This report is part of my trip to Svalbard, more here.
“You want free bike?” I actually thought I misheard the lady at the tourist office. But she really offered us free rental bikes during our entire stay on Svalbard. In return for a good Tripadvisor-review that is. The bikes came in handy, since we planned to visit as much as the old coalmines near Longyearbyen as possible. So one day, we set out with our citybikes to explore mine 5 and 6. Both mines lie along a long dirt road going to mine 7, the only mine near Longyearbyen that is still exploited by Norway. All day long you can see big trucks filled with coal coming from the mountains, heading for the port and returning empty. Needless to say our little bikes weren’t the most comfortable transportation for this bumpy road. Again we had to bring our rifle, since we were going to venture outside city limits. But the pain was quickly forgotten when we cycled through this breathtaking landscape.
All mines around Longyearbyen used to be connected by a cable car system (taubane is Norwegian). The countless wooden poles can still be seen all around the area. One only has to follow one of the cableway to find the mines.
Cableways meet and merge in so called taubanesentralen, cableway hubs, of wich two remain near Longyearbyen. The most famous one is built on poles and right in the city center. The one merging the cableways coming from mine 5 and 6 is way out in the Adventvalley.
The cablecars were driven by electric motors and the little towers on top of the building contain a system of pulleys and counterweights.
Now onwards to mine 5!