Sunday, 21 May 2017

Norway - Svalbard - Longyearbyen

With postmark and cover collectors the polar regions have always been very popular. A collection is not complete without mail from bases in Antarctica. On the other side of the world post offices above the Arctic Circle exist in Norway, Greenland, Finland, Alaska, Canada and Russia.

In Norway there are post offices above the Arctic Circle on the mainland. Also the island of Jan Mayen has a post office. The region of Svalbard has four post offices on the largest island Spitsbergen and two on the islands of Hopen and Bear Island (Bjørnøya).

This envelope was postmarked in the capital city or administrative centre of Svalbard, Longyearbyen. It has a population of just over 2.000 people. Originally a coal mining settlement, it is now a normal Norwegian town with a town council and other services. There is a university, a satellite station, GSM coverage and a fiber optic cable to the mainland.

The postmark shows a reindeer and the geographic coordinates of the town. It has been in use for many years. As stamps I bought the most recent Norwegian Svalbard stamps from 1996. Although the postal rate for an international letter is only NOK 17, I used the complete series because they look very nice on the envelope.

Date sent: 17 April 2017
Date postmark: 5 May 2017
Date received: 11 May 2017
Number of days: 24
Envelope in collection: 33

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