Ever since my first visit to Norway when I picked up the Lonely planet that talked about Svalbard and about the North Pole I've felt a certain "Pull" to the great North.
So after researching a little and convincing one of me favorite travel partners to come with me, we were off to the great North. Compared to other places of the same Latitude Svalbard is relatively easy to get to, being part of Norway and Norway being rich and very proud of it's "in the middle of nowhere population", regular flights service the Archipelago. Furthermore, the gulf stream reaches the islands which makes it's climate much more comfortable than the same Latitude in Canada or Russia (Svalbard is about 700km give or take North of the Arctic circle), making it possible for people to settle there on a relatively permanent basis.
Spitsbergen is the largest island of the Archipelago and Longyearbyen it's largest "city", it as schools, an sports center with indoor pool and even a university. It is the Northern most city in the world and our Arctic Adventure basecamp.
Glen and I stayed at a guesthouse which was originally a coal miners camp, it was quaint and charming with a common kitchen and living room.
The first leg of our adventure was a 4-day snow mobile safari at -30!
So here is a little of our safari complete with armed guard. As a side note, in Svalbard as soon as one leaves the confines of the city, one has to be armed due to the threat of polar bears. Any reading you do on Svalbard does not fail to mention all the polar bear related deaths...it's quite scary to be honest, they are not the cute cuddly bears you would hope they were.
A bit of Longyearbyean:
The first leg of our tip, Snow mobile safari.
Armed guide: check!
4-Star accommodations: Check!
Breath taking scenery: check!
And a little place to rest at night