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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Kanda-Viking Camp re-openes

domikiI’m pleased to announce that the Kanda-Viking Camp 27km south from Kandalaksha, on the 1138th kilometer of the St. Petersurg to Murmansk highway, near the turn to the Beloye More settlement, has reopened, and offers 5-bed houses for 3 to 5 th. roubles ($50-85).

Website (only in Russian)


Crossing Finnish border by bicycle may soon be banned

no-bikesRumours have reached me that Russians and Finns are presently discussing closing the Salla and Raja-Jooseppi border crossing points to bicycles as a response to crowds of Syrian, Afghan etc. refugee status seekers. These fulfill the formal requirement for travellers wishing to get across to have some form of transportation other than their feet by getting on bikes.

Another grenade found yesterday in Kandalaksha

Since my September 18 2014 note on a grenade found by the garbage dump on Spekova street has attracted an unprecidented number of views (500+), here I’ll treat you for another similar story.

Yesterday, an anti-tank grenade was found and safely de-activated by the Industrial Colledge at Spekova 50.


Big shots’ meeting on tourism development in the region

meeting-Russia-FinlandKandalaksha leaders and those of Finnish municipalities that border with Russia have met last week to discuss joint projects, including setting up a major snowmobile route across Norway, Sweden,Finland, and Russia. Another project discussed was expanding the capacity of the transportation network of the Murmansk region and including it into the trans-European road system.

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Spolokhi Hotel closed

closedSpolokhi is closed, for an indefinite time, due to change of ownership and a possible upgrade.

No other major changes on the Kandalaksha accommodation scene in the last year or so.

All of the accommodation scene in Kandalaksha >>

Kandalaksha Aluminum Smelter planning to cut production

aluminum-smelterThere are persistent rumours that the aluminum smelter, one of the pillars of local economy, is about to cut production by 200 th. tons per year in December 2015.

(A strange figure given that the plant’s output is no more than 70 th. tons per year.)

The reason is said to be low price for aluminum that dropped to $1600USA, or 27%, since the beginning of 2015, which makes producing aluminum a losing business to half of the industry’s facilities.

For details see

“New Year’s Fantasy” crafts fair held from Dec. 12 to 30 2015 in the Kandalaksha City Museum at ulitsa Pervomayskaya 40. Artists and artisans wishing to participate are invited to apply before Dec. 4 2015. Contacct Anna Alexandrovna Goryacheva at +7 81533 94407.

A Solovki film from Russia Beyond the Headlines

Click on the image to see an excellent film, with English subtitles, where an attempt is made to present the whole view of the island, from antiquity to its present day.solovki-rbth