It seems many of you who have been following our "High Arctic Change" adventure have been wondering . . . "What kind of food do you eat in Svalbard?"

    When I found out where we were going to be headed on this expedition, I was wondering the same thing. Would we be eating processed food out of a can?
    Sardines in mustard sauce? Dried fish and reindeer meat?

    You may have seen that while in Longyearbyen, we did try whale meat at a restaurant. And it was actually very good. But here in Ny Alesund it is certainly not the type of fair I expected. You may be surprised as well.

    Remember, Ny Alesund was once a coal mining village run by the Kings Bay Kull Company. But now it is an international arctic science and research station. And now, Kings Bay AS manages the village, including the infrastructure, lodging, and meals. There is a main Service Building that includes a reception office, laundry facility, conference room, lounge area, and a wonderful cafeteria & dining area.

    Can you figure out when it's time to eat?
    (Bonus points if you can translate the whole notice. I'll give you a way to cheat at the end.)

    Eat Times
    See if you can figure out what this sign in our lab says.

    Potatoes. Potatoes. And more potatoes. But we're not tired of eating potatoes yet. Several years ago I took a trip to Indonesia. I remember the very first day we met a man from the U.S. that had been living & working there for a few years. He told us, "You will eat rice here every day. But you will have it served so many different ways that you won't get tired of it." Well, in Svalbard, it's the same thing, but with potatoes. Good ‘ole white potatoes. Like in Idaho.

    French Fries!!!
    Aaah! Just like home. Had to make my own fry sauce.

    On a typical day, for breakfast it's eggs, with bacon, or another meat we can usually recognize. We've had scrambled eggs, "sunny side up", hard & soft boiled. You name it. Along with this there might be fresh tomatoes, peppers or even cucumber.
    Bread: Some of the best bread I've ever eaten.
    Cheese: I think I found cheese I like better than Cabot cheese from Vermont. It's so good.

    1st stop in the morning - the coffee machine!
    We are so glad they like their coffee here in Svalbard. And tea. All varieties of tea. With all the fixins. But most seem to have tea with a little milk in it.

    Breakfast time.
    It's 7:30 breakfast, and pack a bag lunch for the boats.

    Filling the Thermos for the day.
    Thank you Hector for bringing your big Stanley thermos bottle. Especially on those cold, wet days out on the fjord.

    Always out.  Eat anytime.
    The cereal and drink machines are always out. So if you find yourself getting hungry at 2am . . .

    Buffet side 1
    Always a nice variety at every meal.

    Buffet side 2
    Depending on the meal and the number of people expected, a second side of the buffet is set up. Sometimes with even more variety.

    This looks good.  What is it?
    Reindeer with gravy, mashed potatoes, & cranberry sauce.

    On Saturday, dinner is a special occasion. Many people dress up a bit. (I think some of the hard-core, out in the field scientists even take a shower.) The tables have table clothes with napkins and wine glasses. And, if you wish, you may bring your own bottle of wine to share. It's a very relaxed meal where people mingle a bit more than other days when it's rush, rush to get into the field or get back to the lab. It's very nice. Even if we do have potatoes, again!

    Saturday night dinner.
    Saturday dinners are very nice.

    Typical Saturday night dinner.
    Is this making you hungry?

    View from the dining room.
    The dining room is all windows looking out over the fjord with views of the mts & glaciers. What an atmosphere!

    Don't tell anyone, but I've been cheating on my Norwegian with

    • see Project Vocabulary under Overview tab