Everything needs to be packed up, and bills settled as we leave for the last time. We are to get a tour of Longyearbyen, followed by lunch in the Radissson Blue hotel – Hannah says many of the expedition staff may try and join us there . Just before we leave, however, she announces a change in plan means she will now be returning to the UK with us as the engine problems have forced the cancellation of the next trip.
We set out in two busses – ours goes first to the museum. It is a bright sunny morning, and we park right outside, so to save carriage, several people leave coats on the bus. The museum is shut, and, according to the sign, isn’t due to open for another hour. Although it bright and sunny, the wind is still quite chilly, so we get back on the bus… Fortunately someone soon comes and lets us in. The Museum tells of the history, geology and ecology of the archipeligo. It isn’t huge, but does have a gift shop!
From the museum we travel out of town to see the “Warning – Polar Bears Crossing” traffic sign – unlike most signs which have a red border around a white sign with a black symbol, this one has a white bear on a black background. We continue past the sign to Camp Barentz for coffee and a chance to see some teams of sledge dogs
Finally lunch at the Radsison, and shopping in the nearby shops before heading up to the Airport – we are there in plenty of time, and, since it is a charter flight, don’t need tickets. However what we did need was the company to have sent the official passenger manifest to the airport, which doesn’t seem to have happened. Hannah eventually sorts them out and we are able to depart only slightly later than scheduled…