The Reykjavik Grapevine | Springtime In Svalbard: Ice Caves, Dog Sleds And Tinder In The Arctic

The very first written mention of the group of islands known as Svalbard, meaning “cold coast” or “cold edge,” comes from a 12th century Icelandic Saga. “Svalbard fundinn,” it reads in Old Icelandic, meaning, in English: “Svalbard found.” After the Vikings came, discovered, and went again, the islands were left to the polar bears until the 16th century, when some explorers arrived. Next came whalers, and Norwegian and Russian trappers, and then coal miners. Then came the tourist yahoos and, eventually, Tamara and I.

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