Brass Monkeys V: Pyramiden

Observatory

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…

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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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