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

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I’m ready for a new challenge

For the last few months, in addition to translating Alexandra’s book on the eiders (the end of the project is now in sight sometime in 2019) and teaching English (mostly to local kids), I’ve been looking where a motor yacht could fill up with quality diesel fuel between St. Petersburg and Murmansk. Now, with the yacht project over, 1/3 of my time and energy is freed up, and am ready to apply it to the benefit humanity and to help in paying our bills.

Examples of jobs done in the last three or four years, since our move to the Kola Peninsula: more >>

Some photos from the end of September trip to Kandalaksha by two American gents

These well capture the spirit of the place in late September. So I’m sharing almost the entire set..

At the Nature Reserve museum

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The Officers House is being exploded at the moment

That’s the final end of Kandalaksha’s most spectacular ruin. The people appear to be having fun observing the process. The massive columns at the front are to be brought down today..

 

See also the Announcement of the upcoming demolition and the Big report, with lots of photos, of our visit to the Officers House.

Kolvitsa Lake boulders

Something different and drastic must have been happening here epochs ago because large stones along the southern edge of Kolvitsa Lake don’t look like boulders elsewhere, and their arrangement in a long row along the water is beyond me to take a wild guess as to why. Below are some photos from our yesterday’s walk among the rocks by the lake in the late fall mist.

 

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Seen five White-throated dippers at a time

Normally this little and rare (several hundred pairs in the entire Murmansk Region) birdie lives in a rather dispersed fashion, with one to three pairs per 10km of stream. But today we have been observing at least five individuals at once, diving into bubbling water to get their bugs and worms and what not.

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Nordic walking competition Oct. 21 2018

Nordic walking, where people, for the reasons that elude me, pace along with skiing sticks but no skis, is vastly popular in Kandalaksha. Today I noticed a poster announcing a Nordic walking competition that is to take place on Sunday, October 21, in the city park. The poster indicated no time when the event is taking place but most happenings of this sort start. The location was given as “on the left side of the Niva River”. I assume it along the trail in the city park, accessible by a suspended bridge from Ulitsa Naberezhnaya.

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The most spectacular of Kandalaksha’s ruins is set to be exploded and leveled

Photo by Dr. Morita. August 2018.

The Officers’ House, built in late 1930s, was abandoned in 2010, suffered from a series of fires, and up to now has been standing as the most spectacular of local ruins. Recently a decision to bring it down by a series of explosions and demolish it starting October 15 was announced. I’m truly sorry to see this monument to the Soviet epoch go. Here are a few photos by Alexandra from our last visit there in September this year..

The facade is there. I’m neither an architect nor a civil construction economist but isn’t a building restorable as long as the facade and the walls are there? Perhaps restoration takes more subtlety and flexibility, compared to leveling things and building anew, than we Russians are capable of?

The roof is gone, and the central stage is exposed..

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Intense aurora borealis right over Kandalaksha last night

Last night, October 7, at about 10 pm, we were treated to spectacular northern lights display clearly visible right over the town despite light pollution. That may have been the brightest display I’ve ever seen. First we even thought the building was on fire.

Here are some photos taken with an ordinary camera.

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