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Pyramiden – The Russian mining town

Some of the left buildings in Pyramiden

29th July 2023

We went to the Russian coal mining town Pyramiden yesterday as it is just a very strange abandoned place. The town was abandoned in 1998 and is very well preserved.

We were met by Russian music playing out of the speakers on the harbour, but thought this was music put on by the guy painting a container blue. This action could be considered strange as everything else around here is falling apart.
We walked to the hotel, which was restored in 2013 to try to make the place a tourist attraction. When we came in the staff was busy with a video chat, but a very friendly staff member told us that we could have a drink in the bar.

This was an offer we couldn’t say no to as Steve has fond memories of his previous stay there, where he had a great beetroot soup (this is very ironic as beetroot is probably a vegetable Steve hates more than cabbage).
We tried to order an IPA but were told NO, only porter or sour bear, though neither of these were on the menu. We decided on a sour – this was a horrible mistake as they were close to undrinkable and sending Steve directly back to his beetroot trauma.
So we had a few sips but have to give up, but luckily the video chat was now over, so we could book a guided tour into the buildings for this morning.

We decided to have a look around the mining area, that is dominated by the huge inclined railway that used to take people to the top mine and transport the coal back. All the way from town a passage had been build so that the workers could walk covered to the railway.
We also managed to walk to one on the entrances a little further down the mountain, and the thought of walking down into that black hole is not nice.
We walked along the raised wooden walkway which held all the infrastructure that is normally underground, but couldn’t be here because of frost, and suddenly was met by a small arctic fox.

When we got back to the harbour, we noticed that the music was still playing from the speakers, so we settled with the thought of having Russian music from crappy speakers all night. Luckily the boat is well isolated, so it was not too loud.
This morning we met our friendly guide, who took us to the old dining hall, the swimming pool and the cinema. These buildings are very beautiful and interesting to see.

When telling the history of the place, we learned that the Norwegians had tried to say it was their place by coming with a piece of paper showing this, but apparently you should not just take others land. We will leave that thought hanging in the air:)

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