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This tiny satellite station settlement has been retrofitted as a chic base for adventure trips into the Arctic wilderness.
Until the end of 2003, the radio station, Kapp Linne, on the southern side of the entrance of Isfjorden, with its huge parabolic antennae, was the telecommunications lifeline for Longyearbyen, connecting the town with the rest of the world. Only here – due to the extreme northern position of the islands and because no mountains obscure the skies to the south – could the dishes of this ground station be directed at the geostationary telecommunication satellite just above the southern horizon as seen from here. In the 1990s, the station was automated and in 2004 it was replaced by the new twin glass-fibre sea cable, which stretches over the sea bottom between mainland Norway and Svalbard, providing a vastly expanded and more stable data-transfer capacity. The station has since been converted into an upmarket lodge run by adventure company Basecamp Explorer.
The several buildings that once housed satellite equipment and accommodation for the staff have been redesigned as a rustic yet chic base for explorations into the surrounding wilderness and adjacent bird sanctuary, onto which the two-dozen rooms now look out.