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 >>

The Eider Book is here!!

Finally, it has been printed and delivered to Kandalaksha. Here we are after unloading nearly two tons of books (900 Russian ones and 500 English copies, over two kilos each):

The author (center), the typesetter (left), and I, the humble translator (right) in my home office, where the bulk of the books is presently stored

Actually, they arrived two or even three weeks ago but I was a bit busy with teaching English and then buying/registering a “new” car to make a timely announcement. 

See the book description at www.alexandra-goryashko.net/en_eider_book.htm

The cost of the English version is 50 dollars/Euros plus shipping (another $35-40). Free (except for shipping) from those who sponsored the book while it was being written. If interested in purchasing it please write to manfriday@yandex.ru.

A few dozen of them stayed in St. Petersburg and some went to Moscow, and you can pick them up there if convenient. Please write to me for details.

Yet another trip to Kuzomen

With a new car and a camper fixed up after last summer’s and winter beating we’ve set up on our traditional August trip to Kuzomen. Here are a few photos from our way to Kuzomen the August of 2020.

Ran into a fairly large (about 50 heads) herd of cows in Umba:

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Recent activity

Despite the economic crisis and quarantine, I’ve managed to keep myself relatively busy as of recent. Teaching English, mostly to local kids, has been a reliable, although not that well paid, staple. The mega-project of the last three years was translating the Eider Book written by my mate Alexandra. The book has now been printed and at the moment is being bound in St. Petersburg. Anybody interested in purchasing it should contact Alexandra at alexandragor4@yandex.ru. The expected price is around $100US. Shipping may or may not be extra. That will be decided shortly. At the moment we can only announce the ballpark price figure.

A good part of June was spent on developing www.eiderdown.com, my first “serious” site-building project for a client. Talk to me if you need a website of a similar level of complexity. Heavy editing of client-provided texts and pictures was part of the job. The cost of both the English and the Russian versions was together around $1000.

Main page of www.eiderdown.com

Yes, the crisis and all forced me to seriously reduce the price tag on my time. Now it is as good of an opportunity to hire me as it has ever been since mid-1990s. I’ll be happy to hear from anyone who needs an agent or a representative in the Murmansk region.

A cluster of spring disasters

The most striking piece of bad news is the collapse of the railroad bridge near the City of Kola on or around June 3, thus cutting the railroad connection to Murmansk. This was caused by high level of water in the Kola River. The governor apparently declared it will be restored within five days which, of course, is totally unrealistic.

 

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Remains of the Kolvitsa hydroelectric station

Finally made it to the right (lower) side of the Kolvitsa river yesterday and saw what was left of the famous hydroelectric power station that was built in 1949 and supplied energy to Kolvitsa and a few neighbouring villages until the mid-1960s. Five or six boulder-filled log cages are still there. Was impressed.

Spurge laurel in bloom

 

 

 

 

 

 

One of the few truly poisonous inhabitants of the local woods, Spurge laurel (Daphne mezereum) was recently found in bloom – in spite of there being lots of snow and temperatures still hovering around freezing – by the stream crossing the Monastery Cape trail. By the end of the summer these flowers will turn into nice-looking red berries. They say one can kill a man although it cannot be considered a preferred method to dispatch oneself to the better world as, apparently, it kills by causing the swelling of the throat, thus death by suffocation, which is one of the ugliest ways to go. 

Realities of local life: the road to Teriberka

One every few days we hear a report of a bus full of Chinese travelers stuck on this road. Not surprising. Conditions here, in the south of the Kola Peninsula, are much milder. Bare ice everywhere is the biggest of our road problems..
A recent photo by Alexander Popov