Epiphany ice bathing in Kandalaksha Jan. 18 and 19

This year the Orthodox Epiphany ice-hole dip will take place near the fish breeding operation’s dam between ulitsa Naberezhnaya and ulitsa Rybovodnaya, east end of town.

The authorities promise to equip the place with heated tents and lighting, and provide police and ambulance presence.

The hole in the ice will be sanctified at 7:30pm and made accessible to the adventurous from 8pm to 2pm next day, Jan. 19 2017.

The 99th anniversary of the Communist revolution

A small if not to say tiny demonstration to commemorate the 99th anniversary of the Communist revolution took place in Kandalaksha on November 7..november-7-3

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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).

Historic reconstruction festival July 2 and 3

gandvikHistoric reconstruction festival “Gandvik” is taking place on the Monastery Cape (just east off Kandalaksha) on July 2nd and 3rd starting at noon. The program includes visiting the Viking camp, single and group combat, recreation of a medieval fair, and show of historic boats.

Free admission!

Historic reconstruction, Viking theme, July 1-3 2016 in Kandalaksha

vikingsThe historic period is 9-11 century. Ethnic groups represented are Scandinavians, Finno-Ugric nations, and Slavs. 40 to 60 participants are expected.

The event is organized by Northern Squad.

A medieval fair is part of the festival, and merchants are invited.

Location: Monastery Cape, just east from the city. This happening coincides with the sailing regatta.

In the Land of Monuments

During our Sunday walk around Kandalaksha we’ve stumbled upon two monuments previosuly not known to us. Both are on Zavodskoy pereulok (Factory Lane). One, that seems, judging from the Gagarin-style helmet, to echo with the Cosmos theme, is by the Auto Repair Factory:

cosmos-monument

Further enquiries showed that it was indeed build in 1964, at the hight of overboiling enthusiasm for space exploration.

The other is to Kalinin who I believe was the Prime-minister till ~1946, on the territory of still-struggling Experimental Mechanical Plant:

kalinin-monument

Local rumours say there were more monuments in Kandalaksha. One to a breast-feeding mother by the Niva movie theatre that was removed by the authorities for “indecency”, and another to Comrate Kirov on the street where we have questionable pleasure of living. In the latter case the monument simply fell apart.

It’s all the Americans’ fault again

refugeesA bunch of mass media outlets came out with a heading “Demonstration by migrants in Kandalaksha provoked by the New York Times journalists”, who are accused of organizing the demonstration and are said to have made signs demanding that migrants be let into Finland.

Examples: ruposters.ru (that also mentions that 10g of hashish was found in the hotel where migrants were staying), severpost.ru, and flashnord.com.

A belated note on Nov. 7 demonstration in Kandalaksha

demonstration

A Nov. 7 demonstration from the 70s. From yourpresentperfect.ru

The scale of the event was not what it used to be in the 70s but still Kandalaksha Communist remembered the date of the “Great October Socialist Revolution” celebrated, due to a mishap with Julian and Gregorian calendars, on Nov. 7.

Local communists and members of the “Fair Russia” party assembled by School No. 1 and proceeded to the main square, when they held a meeting by the T-34 tank.

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The Verman line fighting exhibition

verman

The Kandalaksha History Museum houses an exhibition by the Murmansk museum on events along the Verman river east off Alakurtti in 1941-1944. Rare photos and documents, stories of tank attacks, actions by recognaissance units promise to be presented at the exhibition. The exhibition starts tomorrow and lasts till Nov. 16.

 

The Dacha Phenomenon. A close encounter.

A hobby, a survival tool, a defining feature of the local lifestyle from early Brezhnev days till very recent times – that’s the niche occupied by dacha. In my mind however dacha was always associated with a climate more moderate than what we have here on Kola. On Friday we were treated to a trip to one 20km south from Kandalaksha, which was our first exposure to the local northern incarnation of the concept. A big surprise of how much of everything can grow on less than 600 sq. meters minus the house here, above the 66 degree latitude. Below are a few photos showing how much can grow above the arctic circle, on the grounds reclaimed from a sand pit:

That’s how it started. Back in 1968 railroad workers were given free plots of land in a sandpit. Soil was stolen from the field of the nearby collective farm.

And that how it looks now: more >>