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

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Flooding in Kovda

flooding-kovdaHeard a couple of dramatic reports that water dumped from a reservoir up the Kovda river washed off the bridge in the village of Kovda downstream thus leaving the residents cut off from the mainland, and is threatening houses.

Complaints of no response from emergency services.

Kovda is some 80km south from Kandalaksha. See my small overview post on Kovda.

Events in honor of 100 years since the founding of Murmansk

murmanskIf you happen to be in Murmansk in the beginning of October, while the city is celebrating 100 years since its founding in 1916, there is no shortage of things to see. Many of them can be enjoyed without any knowledge of Russian. Here is the summary of main events to keep you entertained:

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Perishing in the Kola Peninsula woods and hills: the probability is 20 our of ??????

"Don't panic. There's another sign up ahead."The Murmansk Region section of the Ministry of Emergencies reported yesterday that since the beginning of 2016 43 persons were lost in the woods and hills, of which 11 were found dead and nine not located at all.

What level of risk these figures represent I know not since the total number of those venturing out was not told. Still, before leaving tell someone you are off, and indicate the route and the expected return time to make the search easier.

Norwegian news site calls the Sam Syit Saami village “a circus of nonsense”

sam-syitNo harsh words were spared in this article in the Norwegian nrk.no to describe the Sam Syit Saami village near Lovozero in the center of the Kola Peninsula. The main thrust of the angry author is that the village is as far from being authentic as one can be, and represents “a nonsensical mix of rabbits, fleece clothing, and Indian totem poles”. It is in Norwegian but auto-translates into English quite coherently.

The village of Black River on the White Sea

The village of Black River in North Karelia is as isolated place as I’ve ever seen, with absolutely no car access. To get there you need to arrange to be met with a boat at the Polyarny Krug camp in Nilma. The permanent (wintering) population is 7-10 persons, and it gets up to a hundred in the summer. Locals don’t generally like tourists but if you have a valid reason to visit this community populated mostly by Moscow biologists they may welcome you. Below are a few of many photos taken during our recent 4-day stay in Black River.

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Just loaded onto a boat at the Polarny Krug camp at Nilma

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Mass downing of Murmansk prostitution sites

site-downI’ve taken a look at the kandalaksha.su statistics and noticed that my short post mentioning Murmansk prostitution sites continues enjoying immense popularity but, alas, the resources it points to are mostly down. The only one that appears alive although not exactly full of information or activity is murmansk.sexros.net. One is disconnected, another one is for sale, and the third just wouldn’t open. Another industry appears to have succumbed to the recession.

Off to Karelia for four days tomorrow morning

The destination is the village of Chernaya Rechka (“Black River”) near Nilma. The village is famous for its remoteness, with no roads leading to it, and for the fact that most houses there are owned by biology professors from St. Petersburg and Moscow, one of whom we’ll be visiting.

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The Aurora Borealis season is here..

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The Cross Mountain, just east from Kandalaksha, last night

Sightings of Aurora Borealis had been reported on August 30 and today, Sept. 2. Here they are, from the VK page of Kandalaksha photographer Igor Prozorov.

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A video of Kandalaksha and area

Found on the VK page of Yura Nikitenko, a Kandalaksha photographer and rap singer.

Warning: the image of the place presented in the video somehow looks better than ground-level reality, where all the trash and tack and grot can’t be easily ignored. But with the end of the tourist season approaching I cannot miss this opportunity to promote tourism, even by somewhat misleading methods.