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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Art gallery “Sapmi” opening in Lovozero on August 9 2015

Some time ago we wrote of the plans to open the Saami art gallery in Lovozero. Now it is a reality! The opening ceremony starts at 3pm at ulitsa Shkolnaya 4, in the left wing of the boarding school, 3rd floor, entry from the back. The admission is free!

In addition to over 50 works of Saami artists, the event will feature workshops on bracelet weaving from wool (by Valentina Sovkina) and embroidery with beads (by M.N. Kalmykova), the work of children’s center “Umka”, and sampling of drinks from northern berries.

Exhibition participants:


from N.E. Afanasyeva’s collection

Nadezhda Lyashenko (Nadia Fenina), a painter, a writer, and a practicing shaman. Nadezhda was born to the family of repressed reindeer breeders from the Zapadnaya Litsa bay area. Her works are on display in Norway, Sweden, Finland, Estonia, and Ukraine.





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Guest house in Kolvica

We’ve personally visited it today and are happy to provide this report.

20The village of Kolvitsa is 30km east from Kandalaksha, near the Kandalaksha to Umba and Varzuga road. The guesthouse will suite those travelling along the route or those whose destination is Kolvitsa itself. The Kolvitsa Bay, where the guesthouse is situated, is one of the most picturesque places along the south edge of the Kola peninsula. Artists like coming here. Click here to see some pictures painted in Kolvitsa. Also Kolvitsa is good for sea, river, and lake fishing, picking mushrooms and berries, or just walking around.

Responses left in the guestbook often mention house owners’ hospitality, the place’s coziness, and presence of a banya. Guests are especially delighted by homemade bread and pirogies, jams, fresh fish, and a deck with a spectacular view.

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Shaman drums

shaman-drumsOne of our favourite local artists, a painter Irina Sidtikova from Apatity, came up with a new type of product, drums.

These are 15cm in diameter and 1200 roubles ($20) a piece, which is a bargain. Said to be entirely functional.

You can get in touch with Irina through her VK page or by writing to us to

“White Noise” on White sea

Presentin a rare, remarkable, and not very usual for Russia phenomenon when a well-known and popular rock, ethno, and electronic music festival was held in a small depressed village with no real economy and no jobs, and when the happening was locally initiated.


The White Noise festival was held in the village of Chupa on the White Sea, at the north end of Karelia, 20 miles from the arctic circle (66°33), on the Medvezhka (bear) peninsula. Performers and guests came here from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Karelia, the Murmansk region, and other places. This year there were about 2000 of them living in tents all over the peninsula. The organizers set up several cafes (including a vegetarian one with Indian food), brought potable water, installed toilet facilities. Also a fire show, art shows and exhibitions, a performance by jugglers, a fair of hand-made products, sea canoe rides, tours of the coast on motor-boats and sailing yachts, and diving were part of the festival.

The festival’s main sponsor was the Lighthouse Foundation fund (

Festival’s site: Next year’s dates will be announced there, and of course here on

Out of hundreds of photos of the event floating around images by Maria Brusnikina appeared to us to be most revealing. Below are several of them. All photos of Maria from the White Noise are here >>.


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Watercolours from the recent festival in Teriberka

I reported earlier about the New Life festival in Teriberka July 11-12. Now one of our extra-energetic friends, Anna Mikhailova, went there and came back with a series of watercolours that I’m here sharing with you. Here:


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A hotel discovered in the heart of Hibiny

kuelporrHotel Kuelporr is a neat place lost in the middle of nowhere in the Khibiny mountains, 20km north from Kirovsk, latitude 33.7294006, longitude 67.6358871. Accessible in the winter by snowmobile only, closed May and June, and October to early December because the road to the hotel is impassable by any transportation during these dreadful between-season periods. For those looking for a profound Khibiny experience.

Tel.: +7 921 510 0030, e-mail:

Their site, in English >>

Village of Chupa information center

Information Center of the Village of Chupa invites enquiries about the North-Karelian region.
Address: Ulitsa Korguyeva 7, office 8.
Tel./fax: +7 81439 41144
Mobile: +7 921 523 4498

Photo by Igor Georgievski

Chupa. Photo by Igor Georgievski

The Center is operated by the Karelian Regional Public Organization in Support of Sustained Development and Nature Protection “Basin Council of the North-Karelian Coast”.

There a traveller can get the following types of support:

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A remarkable set of photos from a recent trip to the Rybachy peninsula

Unfortunately, Rybachy is one of the areas where foreign travellers are required to have a permit that takes two months to obtain (read more about the permit business here, and talk to me if you need help).

But here is a remarkable set of very recent (summer 2015) photos from the place:


WW2 metal


Rock at Cape Nemetsky – the most northern tip of Rybachy.


What’s left of WW2 fortifications

More – much more – at