Kandalaksha, the Kola Peninsula, and what’s between Moscow and Murmansk. New stuff added below. See contents or use search form in the left sidebar. Questions welcomed. E-mail to email@example.com, use my forum for questions that are likely to be of interest to others, or fill out this form:
First-time visitors to Russia often express surprise at the amount of mud, slush or dust, depending on the time of the year, on roads here. This article from tema.livejournal.com, that I’m even tempted to translate into English although pictures make the story almost obvious, explains why it happens here but not in other countries with similar climate. Highly recommended whether you seek to satisfy curiosity or are on a search for the cultural code. That’s why I’m placing this recommendation for the mud story to the Background reading category.
A friendly match between hockey club “Kandalaksha” and team of five towns in northern Canada was held on March 5 in Kandalaksha. “Kandalaksha” won 3:2.
The even was preceeded by a master class for young hockey players. Pasha refused to attend the event but kindly agreed to have a beer with hockey symbolics on it.
Watercolours. The series is called “The Call of the North Star” and the inspiration for these paintings, as for most others by this author, is from the north and particularly the north-west.
This report not abot Valaam as such but the options and technicalities of getting there.
The closest mainland point is Priozersk, three hours from St. Petersburg by train. Trains leave St. Petersburg from the Finland train station, Metro Proshad Lenina – Finlyandsky Vokzal. Apparently there are overnight boats direct from St. Petersburg but I have no details. This story is mostly about getting from Priozersk to the Valaam Archipelago (Finnish: Valamo) itself.
A clear and to the point description of how to get there and where to stay is on the Valaam Monastery site.
“Fugl” is “bird”. Think “fugl” sounds just as it should. I’ve come across a Norwegian-based outfit that organizes bird watching tours in the area. Norwegian seems to be structurally very close to English, and their site www.bioforsk.no is entirely readable when run through an on-line translator. Added it to Categories > Birdwatching.
This is the first time someone I personally know got arrested. Oleg Hait was detained and shortly released (no details) for holding a piece of paper with a dove on it. Two days ago heard one of Kandalaksha “intelligentsia” complain of threats “rip off (his) face” for being “against Russia”, and being “against” presently means not being overjoyed about the “incursion” into Ukraine.
Request for monitoring/reviews of local press and internet sources are welcomed. I’m in a good position to observe the moods and attitudes in the rural and small town Russia. Whatever I can contribute to bringing this ugly story out in the open, I will. Not that Russians, in mass, seem to be concerned how they look, or possible isolation, with yet another enemy – and these Ukrainians are experts in the art of hatred, long and intense – added along the country’s borders.
Just noticed a nice article on Myshkin, one of my favourite places, in one of recent issues of the Moscow Times. Here >>