Up North

Norway | Story | June 2015

  • DateJune - July 2015
  • LocationNorway
  • CategoryStory, Series
  • TeamAlexander Pyka & Jonathan Danko Kielkowski
  • Images & TextJonathan Danko Kielkowski
  • In ShortOverview of our road trip across Norway and to Svalbard during which we documented abandoned mines and mining settlements along our route.

Up North – Episode 2

Decades of mining activity in Norway and Svalbard changed the countries’ faces permanently and left countless marks in their landscape. In the summer months of 2015 Alexander Pyka and I went on a two month road trip across Norway and Svalbard.

Along our way we explored and documented abandoned mining sites as well as deserted districts in search of what remains after the last shift has ended and all people left. In numbers: roughly 10.000km in distance, 7.000km by car, 2.000km by plane and 600km by ship, 4 countries, 2 months.

The ride of choice

For this trip we picked Pykas Volkswagen T3. It already has several road trips and expeditions across the continent on his clock and never left us down. Going off-road, over long distances through rough terrain or carrying heavy equipment have never been a challenge for this car. Pyka customized his T3 over the past years into an expedition machine. It has enough space for all the equipment we needed for this project – seating as well as sleeping space for up to three people. Completely custom made except of the cars exterior. We filled up the car with food, mine exploring and photo equipment and set off.

The Route

We started our trip on the first of June 2015 in our hometown Nuremberg, Germany. From here we had about one month to get up to Tromsø in the north of Norway where we had to catch a plane to Svalbard. The distance between these two cities is only about 3.500km, so we had enough time to drive this route as well as to explore a lot of abandoned mining sites along the way. We drove across Germany, stopped for one day in Berlin, crossed Denmark, from where we took a ferry to Sweden and headed for Oslo. Oslo was our last stop before we headed into to the wild. We spend two days in the city, did some sightseeing and got last supplies we needed for the trip. The next three weeks we slowly drove up north stopping and exploring abandoned mines and mining settlements along the way to Tromsø. We set our focus on the four mining districts Røros, Skorovatn, Sulitjelma and Fauske.


After four weeks of Norway’s mainland our next stop was the arctic archipelago of Svalbard where we spend three weeks exploring and documenting the remains of Svalbards  coal mining industry. All the reports about this part of the journey are published in a different series called Arctic Coal here on Delve.

On the 15th of July it was time for us to head home. First via plane to Tromsø and then again to Gothenburg with our car, by ferry to Kiel and from there to Nuremberg where we arrived on the 29th of July. During this two months trip we tested our gear and our self to the edge. We explored and documented a lot of places which were left untouched for many decades. We hope you enjoy reading our reports just as much as we enjoyed creating them. To read and see all the detailed reports created during this trip please check the overview down below.



Article Overview

  • Up North Series Index
  • Intro Up North
  • Røros District*
  • Skorovatn*
  • Sulitjelma*
  • Hidden Giant*
  • Franks Mine*
Veröffentlicht am 26.02.2017 von Jonathan Danko


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