Naturalist, Expedition Leader, Skipper, Educator
Photographer, Author, Podcaster, Traveler, Educator
At the entrance of Isfjord on the west coast of Spitsbergen we visit the coal mining village of Barentsburg founded on a site used in the early 20th century as a whaling station and named after the Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz. The coal mine was first exploited by the Dutch company NeSpiCo in the 1920s. Since 1932 it is has been owned and run by the Russian mining company Trust Arctickugol and has at times been the most populous settlement in Svalbard. Nowadays the population is about 500 and the the town has been largely renovated but it still bears witness to the Soviet heydays with its bust of Lenin and several monuments with slogans about communism and the greatness of the Soviet Union.