Janne Robberstad

Welcome to my site! I work as an eco-designer, an artist, as a teacher and as a researcher, and creating, or ARTING as I prefer, makes me happy! This is both a portfolio of things I´ve made and a blog meant to inspire.

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Svalbard 3

By spotogspindel | April 7, 2014

Svalbard is a small society. Yet it´s like a whole little country. You can get just about anything here, it´s very self-sufficient. That is, almost everything is imported, mainly from Norway. 2500 people living here. The main work-places are the coal-mining industry, the university with students from all over the world, public services and sales, and tourism.


At first sight, I thought this was a funny sign to have outside the Fur & Leather-shop, and then I realized people actually carry weapons here because of polar-bears….


See?!? It really is almost the North pole!

There´s only one grocery-store, but it´s big and they have just about everything there. We got fresh strawberries and blueberries for dessert the other day… and they have the highest price on milk anywhere in the world. At $6 a liter (29,- NOK) or $24 a gallon. And still they sell it with $1 in direct loss pr liter! The shop is actually selling the milk for $6 when they have to buy it for $7! The reason for the expensive milk in the first place is the transport-costs. And the reason they sell it with loss, is a gesture they take upon themselves. It all balances out at the till, where the loss is balanced with the earnings on other goods. Milk is extra expensive, because it´s fresh and needs to be flown in. Dry goods can come by boat, which is cheaper. But all in all food is expensive here. And the salaries are the same as on the mainland. There is a very tempting financial attraction here though: The income-tax is only 15 %, half of what is usual.

Talking of public services. There are 3 small kindergartens here, one big school with 270 pupils,  a small hospital (with a stand-by helicopter for serious injuries that need to be treated on the mainland about an hour away with plane). What else? 3 hotels and several shops selling warm sporting-clothes. And that´s about it.



My brand new boots. These are a life-time investment.  In my childhood lots of my friends had shoes like this, but I never did. I haven´t seen them for 30 years or so, until today. Made from seal-fur with inlayed rain deer-skin soles, they are the warmest shoes EVER!!!!! (me happy!) Because the outside is seal, they are even quite water-resistant. Perfect!


Midnight blue.

Topics: Diverse, travel | 1 Comment »

One Response to “Svalbard 3”

  1. gail Says:
    April 11th, 2014 at 18:30

    What beautiful boots! Love them, what a treasure. 🙂