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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The first sun of January in the mountains near Kandalaksha

Just a few photos that made these days the local photographer Artyom Kovalev. 10 minutes from the city by car, 30 minutes on foot, and voila …

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A new no-words film on the Kandalaksha nature

The new film, entitled “This Cold North”, was shot by our friend and colleague, a biologist, photographer, and local history expert Gennady Alexandrov back in 1996 but just was released now. The focus of it is the Kandalaksha Nature Reserve..

2017 year summary

This is me by the White Sea coast ~200 meters from our new dacha, where my mate regularly drags me out, after a forced walk at minus 20 degrees centigrade (minus 4 Fahrenheit)

An appropriate end of December exercise may be to sum up the results of this year, my fourth one in Kandalaksha.

Making a living remains the number one issue. On that front I’m pleased to note that, after three years here, I seem to have achieved a certain popularity as an English tutor, and have just as many clients – mostly from among the local kids – as I need, three or four one hour lessons on an average day, exactly as much as I can comfortably handle.

As far as providing services to travelers and those who have an interest in Russia but can’t be here, several projects completed in 2017 come to mind.

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New “Back to the USSR” cafe in Kandalaksha



The fashion for the Soviet style seems to have reached Kandalaksha. A poster advertising the opening of a new “Back to the USSR” cafe was recently noticed on the Kandalaksha VK group. The address is ulitsa Pervomayskaya 83A.

We’ll be checking it out soon.

A new hotel/hostel/cafe opened in Kandalaksha

A new hotel/hostel/cafe just opened 1 min. walk from the train station, in the building of Kandalaksha’s former bus station. The cheapest accommodation option, a bunk bed in a room shared by eight, is 550 roubles (just under $10) per night. more >>

Saami crafts shop recently opened in Lovozero

News of the recent opening of the Saami craft shop/outlet named “Vuss” (a round-bottomed leather bag) in Lovozero, the center of Kola Saami, have reached me. Their shop both makes and sells things. 

Here are some examples of their deerskin articles:

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“To book aurora borealis”

Got several inquiries from travelers wishing to come here to see the aurora borealis, aka northern lights. Here is my attempt to provide a comprehensive answer to the seekers of this phenomenon.

The most common question is “When do I need to travel to the Kola Pensula to see aurora borealis for sure”. First, forget the “for sure” part. The aurora is a probabilistic thing. Thus there is no clear-cut answer to this question. Generally speaking, aurora borealis can be observed at high latitudes any time there are dark nights. On the Kola Peninsula it is approximately from September to April.

A common misconception is that aurora borealis requires real cold winter weather. This photo was made in the Hibiny mountains on the 28th of September, and I’ve myself seen the aurora in the vicinity of Kandalaksha starting the end of August.

 

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100 year anniversary of the revolution

Held yesterday by the freshly-painted statue of Lenin by the City Administration building in the center of the town. Otherwise the event seems to have gone unnoticed. 

A Bearded seal

..came out of the sea, with a splash, near the dacha village of Malinovy some 10km east of Kandalaksha, and looked at us with what appeared like intense interest from the distance of ~30 meters.