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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Hills over the Kolvitsa village

Here are some photos from the recent trip to the tundra hills over the village of Kolvitsa, thanks to two Finnish travelers I took there. During a good half a day in the hills we met no one and saw not a single piece of trash. I think I’m starting to understand what draws people up there.

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The white stuff is lichens. No reindeer here, thus lots of lichens.kolvitsa-hills-2kolvitsa-hills-3
Picking cloudberries..

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On top of one of the highest hills in the area..

These days in August 19-22, 25 years ago

25 years ago there was a coup by communist hardliners aiming to restore the regime. At the time I was far away in Canada, just starting to contemplate my return to Russia, so I could not have actively participated in what was happening. Here in Kandalaksha, the old-timers say, the event went largely unnoticed. Here is a film on what had happened:

It is sad to notice that, in the official media, the anniversary of the failed coup is going largely unnoticed. From what I hear the Moscow city authorities did not allow a rally in memory of August 19-22 1991.

 

Car down in Kandalaksha?

broke-carBased on my three years’ experience living here I can recommend the following three establishments:

(1) “On Spekova”, tel. +7 911 339 1657, Igor

(2) “By the railroad overpass”, +7 921 167-3723, Ruslan

(3) “Avtodia” on Zavodskoy, +7 921 177 2979 or +7 (81533)93001.

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A recent film “Pearls of Kandalaksha”. And one of its participants as your free guide around the city.

pearls-of-kandalakshaThis very recent film is in Russian but conveys beautiful scenery of the city and area. The story is about the Bagryanitsa (“purple robe”) garments shop that specializes in traditional local dresses and hand embroidery. (Attention those looking for non-trivial quality souvenirs!)

What can be of particular interest to you travelers is that the daughter of the shop’s owner will be glad to give you a tour of the facility or of the entire city, absolutely free of charge in exchange for the opportunity to practice her English! Write to Irina, with a copy to me (manfriday@yandex.ru).

If Kuzomen is not far enough for you, cross the Varzuga river

varzuga-ferry-1On Thursday we witnessed an UAZ van ferried to the other side of Kuzomen, to the true “beyond”. That’s the only way, except the helicopter, to get to places like Chavanga, Strelna, or Chapoma.

Here are a few photos to show you how it happens, with the floating platform being pushed by a motor boat. The cost of this adventure across the river is ~5000 roubles ($70) per crossing. more >>

Day of eared jellyfish

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There are two types of jellyfish living in the White Sea: Aurelia aurita and Cyanea capillata. Aurelia aurita is also called “Eared jellyfish” even though it has no ears. It got its name from its bright and clearly visible reproductive gonads.

Aurelia sometimes comes close to the coastline and gets stranded on the beach, or is thrown out by the storm. But never before have we seen so many jellyfish as we did yesterday.

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The day of giant things

On our second day in Kuzumen we found a huge tree on the beach. Can’t imagine where it has come from. There are no trees of this size within at least 100km from here.

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A huge root, 2×3 meters, and the trunk of at least 10 meters in length more >>

Sun City – Craftsmen City Festival August 19-21

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The 15th festival of this sort is taking place on the White Sea coast between Kandalaksha and Luvenga – watch for the sign. Craft fair, singing and dancing performances, and music workshops will be part of the event. Those wishing to participate actively need to apply through festival’s VK group before August 15.

“Stories by beauty Kanda” August 29 2016

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The fourth City festival of folk art “Stories by Beauty Kanda” is happening on August 29 in Kandalaksha. The festival will include a beauty contest, will feature singing and dancing groups, and most of the city and area craftsmen will be present too. Last year it was a lively event worth visiting.

If you want to be an active participant – and there were a few from abroad last year – e-mail mo.sodeistvie@yandex.ru or phone 8 (81533)9-40-46 before August 19.