Brass Monkeys V: Pyramiden


A few more shots of the strange, abandoned and occasional polar bear home that is Pyramiden. First, some of the film rolls no-one has checked out in the abandoned cinema…


The sub-zero basketball court, left like everything else, as if the town simply vanished overnight…


And the hallway, leading to communal areas where walls are still pinned with photographs of the families who lived there…


Outside a few Russian signs exist, trumpeting the new town, a social metropolis that died in the sheer impossibility of sustaining life in such a desolate spot.



Our attitude to extreme cold has changed, however. I looked at the thermometer this morning and thought ‘-14C, a pleasant temperature, let’s go for a walk.’ We can’t leave the town limits without rifles, however.

We’ve been asking people why they work and live here, and many say they came for a month and then fell in love with this outpost, and will stay on.

After our ship reached as far as it could travel we had a few more minutes only before the ice started to enclose it.


No sighting of the bears, but plenty of reindeer, and those wondrous ever-changing skylines. Tomorrow, a round-up of the last days here, and then we return to Oslo.

6 comments on “Brass Monkeys V: Pyramiden”

  1. Chris Webb says:

    The sign says Gagarin Sportcomplex if you’re interested.

  2. Brooke says:

    Your posts bring to mind Sebald’s work, especially Rings of Saturn: “…wanderings among landscapes scarred by the wrecked certainties of previous ages.”

    For those who have to sit at home, thank you, brave person.

  3. admin says:

    Amazingly this was one of the few bits of Russian language I remember (I took it for years at school but have still never been)
    I like the ‘wrecked certainties of previous ages’. Never more true than for Syria.

  4. SteveB says:

    Fascinating. Thanks Chris.

  5. Trace Turner says:

    I went to Barrow, Alaska a few years ago and was briefly stranded by the fog. A man I met there had come for a short stay and also been trapped by weather. When he was finally able to leave he found that he liked it and so stayed on year after year. I had the chance to try whale blubber there and it’s not nearly as tasty as you might think.

  6. Linda says:

    Wow it is just awesome,thank you for sharing your journey with us.

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