Nordfjorden is a northern branch of Isfjorden, the second longest fjord of Spitsbergen (107km), lying on its western side. It is located between Bohemanneset, Kapp Wijk and Kapp Thordsen.
It is a beautiful place surrounded by glaciers. In the north, in the Brevika bay, the Sefströmbreen glacier descends to the fjord. In the west, in the Yoldiabukta bay – an enormous 30km Sveabreen glacier descends, which in good weather is visible even from Longyearbyen.
The area around the fjord is also popular with hunting.
Hunting, Science and Mining
One of the many interesting places in Nordfjorden is Kapp Wijk. The cape is a hunting area with traditions dating three generations back. It is reported that a legendary hunter Arthur Oxaas once used two of the local hunting huts. Currently, one of them is still used by equally famous Harald Solheim.
Another famous building called Svenskehuset is located on Kapp Thordsen. It was erected at the end of the 19th century by Adolf Nordenskiöld, who wanted to use the minerals acquired in Spitsbergen and promote scientific work in this area. The immediate reason for the construction of Svenskehuset was the plan to start commercial excavation of the coprolites, or petrified animal waste, which, however, never happened. The place gained notoriety when in the year of its construction as many as 17 Norwegian seal hunters froze here one winter, paradoxically seeking refuge from frost. The building was also used for the same purpose by the Swedish scientific expedition during the first International Polar Year 1882-1883. Solomon Andrée stayed here then and later he made an unsuccessful attempt to reach the North Pole with a balloon.
Another place worth mentioning is Bohemanneset, as this was the place where coal mining was the earliest, already in 1899. Some modest remains of the beginnings of the mining industry are visible on the site.