside reluctance and installs internet service


(Photo by Elizabeth Bourne)

Among the many peculiarities in the world’s northernmost ghost town was a lone “hotspot” where getting an often-spotty mobile phone signal was possible – which was how the handful of modern employees without a connection to the outside world said they preferred it as part of preserving the character of a truly remote Arctic settlement. But that’s now over – very likely to the relief for a rapidly growing number of visitors –  as future ambitions are supplanting historic nostalgia as Pyramiden now wired for internet as well as phone signals.

1,600-liter barrel of diesel captured on film as it falls from governor’s helicopter into sea near Pyramiden


A 1,600-liter barrel of diesel fell from a helicopter into the water near Pyramiden while it being carried by one of The Governor of Svalbard’s aircraft, with those transporting the fuel lacking the equipment to contain the spill before it dispersed into the sea, according to officials.

‘Dah’ to détente: Russians get money to upgrade Pyramiden, fight aliens in record round of environmental grants


Turns out the governor agrees with the Russians: there’s too many unwanted foreigners in Svalbard – and some serious money is about to be spent doing something about it.

More than 1.1 million kroner for three projects involving alien species – including one  assessing alien plants and growth conditions in the Russian settlements of Barentsburg and Pyramiden – are among the 39 projects receiving a record 13 million kroner in the latest grants from the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund.

Polarizing art: ‘Crazy’ overtakes quality as ten live performance artists squeezed into nine-day Arctic Action festival


Quality (and quirky) art – such as a guy being buried alive in coal – was the emphasis when it debuted last year. This year they’re just rushing impulsively through things all at once.

Ghost of a ghost: Pyramiden’s tourism revival means both new life and becoming a shadow of its haunted past


Tours begin with a humorous quip about the only thing it’s OK to steal.

Standing under Pyramiden’s iconic entrance sign next to a cart containing supposedly the last ton of coal mined in the settlement, the famous guide known as Sasha delivers his usual spiel in a voice and clothing directly from central casting of the stereotypical Soviet era.

“Sometimes tourists like to take coal from there so we have to refill it,” he said. “It’s OK though. If you want some coal, that’s OK.”

Riches and refugees: People ask about buying Pyramiden weekly; here’s one guy’s reason – and what he’s eyeing now


(This is a guest column by Jiwoon Hwang)

I’m a newcomer from South Korea. I graduated Draper University’s international entrepreneurship program in Silicon Valley, attended an entrepreneurship program in South Korea and used to enjoy making robots.

When I was traveling Europe, I decided to visit Svalbard. I visited here two months ago. What amazed me was its great scenery and its open-border policy welcoming every world citizen. After going through a seven-week entrepreneurship bootcamp in Silicon Valley, I decided to develop Svalbard as international hub of creativity, entrepreneurship and cosmopolitanism.

Chillingly clueless: Svalbard’s 10 strangest stories of 2015


Which is stranger: a year where parasitic wasps went on a killing spree or the year that actually happened? Yeah, we’re not sure either.

All we know is both versions of Svalbard will be back – and probably even stranger – next year.

Briefs from Svalbardposten for the week of Nov. 24, 2015


Major city center overhaul to include library, new offices
Longyearbyen’s main municipal building is scheduled to get a complete overhaul by next Christmas, with the information desk and city library moving to the ground floor just past a new entrance at the cafe in Kulturhuset, more and smaller government offices on the second floor of the building, and a new electrical system.

Stay away from Billefjorden so polar bear cubs can eat, governor warns


Snowmobilers are being urged to avoid driving on the sea ice at Billefjorden because “there have been observed two polar bear families with four-month-old cubs in the area and these cubs are in a critical phase of survival,” according to The Governor of Svalbard.

‘Preserve’ Pyramiden by destroying it – or just eliminate all the humans?


A robot riding a roller coaster certainly qualifies as a “radical idea” for preserving the long-abandoned mining settlement of Pyramiden