Questions on Russian travel (in particular to the north-west of European part of the country), working, or living are most welcomed. Write to, contact me via Skype at Uncle_Pasha_2011, or use chat at the bottom right corner of this page.

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Being arrested for “no foreigner” zone tresspassing is a realistic possibility

handcuffsToday I got a call from the local court in Kandalaksha asking me to translate at a hearing dedicated to a foreign traveller caught in a no-foreigners zone.

So I thought I’d remind would-be travellers that things like arrest and other ugly consequences are possible and do happen. Unfortunately, the court’s request for a translator was cancelled so I can’t tell you details of the story. I will however share another episode, personally known to me, when an elderly couple was held and hassled for four hours for the same “offence” before being released, this time with no consequences.

Need to travel to Umba or Sredny or Rybachy? Talk to me, I’ll try to assist you in getting the permit.

Yacht race in near dead calm

yacht-race-1On June 30 the 15 yachts parcicipating in the Kandalaksha Bay regatta stopped in Kandalaksha and treated us to a race from the Monastery Cape to the Labirynth and back.

DSCN2698_01_новый размер

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A baby crow landed on my head

crow-on-headThat’s what happened when I attempted feeding baby crowns that live at the nature reserve cottage in Luvenga. I hearby officially classify it as the “misfortune of the day”. Their feet are hard with sharp claws!

P.S. from Alexandra. Not everything is so terrible.


Baby crow is cute and clever creature. Pasha is too inclined to to demonize the crows more >>

Hotel Iova, 3km to Zarechensk

100km from Kandalaksha and 47km from the Kandalaksha to Alakurtti and Salla (Finland) road, still in the Kandalaksha district where it borders with Karelia. It appears that Hotel Iova is actively trying to promote itself, and of course we are here to help.


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A particularly elegant scarecrow,

with its head made of a broom, has been noticed in the “Japan” area (old Kandalaksha, now east end) on our way to the sailing regatta yesterday, a report about which is coming up.



Here is another good one:

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Kola area artists

Just wrote and added an English summary page to Alexandra’s project Kola Gallery. If there is an interest I can translate specific pages. Just ask.

Sailing regatta in Kandalaksha on June 30

It’s a part of Inter-regional yacht competition will be held June 27-July 3 near Chupa organized by the Sea Yacht Club of Chupa.


15 yachts are expected to take part in the race from the port to the labyrinth. The event starts at 5pm, with the race beginning at 6pm. At 8pm awards will be given, and a concert for visitors held during the race.


Weather-related changes are possible.

As a way of saying thanks to Ilkka Kauppinen of Arctic Warrior, Finland..

arctic-warrior..for translating a passage about Eider Duck art project in Finland, digging up information about its author, and mentioning me in his upcoming article on kayaking in the White Sea I’d like to add this link to Ilkka Kauppinen’s Arctic Warrior (Herbs of Lapland) project.

Ilka and his wife Tuija also do freelance writing for travel magazines.

“New Life” festival in Teriberka July 11-12

teriberkaTeriberka has recently gained a lot of publicity due to the filming of Levithan by Andrey Zvyagintsev there in 2013. Riding on this popularity, organic food distributor LavkaLavka and Bolshaya Zemlya Fund are organizing a festival that aims to drastically improve the life of Teriberka by stimulating its potential in fishing and tourism.

Among the participants are LavkaLavka itself, Mark i Lev restaurant, Russian Kitchen Fund, the Rofano group, Teriberka Folk Pomor Choir, and whoever else may join before the event starts. 

The event is not expected to make any money and relies on crowd-funding.

Entry ticket to the festival is 800 roubles ($15 at current exchange rate).

Accommodation in the local rather basic hotel or in tents.

I’m thinking of going and you are welcomed to join me. Accommodation in the camper or tents if I do go.