► Did you know that there is an abandoned Russian settlement in the Arctic called Barentsburg? Wait until you see this!!
Today was a wild adventure, to say the least.
I took a 2 hour boat ride from Longyearbyen (the biggest town in Svalbard) which is under Norwegian control, over to Barentsburg (the second-biggest town in Svalbard) which is under Russian control.
The two towns could not be any more different.
After visiting 169 countries and more than 500 cities, I find Barentsburg to be the absolute most bizarre town in the world.
It was purchased by the Soviet Union about 90 years ago from the Dutch because of the on-site coal mine… While there are about 400 Russian & Ukrainian miners still working here today, it’s a failing business, and it’s obvious that Russia keeps this place alive because they want a presence in the Arctic (think natural resources, trade routes, etc).
Walking around Barentsburg gave me flash backs to North Korea. Abandoned buildings. Seemingly staged people and culture. I still can’t quite wrap my head around this!
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