The good news on Friday morning: We finally got the approval for flights. Unfortunately, only up to 120m above ground and flight in the line of sight. Not only is it difficult to get a permit…they are more restricted. We do not got out today. The aircraft are all fully tested and assembled again for the next day.
Due to the special status of Svalbard there is no sales tax on Svalbard. In particular, alcohol is quite cheap for Scandinavians. You can however only buy a certain quota in the supermarket. As a visitor you get to a stamp on your boarding pass on which the amount is ticked.
Today is friday gathering, beer in the cafeteria for an Euro. The dining hall was donated by the mining company and the center looks as one of the wooden coal transportation towers that are everywhere around Longyear. Looks a little as from an Astrid Lindgren story. We sit together with our student group. The fireplace is fueled and it is homey.
Two scientists eventually move the piano to the center, pick up a guitar and sing self-written songs. They sing of vegetarian polar bears and their concerns, the love for Svalbard, and how to constantly bring up new research things because you absolutely must come back to this special place. Or the idea of how zombies are rising out of the tombs of Longyear (the idea came to them when it was attempted to reconstruct the Spanish flu of 1918 from the graves in the permafrost).
This is great. We end up in the “Svalbar”.