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Thursday, April 1, 2010

Day 2

We left Oslo this morning and arrived in Longyearbyen to about -15, though windchill makes it feel a lot colder. Dirk and Keith were at the airport to meet and greet! Short drive into the hotel, converted from miners lodging. Longyearbyen is known for coal mining and some commercial fishing. It also holds the world's seed repository. The seeds from the world's plant life are stored here underground, safe from permafrost up on one of the mountains. Noah's seed ark.

After we checked in we wandered around town. The houses are built up on wood stilts so that the frost doesnt' cause them to break. The road's are sheet of ice so all the cars have studded tires. We wandered past the church and into town. Stopping for dinner at Svarbar. The highlight of today was the sighting of real reindeer, followed by NO sighting of polar bears!Team is in great spirits though a bit tired from all of the travel. It will be great to have a day to recoup.